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9 June, 2019 10:53:05 AM

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A conspiracy, not controversy

It is very sad that a powerful group involving intellectuals and journalists could conspire to malign the image of the father of the nation who should remain above all controversy
ABDUL GAFFAR CHOUDHURY
A conspiracy, not controversy

We all blame Joseph Goebbels of Germany for using lies and untruths to achieve his political goal. Actually, this tactics was invented and used by the British Imperialist administration a few centuries ago.

They used totally untrue propaganda most successfully against their opponents and enemies and presented those opponents to the world as evil. Engaging thousands of armed soldiers they invaded a country but that was not a guarantee that could stabilize their occupation there. So they engaged hundreds of writers who portrayed the leader of that country they had killed as a monster and influenced by those writings people started to think that their own leader was enemy of the humanity. They used this tactics 200 years ago against Siraj ud-daulah, the Nawab of Bengal and is pursuing it till today. When the western world is being ruled by one after another fascist tyrants western writers are busy portraying some Asian and African leaders who fought for their country and sacrificed their lives as fascists and enemies of humanity. Iraq's Saddam, Egypt's Nasser, Libya's Gaddafi could be cited as examples.
Bangabandhu of Bangladesh, a national hero, is established as the founding father of the country. But after his assassination he was subjected to all sorts of untrue and vicious propaganda where a section of our own intellectuals took part and produced numerous books. The most unfortunate part of this game was these so-called intellectuals achieved success by misleading some patriots who were believers of Bangabandhu and the true ideals of the war of independence. In 2014 Air Vice Marshall A. K. Khandaker, a brave freedom fighter and the first Chief of Bangladesh Air Force,  wrote a book in Bengali, under the title 1971: Inside and Outside and it was published by a Dhaka publisher- Prothoma Prokashan. In the book there were some comments and facts about Bangabandhu and the history of the war of independence which was nothing but a distortion of

facts.

This distortion or false propaganda was first started by enemies of the war of independence and their foreign allies. But very soon some so-called intellectuals brought it to open discussion. The propaganda was that Bangabandhu in his historic 7th March speech said 'Jai Pakistan' (viva la Pakistan). This is not true. Those who were present in the mammoth gathering of that day, including me know that Bangabandhu never uttered this word. But after his assassination when people were silenced by the force of the gun, they were told that Sheikh Mujib uttered this on 7th March.

A section of journalists and intellectuals who were involved in the war of independence but later on became hostile to the Mujib leadership very cleverly kept their patriotic mask but started anti-Mujib propaganda and took a role of political opportunism. After four and a half years Khandaker has realised that he was trapped by this so-called intellectual group and apologized for the distortion of facts in his book and apologized to Bangabandhu and the nation. He disclosed the names of those who from the beginning did not listen to his request to omit these lies from his books and continued to guard him for some time so that he could not correct the facts. These people are Maidul Hasan, the author of a book—71: The Main Stream, Matiur Rahman, editor of a Bengali Daily and executive of Prothoma Prokashan and Zafarullah Chowdhury of People's Health Center.

They are all known for their hostility towards Bangabandhu and Awami League. They first misled the late Justice Habibur Rahman Shelley, who was known for his pro-independence ideals and was a much respected man in the country. He was the Chief advisor of a caretaker government under which Sheikh Hasina won a land slide victory in the 1996 general election. I have deep respect for him and he also had deep affection for me. After retirement he became close with the daily Bengali paper in which he became a regular contributor. I was surprised when I read his writing that Bangabandhu had uttered 'Jai Pakistan' in his 7th March speech. Moreover, Justice Shelley commented on the independence war as 'lathibaji' (beating with sticks) by Pakistani soldiers. I strongly protested against his remarks in my column at that time. He was hurt by my comments and one day called me to his house. With a heavy heart he told me that he himself did not hear Bangabandhu saying 'Jai Pakistan' and he regretted that he was influenced by his journalist friends.

Four and a half years ago in 2014 when I first read A. K. Khandaker's book and his so-called comment on Bangabandhu and the war of independence, I realized that the same gang has manipulated this brave and simple man also. Those who influenced him to write this book distorting the facts, also prevented him from correcting the book. I also realized and expressed my suspicion in my column in 2014 that Khandaker is an elderly person and perhaps he needed a ghost writer to help him to write this book. Was there any manipulation by that ghost writer who confused this elderly person? Were they also appointed by those journalist friends? How a top military leader of the independence war could say in his book that Bangabandhu's 7th March speech did not influence the independence war? Then I remembered that long ago I read a book written by my friend Maidul Hasan, 71: The Main Stream. It is a valuable book with valuable facts about the independence war, but having an  anti-Mujib and anti-Awami League tone covertly. The reflection of this book was evident on A. K. Khandaker's book. Khandaker himself admitted to the journalists that Maidul Hasan was also involved in the writing of his book.

It is very sad that a powerful group involving intellectuals and journalists could conspire to malign the image of the father of the nation who should remain above all controversy. Now it is proved that this controversy about Bangabandhu and the war of independence was not merely a controversy, it is a conspiracy, part of a political one to defame Bangabandhu and defuse the pride of the war of independence. But truth has prevailed at last. I am very thankful to A. K. Khandaker that he at last asserted his courageous self and foiled a dangerous conspiracy.

London, Thursday 07 June, 2019

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Editor : M. Shamsur Rahman

Published by the Editor on behalf of Independent Publications Limited at Media Printers, 446/H, Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1215.
Editorial, News & Commercial Offices : Beximco Media Complex, 149-150 Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1208, Bangladesh. GPO Box No. 934, Dhaka-1000.

Editor : M. Shamsur Rahman
Published by the Editor on behalf of Independent Publications Limited at Media Printers, 446/H, Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1215.
Editorial, News & Commercial Offices : Beximco Media Complex, 149-150 Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1208, Bangladesh. GPO Box No. 934, Dhaka-1000.

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