Tag Archives: Bangladesh Liberation 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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