Tag Archives: 1971 Bangladesh War

Songs of Liberation

An extract from Daily Star article.

Bangladesh’s struggle for emancipation from the clutches of alien domination has a long and chequered history behind. The bud of Bangladeshi independence, whose fragrance was effectively perceived for the first time through the glorious Language Movement in 1952, sprouted in all its splendour into a full bloom through the War of Independence in 1971. It was a song – Amar Bhaier Raktey Rangano Ekushey February – with a haunting melody from a genius like Altaf Mahmood – which had always been a very important factor in keeping up the tempo of our long and gruelling struggle at right pitch. But it will be absolutely unjustified if we prepare any list of songs and melodies that helped to boost up the morale of the freedom-hungry Bangladeshis without first paying tributes to the memory of the two great maestros, Tagore and Nazrul, whose songs have become almost synonymous with the culture and tradition of Bangladesh.

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Teaching MPACUK the forgotten chapter of Pakistan’s history

It’s common knowledge that Pakistan does not teach its school children the truth about its brutalities during 1971, when East Pakistan broke away to become Bangladesh. The Guinness Book of Records lists the Bangladesh Genocide as one of the top 5 genocides in the 20th century, yet it’s hardly featured in Pakistan’s textbooks, academic discussion or the media. On the 40th Victory Day of Bangladesh, BBC Radio 4 documented how the Pakistani school children perceive Bangladesh Liberation War, they’re in a state of denial of Pakistan’s genocide of Bengali people in former East Pakistan. They have been taught by the propagandist a conspiracy of Hindu Indians causing tensions between the two Muslim wings of Pakistan. The children’s deny Pakistanis could ever do such things to their brothers and sisters in Bangladesh! In one sense these children are also suffering abuse by their own government by being denied the truth. Pakistanis are suffering from this curse even today except of course, the military elite who live on American handouts to the tune of billions of dollars.

As one Pakistani historian in UK writes:

“The roots of the civil war in 1971 are of course in the partition of 1947 and the establishment of Pakistan. Since Muhammad Ali Jinnah wanted a partition on the basis of religion alone, East and West Pakistan came into being, despite the thousand mile distance and different racial, cultural and political inheritances — the only common thread was the fact that both wings were a Muslim majority. In a way, the success or failure of this experiment was the practical test of the two-nation theory. From the beginning, however, there were clear tensions between the two wings. The first one was a clash over national language (to be clear, English was to remain the official language). The Bengalis, with thousands of years of culture behind them, obviously wanted their language recognised as coequal to Urdu, not least because they did not speak Urdu. Nevertheless, Jinnah categorically refused the Bengali demand in his speech at Dacca University in February 1948, igniting the flame of linguistic nationalism. It is, of course, an irony that Jinnah himself was never fluent in Urdu and spoke mostly in English to the Bengali crowd.”

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Stop the denigration of Bangladesh Liberation War

What’s common between Mahee Ferdous Jalil (the owner of Channel S and Prestige Motor Group), the Bangladesh High Commission and Rushanara Ali the MP for Bethnal Green in East London? The answer I’m looking for is not that they are all Bangladeshis, but that Mahee is a convicted fraudster who served time in jail and the other two are some of his hang-out-with-me cronies. Anyone with common sense would consider such people alike and their association inseparable. As the saying goes, people will judge you by the friends you have.

A little background, after 9 months of courageous resistance the freedom fighter of Bangladesh with the help of India defeated the Pakistani army on the 16th of December 1971. Millions of Bengalis were killed and many others suffered during one of the worst genocide of last century. Every year on the 16th of December, Bengalis celebrate their glorious victory.

But beneath the surface of all this glory lies a sinister industry. A growing number of people are personally gaining from the Bangladesh Liberation War, in what can be called an “industry”. It reminds me of the book “The Holocaust Industry: Reflections on the Exploitation of Jewish Suffering” by Norman G. Finkelstein. Finkelstein, whose parents suffered at the hands of the Nazis, exposes the exploitation of Jewish suffering by what can be called the Holocaust “industry”, to bring political power and huge financial gain to an elite minority.

Mahee is a self-proclaimed “leader” of the Bengali community and one of the abuser of the Bangladesh Liberation War, similar to the Holocaust Industry. The major political factions in Bangladesh and their British branches also abuse the sacrifice and memories of Bangladesh Liberation War for their own gains. Even worse, there are war criminal from 1971 who live in the safety of British society without being held to account for their crimes. Then again Britain does provide sanctuary to war criminals. It even went to the length of changing the Universal Jurisdiction law to allow Israeli war criminal, Tzipi Livni to enter Britain without the risk of being arrested.

Mahee Ferdous Jalil

On the 16th of December 2011, a Bengali TV channel of Sylheti dialect known as Channel S, owned by Mahee Ferdous Jalil, held a big show/celebration on the 40th Victory Day. On this day, Mahee decided to turn the whole evening into celebrating the 7th anniversary of Channel S under the pretence of celebrating the Victory Day. Most British Bengalis are of Sylheti origin, therefore they would naturally tune into the only channel that speaks in their dialect in order to celebrate the Victory Day anniversary. Mr Jalil seized upon this opportunity as he always does and exploited it to promote himself and his TV channel for his personal gains at the expense of Liberation War victims. Mahee is a convicted criminal and a disgrace to the Bengali community. He invited the likes of Bangladesh High Commissioner and Rushanara Ali and many others to his pretend celebration. He cannot change his character or clear his dirty past no matter who he hangs out with, instead all those who go near him become like him.

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