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14 December, 2019 00:00 00 AM

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Martyred Intellectuals Day

Martyred Intellectuals Day

Today is one of the saddest days in the history of the Bengali nation. On this day in 1971, on the eve of Bangladesh’s victory over the Pakistani occupation forces, many of the brightest persons of the Bengali intelligentsia were picked up and murdered brutally by the Pakistani forces and their local collaborators. Between December 12 and 14, the nation lost some of its best intellectuals and professionals to premeditated murder. It was a desperate ploy by the forces of evil to cripple the future of independent Bangladesh. Thankfully though we have prevailed as a nation and as a people.

However we can’t help but wonder what more we could have achieved had they not been taken away so brutally from us. The martyrs believed that this country would find its rightful place in the league of world's nations as a country built on the principles of justice and equality for its people, and their supreme sacrifice give us pause to reflect, whether we have done them justice in striving towards building a just, egalitarian and secular Bangladesh.

It is very unfortunate that not even a full list of the martyrs has as yet been prepared and given recognition as war heroes. This certainly is unwarranted of a nation that has earned its independence at such a colossal cost. Not all the families of the intellectual martyrs needed financial help but some did. If they are not recognised as war heroes, the question of receiving any help does not arise.

December 14 is a day that marks not only one of the darkest chapters in Bangladesh's history but the world's as well. It is hard to think of a similar incident anywhere in the globe where intellectuals were systematically rounded up and methodically annihilated in order to crush the backbone of a nation. What happened in Bangladesh that day is considered beyond outrageous even after so many years. In recent times, a few known collaborators have been tried and sentenced. We never saw signs of guilt or true remorse in them before they face trial.

While we pay homage to the martyred intellectuals, we are ever grateful that the long awaited road to justice for the family members has come to fruition through the war crimes tribunal. We must keep alive their sacrifice through deeds and not words.

 

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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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