Intellectual creation cannot be partisan, neither in vocabulary nor in concept. So is the neatly woven article of Maskwaith Ahsan. Therefore common readers of my caliber from both side of the aisle find green or red patches of moral shelter in this kind of well-contoured mindscape.
Let us present a Freedom Fighter, from the birth till the death of his identity; he believed ‘Muktijoddha’ was an extremely partisan identity and a dangerous liability in the context of our post-liberation war politics. A registered freedom fighter of Bashirhat camp, he knew his enemy well when he risked his life to cross stormy river and somehow swept ashore Sundarban, ‘still heart pulsates, resolve to kill enemy yet flickers in that heart’. Dodging many deaths, passing many nights starving sleepless finally reached Hosnabad (PS-Gaurnadi, Dist-Barisal) to join Commander Nizam’s platoon. Their within days his group was first ambushed and surrounded by armed attackers in the middle of the autumn night in the safe house of a villager. Fierce encounters continued for four hours, one dead from his group, ambush withdrawn, the attackers vanished in the darkness of wee hours raising slogan ‘Kill the Indian agents and liberate Purba Bangla’, ‘Sarbahara Party Zindabad’ and ‘Long live Comrade Siraj Sikder’. That was the first digging grave of a co-fighter Sobhan, first awakening to a bitter reality – enemy is not only on the right side of the aisle, the venomous serpents are entrenched in the far left bunkers of his left line as well. After liberation war, he joined the march of socialist scientist with lofty dreams under the leadership of Hamelin’s Pied Piper Sirajul Alam Khan. In the political class of Gano Bahini, he had the second awakening from dream, alas he was allured to become a tool of a nihilist campaign to bury all the dreams handed down to him solemnly by his fallen friends Sobhan, Mostafa, Ratan, Amalesh and so many more. 15th August 1975, he folded his Freedom Fighter’s certificate clasped in his palm, took timid steps out of Palashi BUET campus, went to Medical college morgue, from there to Shahid Minar, he tore the certificate into bits, blew them in the turbulent morning air of 15th August. Since then he started running away from that country. He has been branded as timid, traitor, opportunist, ungrateful, he did not challenge, he did not look back, he crossed many miles, mountains and seas to reach to the shore of a tiny tranquil landscape. He is living his life there anonymous, even to his own son, without knowing father’s buried past.
But that old heart still flickers. I still believe 71 war was a partisan war with highly polarized and divided nation. No left, no right – road to social justice is a fallacy. Awami League has led the war of liberation, AL has to complete this war on war footing. AL has the history to transition successfully from democracy to liberation war. The nation has to be polarized again against far left and right alliance. Civil rights of war criminals have to be curtailed and should be tried rapidly in war tribunal. Parallels should be drawn with Abraham Lincoln and Nuremberg. If anyone cries foul for the human rights and civil rights for these criminals, tell them to establish these standards first in Guantanamo Bay. This is the time to march forward, not the time to invert the nation and invent equivalency between AL and BNP or between Joy and Tareq. This is the time to declare your testimony – you are with ‘Joy Bangla’ or against it. This is the time to identify and quarantine all ISI suspects. This is the time to stand behind Sheikh Hasina with unconditional resolve, to raise barricade in every village and town to eliminate the behemoth heretics – far stronger than 71. Bangalee, if wins, will again exercise democracy, will again put AL under microscope to find their errors, but will not certainly debate on our history, on our identity and on our heroes.