On Muktijuddho and Related
Matters - II
The unyielding and uncompromising demand for the trial of the 1971 war criminals and those responsible for the excesses against humanity before and during our War of Liberation illustrates Bangalee's faith in the truth. The demand became only louder by the year, as it became clearer that some political leaders for temporary narrow gains were willing to sacrifice the sacrifice of the martyrs, the raped, the tortured, and the looted.
That this column had stood firm on this demand and related matters since it began in 1995 is in the extracts below:
10 February 1998
In 1971, the then Pakistani forces unleashed a reign of hitherto unknown terror on freedom-loving Bangalee civilians whose expression of sincere intentions was manifest in the participation of the political process. This has to be made known to present-day Pakistanis as well as those Bangladeshi who possibly dream even today of a confederacy with their yaars.
Pakistani officials today must hang their heads in shame for the cannibalistic actions of their predecessors in 1971. They must feel and express extreme repentance for inflicting wounds that can never truly heal. They must apologise for killing three million shaheeds, for raping our pious women, for attempting to cripple us intellectually, for maiming countless gazis, for destroying our infrastructure, for incapacitating our economy, and for lying to their own people about the situation in East Pakistan.
Ninety-three thousand Pak soldiers surrendered to the joint command of Bangladesh-India forces. They were stripped of all their vanity in public. Their deceptive bravado will remind the mother that her Khoka never came back. The orphan may want to join the War for she has been told her father is still somewhere in the battlefield.
28 November 2000
In 1971 the barking of such dogs broke the eerie silence of the frightful nights as mothers cradled their children in occupied Bangladesh. The spineless, spiritless, shambolic band of terrorists-in-uniform heartily emptied their metal magazines on innocent unarmed Bangalee civilians who slept on city streets and in their homes. The clatter of Pak military vehicles rolling by and the deadly thumping of boots in the dark were premonitions of death for a people they pretended to protect.
The acts of wicked cruelty, widespread cowardice, wanton lust, and wayward greed of the Pakistanis in 1971 have all been meticulously chronicled even by independent researchers. So much so that no rational being today should nurture even a shred of doubt that indeed the Pakistan Army had committed the most nefarious of crimes in Bangladesh. Their unprecedented barbarism makes even the fearful Nazis appear almost angelic.
20 December 2000
As for those who are upset because time and again we keep on bringing up the unsolved equation with Pakistan, only last week for atrocities against the Jews yet another suspected World War II Nazi officer was apprehended. The civilised world looks up to these arrests as a means of appeasing the souls of those who suffered. They are digging sixty years of history in their relentless search for needles in a haystack. Yet, with thousands of war criminals and their crimes fresh in our memory, both here and in Pakistan, we are expected to look the other way, not talk about them, and allow our own sufferings to be ridiculed. It's simply not on.
2 July 2001
Despite their arrogant claims, those living beings, razakars as they called themselves, were far removed from the ideals of a religion that was practised at the time by over 80 percent of the population. As Muslims they began to kill Muslims to save (?) Pakistan. Not that they had any justification by the tenets of Islam to go and kill someone of any religion just because his or her mother tongue was Bangla.
We Bangalees took up arms only when we were attacked, when we were being annihilated, when we were subjected to one of the worst genocide in history. Ours was a course of self-defence, later a quest for societal emancipation.
The man on the jainamaz knew what the razakar was doing, as a lame pretext to save Islam, was not Islam. The man reciting the divine verses knew that the politically ill-motivated connivance of razakars with the Pakistan Army was not the religion of Prophet Muhammad, peace be upon him. The man on the jainamaz was praying for his muktijoddha son, nay for all his comrades too. The man with the holy Quran in his hand wiped a tear in silence and loneliness for he had lost the youth when best to go to the War.
N.B. The book “CHINTITO – A 'stir' is born” (1995-1997 articles) is available at the Daily Star office.
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