Heads bowed, in gratitude|| The martyrs, war crimes and justice || The intellectuals' legacy|| Murder most foul || Memory's eternal flame || Our homage||

Yamin Tauseef Jahangir

Heads bowed, in gratitude

History is remembering. Those who do not remember lose out, to themselves, to posterity. Fortunately for all of us, in this country and outside it, history has remained the pivot on which we have moved, in widening circles of awareness about ourselves, about the past that has shaped our present. And the present, held together by a full, palpable consciousness of the forces that once went into the making of history in Bangladesh, reinforces thoughts of the future, of the individual as also the collective.

This morning, we reflect on past deeds of valour, of supreme sacrifice, for that valour and that sacrifice are what constitute the moral essence of the Bengali nation, happening as they did in a year that began as our annus horribilis and ended as our annus mirabilis. And yet, as we approach one more anniversary of the liberation of the land, we remember how terribly high a price our intellectuals paid on the eve of freedom. One by one they were picked off, by the local goon squads --- al Badr, al Shams, razakars --- of the crumbling Pakistan occupation army and swiftly pushed to death. A retreating enemy causes one last instance of havoc as it slides to its doom. That was what Pakistan and its collaborators did as they went abducting, and then murdering, some of the best of our citizens --- men, women, writers, journalists, academics and more --- in the final days of our collective struggle against Pakistan and its genocide.

These brave men and women were not destined to observe the dawn of freedom. But they did leave behind, for us the living, a story which spoke of the destiny we could paint in the colours of the rainbow, across the heavens and here on that hallowed spot we call Bangladesh.

Our heads are bowed, our palms come together in gratitude, our hearts droop in sadness in remembrance of our martyrs this morning. -- Editor