March, Bangladesh and Some Observation

Nayeem Hossain

Nayeem Hossain

This is the month of March. We always celebrate our Independence Day on this month, but we were actually celebrating one of the success of this independence with the organizing of World Cup Cricket this year. We could’ve done this long time back in 1996 but couldn’t do it. Why? Well because our players were not good enough to beat teams like Kenya and UAE in the ICC trophy a year back in Kenya. Hold that thought for a while. I used the verb “were actually celebrating” because after watching the scenes in Sher-E-Bangla last night, I can’t say I have the strength to celebrate anything with Bangladesh.

Before talking about yesterday, let me tell you about another experience I had recently. I went to watch the World Cup in Dhaka with a lot of excitement. Reached on the 24th and went to see the Ireland game on 25th. I can tell you, on no other occasion I’ve seen the countrymen so united to support their own country. The players won the game but the emotion and support the crowd gave the team and the wild celebrations after the game; I’ll remember and cherish those memories for the rest of my life. Well that’s what I thought that night. After the very first game against India, all of a sudden we saw all the so called “experts” of cricket dissecting the captain’s decision. Everyone understood every delivery bowled and faced. Unfortunately more than half of those experts were in that team in Kenya a decade ago. And they’ve played and gave us bigger disappointments throughout their careers. Unfortunately unlike most, some of us don’t have a goldfish’s memory. Most will curse the team for getting out under 100 twice and I do understand that’s unacceptable but let’s cherish what those 15 boys gave us thrice. We celebrated and rejoiced victories, we celebrated as a country. We don’t get that opportunity that often and even if we do, we somehow always screw it up. Once with a Noble prize win and now with this cricket team. I have seldom seen soo much criticism by sub standard people then I’ve seen in last few weeks, both for Dr. Yunus and Shakib. But I’m only going to point out about Shakib here. He’s arrogant, doesn’t care because of IPL contract, doesn’t listen or respect senior players!! If he’s so bad and arrogant then please point out someone who’s as qualified as he is and replace him.

The nail on the coffin for me was the euphoric celebration of Bangladeshis in the month of March in Sher-e-Bangla. For this nation, everything is emotional and everything is acceptable when it has to do with some other race. I’ve no problem people going and supporting another country in a game. But there’s a level of acceptability of everything. I’m sure when Indians or Sri Lankans were enjoying games of two neutral countries; they’ll paint that country’s flag on their bodies. Well let’s say they do, because they’re super enthusiasts. Do you think an Irish will paint an English flag in an Ashes game in Dublin? Or English will paint Australia’s flag in a Australia-South Africa match? Do you think a Canadian will shout “Long Live USA!!” in a Olympic basketball game? I don’t think so. Because they know, something are beyond the spirit of sports. That’s why we have supporters of teams. Otherwise everyone will just seat and enjoy sports. But we are again the unique race who’re so passionate about others that we go to the ground with flags of other countries in hundreds and shouted “Pakistan Zindabaad!!” with all our lungs. Seriously, Pakistan Zindabaad?? On the month of March, we could’ve spared this embarrassment. You think Pakistanis would be shouting “Bangladesh Zindabaad” in Lahore? They won’t, because they know sports and politics are not always separate.

When we have to complain against a country, we summon the ambassador of that country. Why, because they represent that specific country in a foreign territory. When a team bares the flag of a country; they’re also ambassadors of that country. Now if I’ve something to say against the country’s regime or I’ve a protest to make, of course I’ll take the opportunity even on a sports ground. Pakistan has not officially apologized to Bangladesh for the genocides of 1971. Imran Khan, who was the captain of Pakistan’s World Cup winning cricket team, said Pakistan should apologize. Many Zimbabwe players refused to represent their country in protest to their country’s political oppression. United States had sent a table tennis team as a gesture of friendship to the Chinese mainland before any political negotiation started back in 60s. The two Koreas jointly send team to Olympics and South Africa’s ban for the apartheid system. They were all political statements using sports. Then how on earth do we justify supporting Pakistan, publicly, on our soil, like a home team??

The Dawn newspaper of Pakistan made the support story in Dhaka one of the lead news. I’m sharing the link at the end, because most of the editorial board still remembers 1971, I can guarantee you. To them it’s a triumph and a spit on all the martyrs. We shamelessly criticized our own boys on every occasion we got and yet we supported a country that has cost us so much pain and blood, in the name of sportsmen spirit? Seriously??

The funny thing is, the same art college kids who painted the flags in front of the stadium for supporters will be staying awake on 20th Feb to paint Dhaka University. Those who were so proud to show off their paintings on TV will shed tears when they’ll see a patriotic TV commercial and will be wearing designers clothing with flag and blood on 26th March. They supported Pakistan and they’ll be in Savar couple of days later with the same 100% emotion. I have no doubt. So the question comes, why? Why are we so forgiving or less demanding when it comes to our glorious days of 1971? Why does a teenager think it’s ok to support Pakistan or hold the banner “Afridi marry me” in Bangladesh? Why don’t I see the same spirit to support any other country, say India; they’re our neighboring country too! We imitate everything from food to cloths and recently language too? Is there any specific reason that we never like our own achievements and lick the spat of others no questions asked?

This World Cup has shown our true colors, maybe it’s time to finally find which color we really want once and for all. 🙂

The Dawn newspaper of Pakistan made the support story in Dhaka one of the lead news

Euphoric celebration

401 Responses to “March, Bangladesh and Some Observation”

  1. Habib

    Mr. Hossain, you can definitly hear “bangladesh zindabaad” chants in lahore or Karachi, we love bangladesh. this is the only other team we support after pakistan.

    i am so impressed by my bangali brothers, it was like we were playing on home ground.

    bangladesh zindabaaad!!!

  2. Arslan

    I am Pakistani but I love Bangladesh and Bengali People.Bengali’s are my best friend not only in Karachi but here in London too.

    Bangladesh Zindabad

  3. Arsalan

    I am from Lahore Pakistan. I was born after separation of BD from Pakistan. I remember my Grand Mother always looking at a pic of couple, my uncle and his wife, who lost their lives in Mirpur. My uncle was working in ordnance factory there and family in Pakistan never got a word about them. Presumably, they were killed there. My Grand Mother kept waiting for them till she passed away.

    Yesterday, once i looked people of BD shouting “Pakistan Zindabad” at Mir pur on TV, I wept uncontrollably.

    Brothers remain brother whether they live in same home or they divide their homes and live separately.

    We did spill each other blood due to ignorance, arrogance and enemy action but our hearts beat in unison.

    I wish, I sincerely wish that Pak and BD should have been created on 14 Aug as separate countries. or we should have accepted FM Ayyub suggestion that we should part away peacefully like brothers instead of fighting.

    The writer thinks that BD people have done something wrong. No way. BD lives in the heart of Pakistan and Pakistan lives in the heart of BD.

    You please send a team here and play with a third country (I wish a match of BD team against India)and we will we all not only paint but chant slogans of “Bangla Desh Zinda bad” at the top of our voices and from the depth of or hearts.

  4. loginbd

    This is the month of March.26th March is The Independence Day of Bangladesh.We wish for Bangladesh.

  5. Highway

    The view of world cup we do not think here some bilateral or psychological issue can influence, In the present world People can support any country for their good performance whatever it is Football, Cricket or even lawn tennis.

    All players for 1971 Drama are expired Many years back Like, Sk. Mujib, Pakistani Khan’s, Indira Gandhi, So in the period of globalization as a Bangladeshi we can not wish to take revenge what had happened 1971.

  6. Javed

    I am from Bangladesh. I see nothing wrong if there are supporters of Pakistani cricket team in Bangladesh. We also have a lot of supporters of Indian, Australian and South African cricket teams in Bangladesh.

    I have spent a part of my childhood in Sind, Pakistan when my father served the civil service of Pakistan as the Food and Agriculture secretary of Sind. I have some wonderful memories in Pakistan until we fled in 1972 or 1973. Starting from our Punjabi and Sindhi chauffers, guards, khansama and household staff to ranking civilian officers they all were very nice to us. Specially, Shahji our Punjabi driver have on many occasions took two of us (my brother Imran and myself)to Bandu Khan in Karachi to treat us with sumptous kababs and chicken tikkas. I am sure the common people knew nothing about what the brutal Pakistani Army and their local collaborators, the heinous Jamaati Islami was doing in the then eastern wing.

    I was not even ten then but still remember our errands to Hyderabad, Thatta, Larkana, Moenjadaro, and Elphinstone street, Bori Bazaar, Clifton, Drigg Road, Hawk’s Bay, Sands Spit and Paradise Point. We had lived in Bath Island and Sunset Boulevard. I also remember the Bridge Store just as we came out of Bath Island.

    Its very heartening to note that the world famous cricketer Imran Khan and many other intellectuals of Pakistan have demanded that the Pakistani government formally apologise to Bangladesh for the genocide perpetrated on innocent Bangladeshis in 1971. It is even more important to punish the local collaborators sternly. It is a good sign that the war criminals in Bangladesh will soon be prosecuted and tried for crimes against humanity.

    I see South Asia as one. India, Pakistan, Bhutan, Nepal, Sri lanka, Afghanistan and Bangladesh must cooperate and build bondage amongst themselves to let the region prosper economically. Politics of division and confrontation must go if we want to stand tall and proud as a regional powerhouse in the league of nations.

  7. Nazir Masood

    I agree with Arsalan form Lahore that Bangladesh lives in the heart of Pakistan and Pakistan lives in the heart of Bangladesh. We should put all gory memories on back burner and look forward for the ways and means of strengthening the brotherhood between Pakistan and Bangladesh.

    It is my promise that I shall raise the morale of Bangladeshi Team in Pakistan by doing everything Bangladeshi people did for Pakistani Team.

    By this I am not trying to repay but I am trying to tell you all and especially Mr. Hossain that I have nothing against Bangladesh and I love and respect Bangladesh as Brother Islamic Country.

  8. Highway

    We found writer’s thinking capacity and Bangladesh prime minister thinking capacity is nearly same,

    Bangladesh people cannot expect more as their prime Minister is Eden collage graduate though her father was more powerful person during Pakistani regime, Today’s ordinary student unable to understand why today’s Bangladesh prime minister did not get chance at least in Dhaka university for learning whereas Indira Gandhi, Benazir Bhotto, Rajib Ganghi all are from UK renowned university.

    In the age of globalization nothing can be bound in one circle, People or supporters can be done anything to open their head or mind. Here it will not wise the way Bangladesh prime minister always thinking “Independence” went forever.

    To established the Bangladesh in economically or politically or in super tech Independence sprite cannot work always in same example, Bangladesh people need to know how to secure Independence, this is all.

  9. Khondkar A Saleque

    There is no harm in supporting any national team of any other country if ones own country is not involved in the contest. But when own country is involved supporting any other country can never be imagined. But inscribing flags of Pakistan on the cheeks of Bangladeshis and chanting Pakistan Zindabad can not be acceptable. Moreover on 25 th March midnight of which saw one of the most barabaric genocide by Pakistani occupation force in Dhaka this must be considered as a crime. I fought liberation war as a teenager. Later while involved with Bangladesh Cricket in the cpacity of player, organiser, cricket writer had plenty of opportunity to interact with persomns like Imran Khan, Javed Miandad, Asif Iqubal, Omar Quaraishi. I support Pakistn Cricket team . But that support never go beyond a certain limit.
    I strongly condemn that spirit which makes Bangladeshis chant Pakistan Zindabad the slogan with which Razakara and AlBadars killed my friends and relatives. I condemened the sirit which makes our c girls inscribe flag of Pakistan .
    We also do not know how to keep our heads when we are honored.That is what happened to arrogant Saquibul Hasan . He should have been asked to explain his behabiour after disastrous performance against West Indies. No one remains indispensible for ever. Saquib must be replaced.If Ricky Ponting can be asked to step down after Australia failing to reach Semi Final of WC why not Saquib replaced?

  10. Highway

    Sk. Mujib never want to build “SONAR BANGLA” to take help from Pakistan, china and Saudi Arabia

    But what people looking today in Bangladesh! importing millions millions ton fabric from China and Pakistan to earning dollar to export garments; earning remittance from Saudi Arabia.

    What was role of those countries during liberation war? Was not used Chinese weapon to Bangali people on march 25 night to Dec 15, 1971?

    China did not apply Veto to protest Bangladesh entry in UN membership?

    Until final death of Sk. Mujib Pakistan, china and Saudi Arabia did not declared to Bangladesh as an independence country!!!! This issue does not hurt to Bangladeshi people??

    When Mujib Daughter in power in 2009 she vanished all Mujib sadness and visited China, before visit India even.

    Still if anybody wants to keep 1971 sprit in their mind they should avoid all earning dollar from Bangladesh government which is coming to use Pakistani & Chinese fabric and earning remittance from Saudi Arabia. Otherwise all will be contrasted with himself.

    In question of Cricket – Many times Pakistan win world cup whereas Bangladesh was host country and they earned disqualify even to reach in Quarter final – This was Main problem and supporters went to Pakistan from Bangladesh.

  11. saugatlahiri

    To All,

    Well,there are a lot of weird ,mixed up things/events/emotions involved in all these for the last 60 years.

    CAN FOR ONCE,WE PLS AGREE ALL THIS MIXED UP PARADOXICAL EMOTIONS, NEED NOT HAVE HAPPENDED IF THE DAMN COUNTRY HAD NOT BEEN DIVIDED INTO 3 PARTS 60 YEARS BACK ON THE NAME OF RELIGON???

    I am an Indian,till recently I lived in Delhi & now am in Kolkata.The main road to my res is called Jessore Road and the street which leads to my place is Kazi Nazrul Avenue.My parents and my fore fathers come from now Bangladesh.If they had not come to India technically i would have been a bangladeshi…

    During every BD match the streets in Kol remained thin,people (including my family )could be heard cheering during BD win on England on TV’s from the streets.People discussing the same the next day in their workplaces…

    Why were they chearing BD,majority people on this side of the great divide are Hindus,as thought by many people in Pak & BD,all hindus must be anti-muslims(i.e hindus means enemy),then was the entire city here in India, muslim or anti-BD ?

    One of my friends dad in chandigarh ,who got hold of 2 tickets priced Rs 5000 each for the Indo-Pak match, sudden amazement gave away his tickets to 2 Pakistani friends ,who came in from dubai to see the match.ask the pakistanis who came to india on how much love & affection the recd from the local indians,many resturants owners refused to charge them for ther meals stating- “gharwallon is paise nahi lete”

    All religions are ways of love and peace,and are meant to get you closer to God.

    An old saying which repeatedly repeats itself-United we stand divided we fall- lets be smart and learn something positive from this line 😉

  12. suja mahmud asad

    i am a bangladeshi. I am 15. I agee with saugat lahiri. Bangladesh, india and pakistan are 3 brothers. But as a bangladeshi i cannot forget what happened in 1952 and in 1971. In 1952 people of my country sacrificed their life for thier mother tounge. There were about 53% (if i am not wrong) people in pakistan(before 1971) who spoke in bangla. But zinnah decleared”urdu and only urdu shall be the state language of pakistan”. But beside urdu we wanted bangla as the state language. In 1971 pakistani army killed 30,00,000 bangladesi and raped about 2,00,000 women. Even today when i hear the speech of mujibur rahaman(of 7th march) in my computer my hair stand on. If i was present in 1971 and my brother was killed or my sister(though i have no sister but i can feel about it) was raped by pakistani army, could i ever forgive them. Sorry my pakistani brothers though i want, i can never forgive you as a bangladeshi because i respect the freedom fighters of my country and i also respect those women who were raped by pakistani army. Please forgive me my brothers(pakistani) because i cannot forgive you. My bengle of gold i love you,
    forever your skies,your air set my heart in tune

  13. Leena Ijaz

    I do not think 200,000 women can be rapped once own death is looming. That is all false propaganda of RAW against our army. I do not buy such idea. I am sorry.

  14. Leena Ijaz

    As per one of my uncle much more than 200,000 women of BD were rapped and humiliated on the streets of Kolkata once they migrated to India on the call of Skh Mujeeb and had to sell themselves in Indian Flesh Market due to extreme poverty and no worthwhile help from Indian Government or Indian people.

    I am sorry but Facts are Different and BD people have to open their mind and eyes.

  15. suja mahmud asad

    once i heard from some of my friends that pakistani people don’t know what exactly happened in 1947-1971. Sister leena ijaz, you proved that my friends were right. Sister, you don’t know more than bangladeshi about 1971. My grandfather,grandmother,father,uncles and auntis were present in 1971. We heard many things from them. Even you can meet with many people who were present in 1971 and fought against pakistan.
    You said that 200000 women were rapped in kolkata!!! You don’t know how they helped us. Students of kolkata went street to street and collected money for bangali refugees.
    I am requesting every bangaladeshi to read the book”ami birangona bolsi” and “ekatturer chithi”
    long live bangladesh.

  16. Najmus Jamil

    I am watching a lot of comments here saying Bangladesh and Pakistan are brothers and Pakistani people love Bangladesh. If that so what we Bangladeshis want is just officially Pakistan should apologise to Bangladesh what they have done in 1971. You have made a mistake, just say sorry, that is what we want but you have not done it for 40 years.

  17. Najmus Jamil

    @Leena Ijaz Try to read the history from where ever you can, dont listen to any uncle. And your army did not rape 200000 women. They raped 200000 women officially, unofficially they did more than that.

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