May 15, 2012
1971 is such a number, it always stops me and makes me moved at the same time! At the
beginning of the Liberation War, I was less than four years old. At the war I didn’t lose any of my family members. Once I asked my father why didn’t he join the fight directly by becoming a freedom fighter! He told me, “How could I leave you and your mother? Who would have taken care of you?” I didn’t know back then (1971) that my mother was carrying my brother. He also said, “If I didn’t come back from the war, would you have had a life like this?” I didn’t say it but let him understand that I wanted to see him as a freedom fighter (directly fighting in the war)! It’s my whole life’s sorrow that I wasn’t born ten years back! Knowing about famous freedom fighter Lalu and others like him, I thought why wasn’t I born even eight years back?! If it happened, I would have different parents! After writing it, I paused! If I had different parents, would I have these feelings about 1971? Maybe, maybe not! At the beginning of the liberation war, we stayed in a village for a month and then had to come back to Rajshahi University Campus (our home),
We didn’t have anywhere to go! My father didn’t want to leave motherland. His friend, who with his family went with us to that village, left for India with his family. Maybe will write how we spent the next eight months! My mom wrote some of the memories of 1971. While reading it, I was startled at some lines! Some intellectual people at that time (some of those who left for India) though after coming back from India that most of those who stayed and didn’t/couldn’t take part directly to the war were rajakars (traitors)! My understanding is that most of the people of Bangladesh fought for the independence with or without arms, except some rajakars (traitors). The villagers who gave shelter and food to freedom fighters and refugees didn’t fight for freedom?! Those who helped freedom fighters in so many different ways didn’t fight for the liberation?! I found similar writings in Nurjahan Bose’s writings in her book (“Agunmukhar Meye,” meaning daughter of Agunmukha. Agunmukha is the name of a dangerous river).
She was part of the intellectuals who left for India. Someone of them apologized to my mother after reading her writing. That person said that they should have asked and listened to those who stayed. One, two people are understanding but how about others? I don’t care about what others think, the main thing is to understand thyself.