Bangabandhu and the War of Liberation: Thoughts of Reconstruction of Values

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Published on October 19, 2020
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Dr. Mir Mehbub Alam Nahid:

Our uniqueness is in Bengali culture, and the War of Liberation is its best attainment. We are indebted to those who have participated in the Great War of Independence under the leadership of Bangabandhu and gave us the opportunity to see the open sky by liberating Bangladesh. Forty-nine years of our independence are running. We are still fighting against the forces of the Liberation War that are lurking in this country. To make this struggle successful, we need a group of tested young people who have strong belief to Bangabandhu and in the Liberation War. Based on values of Awami League, they will turn out to be a dedicated and trustworthy political activist.

The war of liberation is a part of the grandeur of our life and thousands of epics and mourning memories of the nation associated with it. As a mourning song, it involves pieces of grief, mother's heartbreak, wife's respect, sister's dismembered body, etc. The call of the Father of the Nation on March 7, 1971, 'This time the struggle is for our liberation, this time the struggle is for freedom', made our great War of Liberation inevitable. At the call of the great hero Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, we jumped into the war of liberation, gave blood to protect the motherland, under his leadership we have achieved independence. Bangabandhu is the 'Wonder Man' of the universe.

One of the conditions of the war of liberation was the emergence of an independent sovereign nation. Although the foundation of national hopes and aspirations was laid through the war of liberation, the question remains whether it has developed as expected at all levels and in all minds. Even after independence, the invisible struggle is going on with the anti-independence forces.

The War of Liberation of 1971 was a part of the ongoing process of reaching a society free from exploitation. In order to avoid mistakes in this process, the liberation war needs to be constantly evaluated. The identified anti-independence enemies of 1971 have been engaged in communal incitement in the name of religion under the umbrella of the dictatorial government and have attacked and propagated cultural activities for several times. After the change of political turn in 1975, naturally this attack on the national culture was marked as a deliberate blueprint.

Non-communal attitude worked in the Liberation War of 1971 in Bangladesh, anti-religion or atheism did not work. Even when dishonesty is rampant in all walks of life, the activists with the spirit of the Liberation War have persevered till the formation of the Bangladesh Awami League government in 1996 with great courage by speaking out against all mismanagement. Hence, it is necessary to move forward towards the main goal by consolidating the spirit of the Liberation War and to prepare a new generation.

Just as it is natural for the fundamentalists to spread propaganda against the anti-independence clique, it is even more natural that the workers of the Bangladesh Awami League and its various affiliates will repudiate to go along with this arrogance at any cost. Our workers have never compromised with the enemy and will never do so in the future. The workers have always spoken the truth with courage and conviction and as always they will not refrain from exposing the masks of creed traders in front of the people. Trying to confiscate the mask from the face of those who have deceived or will deceive the undemanding people of this country in various ways by wearing the mask of religion is never to go up against religion.

It is pertinent to mention that, education is considered as the reciprocated driving force between the individual and the state. In learning, the individual becomes enlightened and develops his own stance on life and the world. The human qualities emanating in him transcend the individual and awaken the thought of welfare for the society and the nation.

The development of a nation depends on the quality of education. The ultimate code of education is to develop the latent abilities of the individual. But there are differences of estimation as to its intention. Some say the primary goal of education is ‘individual’, while others say ‘society’. Education as a whole creates opportunities for the upliftment of the individual and creates working citizens instead of secluded individuals. Just memorizing lessons and getting the highest marks in exams also leaves imperfections in education and the colossal aspect of ‘life’ remains undiscovered. Building awareness of students and reconstruction of values will be the core function of education, not examination or issuance of certificates. By getting education, they will be confident, will be competent to keep rate of knots with other sections of the society, and will play a part in running the future state as good citizens.

The first few years of life are very important for the intellectual development of the child. What children learn from their family and surroundings in the first four years of their life cannot learn that much even in the next twelve years. After the child is born, the family environment is the only institution of his education; the importance of this phase of non-formal education before entering the school is indisputable. In a sense, this family education shortly affects on a person's education and career throughout his life.

A person has to depart the boundaries of the family and get acquainted with the larger society, being susceptible to its rules, he himself present as a social being. His first step is ‘school’. By erudition and conform to the specific rules and regulations of the school, the child learns to respect the rules and regulations of the wider society, begins to widen as a human being, and accumulates a strong idea of morality, character and values in the larger sense. Such a way formal education or academic education forms the basis of a student's success and failure.

In Rabindranath's view, education should be a part of daily life; where melodies and rhythms conformable with life which will be shaped. The subject of education will no longer be a caged subject called the classroom. The purpose of his education is to be a 'complete human being', an 'eternal human being' and a 'universal human being' - a human being who realizes the presence of all beings in between. When children are ready to take more responsibilities, they gain more freedom. In this way they befall mature and gain knowledge to formulate good decisions. This is life. This is the way forward for values.

At present, we need such dedicated, valued, white-minded political activists in the homes who really carry the ideals of Bangabandhu and the Liberation War. It is advisable to take a good look at the old history of the youth who are present to take initiation in your political shadow. Otherwise, anyone wearing a masquerade will ruin your garden, which is happening again and again in recent times.

How is that possible? In a word, 'motivation'. The book 'Ekattorer Chithi' (Letters of 1971 from participating freedom fighters in the liberation war of Bangladesh) published from the Prothoma Prokashan is the proof of that. Reading the letters, it is seen that the heroic freedom fighters jumped into the war only on their own motivation. I can't refuse to go along with the urge to excerpt two such letters. The first one is, ‘It is a shame that we have survived, in comparison with the way ordinary people have been killed. I may not die because of your prayers. But to die would be the death of glory. What does it mean to die lying down at home?’ And the second one is, ‘Mum, when you receive this letter, I will be far away from you. Mom, I know you won't let me go, so I'm leaving without telling you. But the day I can avenge the honor of mother and sister and liberate this motherland Sonar Bangla, your son will return to your lap.’ So let us see the sights of such young group of people who are steadfast to Bangabandhu and to the Liberation War, and who are unfaltering in establishing party values.

Writer: Associate Professor, Department of Theatre, University of Rajshahi