Home   |  Issues  |  The Daily Star Home





1971: For the tomorrow that never came?

RED. Blood Red. A perfectly cut solid ring of crimson set against the greenest of green-the official flag of the People's

Republic of Bangladesh. The simplicity of the flag's design belies the complex history of the country it represents. It took an ocean of blood and three million lives just so that this flag could soar freely in the deep blue skies. The red ring represented the all the lives sacrificed for the gift of freedom, while the verdant background symbolised the country it stood for-Bangladesh.Nobody has forgotten. Nobody has forgotten the gory details of this country's Independence. What most has forgotten is the value of this sacrifice, the purpose of this loss. It does sound absurd, doesn't it, to say that the citizens of this country have forgotten why the Independence War was fought? Then again coming from a sixteen-year-old, you'd say, what does she know? But it's not what I know that I've come to argue about. It's what I see around me that I'm concerned about.Ever wondered what force drove those men and women into the battlefield in 1971? What fire burned so brightly within them that their own lives were insignificant compared to what they were going to do? Patriotism. It was sheer love for their beloved motherland that broke their shackles and set them set free to fight for a mother.

So, why are we different? Are we not the children of the same mother, for whom our predecessors fought more than two decades ago? Is 32 years such a long time that the fire of patriotism has been extinguished from our souls? I do not mean to preach, but is it that hard to show a little appreciation for your homeland? Would you believe that I actually heard a person say that she was ashamed to be born, as a citizen of this country? And to top it off, another person nearby actually agreed! That comments alone gets you thinking is this why we lost three million lives?FOR A BETTER TOMORROW- everybody's dreams revolved around this one phrase during 1971's Independence War. They would fight for the tomorrow of golden dreams, of happiness and unity. Sadly enough, that tomorrow never came. As each day moves on, a little more of that dream crumbles away. We slump further down, our descent fuelled by our own greed, selfishness.

There are over 12 crore people in this country, each going 12 billion different ways. In the process, the pillars upholding this country are eroding into nothingness.

It's so common to see someone being victimised by the local goons, murdered, or kidnapped that we hardly raise our eyebrows. It's like we almost expect to see somebody being killed, or political parties lashing out at each other for no reason at all, or another Transparency report on corruption. Any idea where the better tomorrow that so many died for went? Not for a moment should it be thought that the 1971 Independence War was fought in vain. Sure, maybe we're not our best at the moment, but those nine months of sacrifice bought us our freedom for eternity. It broke the fetters of injustice and inhuman cruelty binding us. It gave us the right to live as Bangalees. Today's the 16th of December. So, why don't we just close our eyes, take a deep breath and re-evaluate our motives. Instead of just going through the motions of celebrating this event, let's look at our flag and really feel what it stands for, not just say the stereotyped speeches that we've been saying for the last 32 years. For once, let's forget the selfish greed, the vendibility and make the dream of a better tomorrow come true. Let's make every drop of blood sacrificed, count. Let's be the Bangalees, for whom thirty million people gave their lives.

By Prathama Komal Nabi





home | Issues | The Daily Star Home

2003 The Daily Star