The Dawn of a New Day

Manirul Islam

Manirul Islam

16th December, 1971 – the milestone of victory of Bangalee, after a brief interlude of couple of years morphed into an epitaph of failure. In the wee hours of the fateful night of 15th August, 1975, all our gains, all the glory, joy and pride of Bangalee abruptly turned into numbness of pain, anguish and oblivion.

A short journey on the shining path of our victory soon ended and the nation started wandering incognito in the labyrinth of dark conspiracy and bloody conflict. Then we witnessed the celebration of destruction of our national identity, our political history, our constitution and all our institutions. We helplessly observed mighty resurgence of enemies of 71. National heroes were killed in the prison. Today, after thirty-four years, the execution of the verdict of the supreme court and hanging of five killers of women and child at the gallows of justice sowed enormous optimism that the nation could get out of a period of stigma. But noxious cloud of conspiracy is still drifting in our sky.

The alliance of beneficiaries of 75 mayhem and assassins of 71 genocide are still active and waiting for another opportune moment to eclipse our existence as a secular, democratic, modern nation. Execution of these killers may further sharpen teeth and nails of the alliance of serpents to launch a new phase of war against Bangalee. Today let us rally behind this government, join the march of new struggle; trial of the killers of 71 and struggle to democratically uproot the poison ivy of fascist neo-nationalists – the illegitimate creation of 75 conspiracy. Our nightly sky has again lit up in celebration with myriads of twinkling stars of hope and dream. Under the canopy of this bedecked sky let us forge a steely national unity and prepare for the dawn of a new day.

Let this morning give us new resolve to defeat the Trojan horses of conspiracy and to stride forward to a new era of progress and prosperity. We are the Bangalee, we shall build our own destiny, 71 will remain as our lighthouse through eternity.

Manirul Islam is a freelancer, writes from Toronto, Canada.

14 Responses to “The Dawn of a New Day”

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    I had hoped Hasina and Rehana could set an example of forgiveness and reconciliation by commuting the sentences to life in prison (through President). Of course, no one can demand forgiveness and it did not come from them. The law of the land took its course just as the now defunct Indemnity act of Bangladesh once gave immunity to the coup leaders from prosecution. How ironic!
    I am against death penalty, so the hangings did not elate me. I thought Hasina and her party doing ‘Shokrana monajat’ in National parliament after the hanging was over the top. They could have done it privately. It seemed rather obscene to me.
    It will be interesting to see how far AL goes to de-legitimize all governments between 1975 to 1996. I guess the more they try do it by enacting laws and such, the more divided the country will become politically – i.e. AL and BNP being pitted against each other over exclusive claim on history.
    I also think no one should doubt that vast majority of people of Bangladesh who may not like Khaleda and her sons will nevertheless always remember Ziaur Rahman as one of the greatest leaders of Bangladesh – one who boldly declared independence of Bangladesh and organized armed resistance in 1971. Not to mention he was immensely popular as President of Bangladesh and was elected by popular vote notwithstanding having been an un-elected cheif martial law administrator earlier. This is probably a rare example in world history.

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    Moni Bhai,
    Thanks.It’s not possible always to express one’s inner feelings even in simple words but your’s short article expressed mine.With the five,we can say “we have finally done it”.A long suppressed pain has been released with a deep sigh !!
    Please keep me posted.
    ‘Khan’ Bhai

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    Imran Zaman

    Yes, “It’s the Dawn of a New Day”, indeed. An appropriate title, indeed! However, we will need to finish the remaining part of this. We will need to get the other five and HANG ’em HIGH. We should hunt the behind-the scene “munafiks” who are still alive & beating vibrantly, pretending to be patriots. Then we will HAVE to try the Nizamis, Mujahids, Sakas and the like. And only then we will achieve the “Dawn of the Best Day”. Our Nation, our People awaits that day.

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    Manirul Islam

    @ Bangladeshi:
    You know that just a couple of days ago Chemical Ali, notorious cousin of Saddam and architect of Kurd genocide in Halabja was hanged to death. Present president of Iraq is a Kurd and Governor of Kurdistan is also a Kurd. Both are strong opponent of death penalty. On this occasion of Chemical Ali’s execution both gave spontaneous approval because the dimension of crime has overwhelmed their judicious thought process. For these killers, I was even a staunch advocate of not allowing them to be buried in the soil of Bangladesh. Here intensity of hatred has overruled even my religious convictions. Your comments on Zia are in line with your desire for clemency of these killers. You are not alone. There are plenty like you who nationally celebrate invented birthday of the leader’s wife on 15th August. But for others it is the day they lost their identity, their history, literally became orphan. Tajuddin, Nazrul, Mansoor, Kamruzzaman, Taher, hundreds of Muktijoddhas in uniform, Ahsanullah Master, Kibria, Ivy Rahman, victims of Udichi and Ramna Batomool, and many more – I do not want a single more name is added to this list, no more mockery with justice and basic human rights. I do not want the beneficiaries and heirs of these killers should be allowed anymore to use the premises of democracy to install their Islamic killing and money-minting machine again. On the contrary, you want to ensure that not a single more killer is executed. You are proud Bangladeshi. I am proud Bangalee. These chasm of differences in perception and conviction are practically irreconcilable and they preclude us from being tangible partners in a democracy-dance. This is the reality. I advise you to read my article, ‘Democracy in Bangladesh: Reality vs. Utopia’ printed here a while ago. I appreciate your comment.

    @ NI Khan Bhai:
    I am sure I dream your dreams. Because we are comrades-in-war; we inhaled same air in the bunker pervaded by smell of gun powder, we together saw the bayoneted bodies of our kin floating in Karnafuli, we together still bear the scar live in our heart of the dreadful memory of reading our sister’s last page of diary written by blood on the wall of the concentration camp of Islamic soldiers. Through the pains, deaths and destruction, the war has galvanized our souls like a soul, ever inseparable.

    @Imran Zaman: Thank you for your inspiring comments

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    @Mr.Islam – I do not wish to comment on the content of your comment but I would recommend you to use simple english sentences in your write-ups. Your flamboyant style of writing is amusing though; sort of sounds like AL street leaders. Have a great day!

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    Afia Khan

    I am sure BNP’s foundation will be violently shaken once all the assassins of Bangabandhu are hanged. BNP’s politics thrived on sustenance and nurturance of the self-confessed assassins. It was killer Zia who initiated the process by creating the infamous indemnity ordinance to pardon the killers he had assembled to stage a mayhem on that fateful day. Zia also appointed collaborators like Shah Aziz, Abdul Alim and many others as PM and ministers. That tradition of rehabilitating the killers has been further carried on by his wife who has tremendous liking for Jamaat-e-Islami war criminals. It is Jamaat that is eating into BNP’s popularity.

    BNP will succumb to its sins if the pre-meditated grenade based murder plan on Hasina is divulged to the world. The government must unearth the grenade attack on Hasina.

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    Imran Zaman

    I agree with Afia Khan’s comments, completely. Every action that Zia took since the murder of our BongoBondhu is proof enough that Ziaur Rahman was involved, and that he did not feel ashamed to steer the recently liberated nation away from it’s original goals. He may have been a so-called liberation war hero but his actions since, questions his real intentions and patriotism. He was a selfish person who deemed murder, deceit and dissing our true principles, ways to ensure “his” selfish desires. We had won our liberation from the Pakistanis but it’s “these” agents of the ISI, who have been active since in brainwashing the new generations into believing the untruth about our glorious history.

    The attempt to tarnish our glorious victory in 1971 didn’t just end with the incident of 15th August, 1975. I believe, 1-11 was also an attempt to destroy our long march toward Democracy, which Pakisan, in reality, hasn’t been able to trump yet. Look at the people who were most visible during the 1-11 period. Most of these were people who surrounded Ziaur Rahman after 15th August. General Matin, Moinul Hossain, Rajakar Abdul Alim (acting as Mannan Bhuiya’s confidante), for example. Then you had certain bloggers, who were front line Muktijodhas but were writing and behaving like agents of the the then intelligence agencies, spewing vermin about our politicians, political processes and great leaders, as if with the sole intention of derailing our progress towards Democracy. Who would want to destroy our progress as a nation? It is, most likely, agents and sympathizers of Pakistan, those who still can not overcome the defeat of December 16, 1971.

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    Komola Shoondoree

    Joy Bangla! Joy Bangabandhu! We are going back to the 1972 constitution. Democracy, socialism, secularism are back. Big victory for democracy and rule of law. The BNP-Jamaat alliance almost took Bangladesh to the brink of a failed state where perverted Islam was used to terrorize and kill its opponents. They even employed the state apparatus to assassinate the top brass of the Awami League. But almighty Allah saved our great leader on that day. We are becoming cleaner day by day since the Awami League came to power. The execution of the self-confessed assassins is a landmark in our history where justice and rule of law prevailed giving a major blow to evil forces that sustained the murderers by providing the killers money and shelter for petty cheap political gains.

    Let me tell you my first encounter with killer colonel Farukh in the 80s. I saw him getting down from a brand new Mercedes. He was dressed in an expensive suit and had a revolver in an upholster which he was deliberately displaying. At that time he was the chairman of a terrorist outfit called Freedom Party created by Ziaur Rahman to terrorize Awami League followers.I think BNP will crumble like a house of cards once the rest of the killers are hanged and the 1972 constituion restored.

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    I think the Awami League Government is on the right track. So far, so good. We expect more good from this democratically elected regime through a free and fair election since 1975. It’s thrilling to watch us go back to the principles on which our liberation was based.

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    Manirul Islam

    With the repeal of 5th amendment the political fusion of faith merchants and throat slitting Naxalites and Bhasanites under the banner of Zia’s soldiers now will have a natural death.

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    I wish AL well.But so far its not that good. Chattra League is beyond control and has many saboteurs and infiltrators within.
    From my experience I have seen students have become too restless and reckless indulging in corrupt practices. Rowdy behavior amongst students is pretty common. In the process they have badly hurt their self-esteem in the public eye.

    Then there was one heading in a local paper saying mobil oil and soil are being mixed to market them as fertiliser. Syndication of market is still very much alive and the government appears to have lost control over the market.

    The AL has many more good achievements over the few flops. In a year it has more achievements to feel proud of.

    Glitches may be few but the opposition will magnify several times to wage a propaganda war.

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    M.Sarfaraj Ahmed Azad

    On the Judgment of Mujib killing: Only your conscience can decide whether it was a case of revenge or it was justice served.

    The EU finally said that the trial was politically motivated. At the same time, Amnesty International also spoke against capital punishment and said that the convicted killers of SK Mujib should be given life sentences rather than being hanged. The fact of the matter is that the case was tried in a civil court instead of a military court. Hundreds of soldiers took part in the revolt; it was a clear case of a popular successful coup to overturn a dictatorial regime. After the removal of the BAKSAL government people were seen to be rejoicing like Eid, distributing sweets amongst one another all over the country. The reality is Sk Mujibs sycophants and his family members killed his image to the countrymen by their misrule and injustices, and finally it was BAKSAL that destroyed Sk Mujib completely. After the sad assassination of Sk Mujibur Rahman and the fall of BAKSAL rule, the Awami Leaders those who joined Khondokar Mostaque’s government are also seen to be distributing sweets and giving long speeches after SK mujib’s killers were executed. Many of our younger generation are unaware of what happened 34 years ago. People of Bangladesh have a right to know what exactly happened and why it happened. Whether it is to establish a true history of the nation or to serve justice, in either case the real truth must reflect, otherwise it will be a “miscarriage of justice” and a “false history” in the history book of Bangladesh. There is no doubt at all that Sk Hasina has successfully established a false history and manipulated the judiciary just to hide the wrong doing of Sk Mujibs rule. In 1971, we fought the liberation war to free our nation from oppression, misrule and injustice; we sacrificed three million lives (30 LAK SHAHEEDS) for our freedom, we did not fight the liberation war to create another oppressor. Sk Mujib created a draconian force in the name of Rakkhi Bahini to eliminate any political opposition. Anyone not towing the official line was either thrown in the prison or eliminated. According to various estimates 45,000 political adversaries were killed during the mujib rule. Around half a million people died in the man made famine of 1974. There was no shortage of relief materials, but those did not reach the hungry and the needy, the relief materials were kept by the ruling circle and finally sold in the black market. Struggle for food between humans and animals in the waste were a common sight in the cities. At night Dhaka city was carpeted by emaciated destitute, dead bodies were deprived of minimal burial rites. At the same time, people witnessed the royal style weddings and birthday ceremonies at the gonobhabon, the official residence of Sk Mujibur Rahman. Public opinion in the country went completely against Sk Mujibs rule; he was no longer able to cope with the pressure of growing opposition, he finally declared emergency in December 1974 and fundamental rights of people were suspended, political activities totally banned, all except 4 government controlled news papers were closed. That was our shadinotha! On 25th January 1975 Sk Mujib made him self the President, changed the constitution through 4th amendmemt in just 20 minutes without any debate. He declared BAKSAL, all other political parties were banned and people were forced to join BAKSAL. Sk Mujibur Rahman became the unchallenged dictator. Misrule and abuse of power continued by the three famous prince’s of that time namely, Sk kamal, Jamal, and Moni, as well as the atrocities of the Rakki Bahini was un bearable. It was a suffocating situation in the country and people wanted relief, they looked towards the patriotic elements of the military, which could not ignore their call and a need for national survival. The military response came in the form of the Aug 15, 1975 Revolution. As an individual it is entirely up to you to make your own judgment based upon the information and the facts above. I condemn all killings.

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    Manirul Islam

    @ M.Sarfaraj Ahmed Azad:

    Your narrative is a subliminal eulogy to the killing of 75 which clashed with your conclusion ‘I condemn killing’. You have mangled facts with your own political conviction and sadly labeled it as history. Thus, in your write-up, a ‘popular successful coup’ had culminated into a conclusion of ‘August 15, 1975 revolution’. You carefully avoided the chapter of cold blooded killing of women, children, handicapped person and pregnant woman in your description. I would not disagree with many of your observations, if I were not a disillusioned member having thorough insight of the strong armed insurgency that was formed immediate after liberation and launched war against nascent democracy and nation. The main components of that anti-government insurgency were resurrected armed collaborators of 71, all Maoists of different shade and Sirajul Alam khan’s army and were receiving logistics internally from repatriated and reinstated civil and army bureaucrats from within the government and externally from Pakistan-Saudi-China-America consortium. Now when a specter of proxy war was threatening the existence of our democracy and our newly gained independence, creation of Rakkhi Bahini largely with the freedom fighters, instead of dragging army into quelling a domestic armed insurgency, was justified and not without precedent in the history of global politics. In this process, if your statistics of 45,000 casualties is true, it was the collateral of that insurgency and as an ex-insurgent I can challenge you to establish the fact that most of the victims were associates including parliament members of Awami League, CPB and NAP (M). The brutalities and atrocities perpetrated by the insurgents alliance does not match with the action of Rakkhi Bahini, only having parallels with the recent terror reign of Babar-Tareq-Bangla Bhai under last BNP regime. However list of victims are getting longer faster with new names like Kibria, Ivy, Ahsan Master and many more knowns and unknowns and now insurgents can hide their blood-thirsty stiletto under the cloak of democracy. BKSAL was a political canopy where all pro-liberation political forces and all professional organizations clustered to fight internal and external saboteurs and conspirators. I agree with you, civil rights were curtailed and democracy was controlled. Under extraordinary crisis of civil war, by suspending civil rights once in 1861 and then again in 1862, if Abraham Lincoln can still be revered as the patriarch of modern democracy, what made Bangabandhu a dictator if he suspended civil liberties and forged national unity to fight inexplicable hostilities unleashed by opponents of the government and to transition the country from post-war armed anarchy and hooliganism to a sound democratic future. I agree with you that the 73 famine was artificial, here I want to add a historical fact that this famine was engineered and used as propaganda tool by internal and external conspirators including admirers of ‘Bottomless Basket’ theory. ‘Royal style weddings and birthday ceremonies at the gonobhabon’ is an inflated statement but there is grain of truth in it, I agree. This exaggeration is also noticed in your narration of corruption in the then Government and this statement is reduced to a parochial propaganda tool if you inadvertently fail to mention the actions and pronunciations of Bangabandhu against prevalent corruption.

    Finally, stymied by so much controversies and biased aberrations, your narrative can be hardly considered as history untold. It is more like rewind and replay of the memoir of a blind sympathizer or remorseless catacomb of post-liberation anti-government armed insurgency or their current political façade – Naxal-Jamaat-Zia alliance. Thank you for your perspective.

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    Wait a minute..
    Wasn’t it Sheikh Mujib who killed democracy in June 1975 by outlawing all political parties and establishing BAKSAL?
    Some folks here seem to have very selective memory!

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