Identity And Our Inspiration
Rezaul Islam :
Unlike many other nations across the world, the Bengalis were successful to achieve their Independence waging a crucial as well as eventful war against the occupation forces of the then West Pakistan. They were very blessed and fortunate that their dream took just nine months of struggle to come to a reality compared to other nations like Palestine who have been fighting for years against their opponents to attain their long- cherished desire to be free and independent. So, to the Bangalis, victory means success, pride, honor, dream and of course everything.
As the month of December comes, the heart of each Bengali feels with light, joy and merriment. They almost forget their pangs and pains of life finding a moment of celebration and enjoyment, no matter how much shorter that moment is. They celebrate the moment to commemorate the history of sacrifice their compatriots made a half-century back to make a nation free from slavery and bondage from a ruthless colonial power. In fact, when the month of victory appears, they are filled with so much enthusiasm, happiness, fuel and passion that they no longer feel that they are poor, weak, illiterate and Ill-fated. Rather they feel that they are blessed, blissful, rich, strong and fortunate enough to taste the life to the lees. Being the citizens of a free and self-governed country, they feel that the life they lead is complete, significant, meaningful and carefree.
Imbued with the spirit of patriotism, every year, the Bengalis warmly welcome the arrival of the month of victory that inspires them to live their lives with dignity, honor, self-esteem and contentment. But this is the very simplification of the way they have been heading towards for long. This is not the only duty a freedom- loving nation is supposed to perform. Besides the holy duty of celebrating and commemorating of their freedom and victory, they have other duties to carry out in a broader perspective. Victory is not just a matter of celebration and commemoration in broad daylight. It is also a matter to be protected, upholded and defended from any sorts of potential threat and risk emanated from both visible and invisible anti-liberation wings. And, unsurprisingly enough, this is not so easy a task to do. It is to be remembered that it is harder to defend than to achieve victory.
There are plenty of examples that many nations in the world abled to achieve Independence but could not preserve and defend that. Pakistan, Afghanistan, Iraq and Syria are some of them that have been struggling for years to uphold and protect their sovereignty, self- governing power and freedom but get faltered away every time as they are not sincere and faithful to their spirit of Independence. They even left no stone unturned to get back their lost identity, rich heritage and glorious history but every step of their tenacious attempts proved to be a mere failure as they betrayed with the blood of their most revered freedom-fighters and war-heroines in the near past. Once regarded as powerful as well as influential nations across the world, these nations have lately become dead, barren, and sterile and cursed because of that betrayal and disloyalty. Their land has turned into a wasteland, their brains have become unproductive, their water has become a warship and their air has turned into a pregnant atomic bomb. As the world we live in today has been a global village by the wonders of modern science and technology, we too are not safe from that sorts of danger. If we let them intrude once in our soil, they will definitely spoil our environment and pollute our spirits of Independence.
Men are by born freedom-loving as they are born free. But systems always try to chain them for their own profits. As a result of that, freedom-loving people launch a war against the systems to come out of that chain that curbs their desires and dreams. They try to step up at the right moment to dribble past that oppressive systems. To demonstrate that eternal human characteristic, the Bangalis made an unprecedented example of history by declaring to wage a bloody and hard-fought war against oppression, suppression, bondage, chain and subjugation imposed by the tyrannical government of the then West Pakistan. In the nine months tenure of havoc and devastation, over three millions of Bangalis embraced death and attained martyrdom and two lakhs of Bangali women were raped and Dishonored. Nearly Ten millions of people were forced to leave their country and took shelter as refugees in refugee camp opened by our neighboring country India insides its territory. Many people lost their living places as their houses were set on fire by the members of the occupation forces and their trustworthy Bangali accomplices widely called as Razakar, Al badr and Al Shams.
But, ultimately, with persistence, patience and uninterrupted effort, the unarmed Bengalis got victorious over the mighty occupation forces of West Pakistan in this very month of December. In brief, this is the story behind our being so crazy and fanatical with the mood of celebration and enjoyment with the Advent of December. With the passage of time, this month has been synonymous with youth, energy, motion, enthusiasm, color, passion, persistence, celebration and merriment to the Bengalis. December comes to their huts with the blessing of happiness and solace. December teaches them how to fight, to strive, to seek and to find the meaning of life. It is like the shining stars that inspire them how to enlighten and illuminate their life. It is the centre around which they want to build up their utopian environment where no negativity exists, no bondage prevails and no inequality reigns. To speak the truth, December is their identity, their nest and their pride.
On the upcoming 16th December, the whole Bengali nation is going to observe their 49th victory day. On this great occasion, they are preparing themselves to offer flowers to the altar that is build in honor of the martyrs of the Liberation War of 1971. The whole Bengali people are trembling with excitement thinking that they have got another golden chance to be the eyewitness of this lofty and towering occasion. They will very passionately and sincerely pray for their national heroes who laid down their valuable lives only for the interest of their fellow countrymen. On the arrival of this unforgettable moment, it is suggested that each and every citizen of Bangladesh be wary of any potential threat from every nook and corner of the country so that miscreants cannot have any control over us. We all wish and pray that the Bengalis would celebrate their 49th Victory Day the way they like and want keeping in mind that it would inculcate them with a profound respect for the spirit of our Liberation War and its deathless heroes. Then it would be easier to defend and protect our Independence forever.
(Rezaul Islam, writer and columnist, Assistant Teacher, Satkhira Govt. Boys High School)