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André Malraux supported our Liberation War

Mohammad Amjad Hossain

An active supporter of Bangladesh Liberation War, French statesman André-Georges Malraux speaking with Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman in Dhaka.

THE PEOPLE of Bangladesh should forever remember André-Georges Malraux, an intellectual giant and humanist of the twentieth century, for his outstanding contribution towards the Liberation War of Bangladesh. André Malraux was given honorary citizenship by Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, then Prime Minister of Bangladesh, during his visit from 23 - 24 April, 1973.
The French philosopher, novelist, warrior and statesman was also received by President Justice Abu Sayeed Chowdhury, who in praise of Malraux’s humanitarian role said that “Malraux’s love for humanity and cherished ideals never admitted any geographical barrier and his bold voice was heard across the world whenever human dignity was in danger.” Chief of Protocol Arshad-Uz-Zaman, a linguist, organized his trip to Chittagong and Rajshahi.
A civic reception was organized in Chittagong while the Rajshahi University coferred Doctorate of Literature on Malraux. This writer accompanied André Malraux to Chittagong in a helicopter on 21 April. Apart from according civic reception André Malraux had the pleasure of opening art gallery of the Chittagong University where French speaking renowned artist Rashid Choudhury was a professor.
Civic reception was conducted by Dr Mahmud Shah Qureshi, a Professor of Bengali at Chittagong University who was fluent in French. André Malraux had a cruise in Kaptai Lake on a house boat of industrialist and former Minister of Pakistan for industry A. K. Khan, who gave a lunch in his honor on the boat.
 

Andre Malraux aboard a helicopter in Chittagong with writer of the article.

On his return to Dacca André Malraux also met a cross section of people from civic society, including freedom fighters who were wounded during the war of liberation. André Malraux met them at Suhrawardy Hospital where he became emotional. This writer also accompanied him to the hospital. André Malraux was also treated to lunch by Foreign Minister Dr.Kamal Hossain at his official residence on 22 April where among others, writer-poet Abu Zafar Mohammad Obaidullah Khan, then Joint Secretary, was present.

Bangladesh was his second homeland
In his Rajshahi trip my colleague Esrajul Alam and Akramul Qader (who became Bangladesh Ambassador to the US in 2011 after retirement having served as Ambassador to Thailand and South Africa) accompanied him. In Rajshahi, at a special convocation André Malraux said, “On your own tombs there are perhaps souvenir of the words justice and liberty with which the generals of the revolution had put Europe to flame.” During conversation with this writer Malraux described Bangladesh as his second homeland.

Malraux favoured guerilla war
Monsieur André Malraux in a letter to esteemed Indian leader Jay Prakash Narayan, a Gandhite and revolutionary politician said, “What matters is the military organization of Bangladesh. Either it will accept pitched battles with Pakistan and will be wiped out or it will organize its guerillas and Pakistan will be defeated”. This letter was in response to an invitation to attend international conference on Bangladesh held in New Delhi from 16-17 September of 1971.
Malraux also wrote a letter to President Richard Nixon immediately after Pakistan army massacred the innocent people in Bangladesh to exercise his good offices on Pakistan to stop genocidal killings. Apart from this, Malraux proposed formation of an international brigade to fight for the cause of oppressed people in erstwhile East Pakistan but did not materialized as he was successful in forming such International Brigade during Spanish civil war in 1930 along with European intellectuals and ordinary people as well.

Literary and political career
Novelist, art historian, and statesman who became an active supporter of Gen. Charles de Gaulle and, after de Gaulle was elected president in 1958, (1901 - 1976) served for 10 years as France’s minister of cultural affairs. His major works include the novel La Condition humaine (1933;Man’s Fate); Les Voix du silence (1951; The Voices of Silence), a history and philosophy of world art; as well as Le Musée imaginaire de la sculpture mondiale(1952–54; Museum Without Walls).
As a story goes Novel: Georges by Alexandre Dumas and Macbeth of Shakespeare influenced his mind. As a bohemian Malraux was seen in cinema, theater halls, exhibitions and museums and developed a fascination for music. He also had the privilege of meeting renowned artistes like Picasso, Braque, Mark Siegal with whom he built up friendship over the years. Malraux had a name for entertaining his friends in a restaurant where discussion on arts, music, cinema and politics dominated. Malraux was also contributor to such newspaper which were branded as left-leaning, but incidentally he did not subscribe to views of those newspapers. Politically he was non-committal while absorbed philosophical thinking and giving aesthetic solutions to problems. Gradually he developed friendship with celebrated writes of his time.
André Malraux has had difficult time during his visit along with fiancé Clara Goldschmidt, a Jewish by birth, to Florence in Italy to see rich cultural heritage from where Clara Goldschmidt sent a message to her mother that she was betrothed.
In Saigon Malraux brought a newspaper along with Paul Monin, a lawyer, to denounce colonial attitude of French government. While editing newspaper Malraux wrote a number of articles on occidental culture and left Saigon on 30 December of 1925. During second world war Malraux joined French army and fought in the battle field but captured twice by the enemy. Incidentally, Malraux escaped from the hands of the enemy. He was awarded the French military decoration” Croix de guerre” for his heroic act involving combat operation against enemy.
Malraux’s mistreatment in jail by the French colonial authorities turned him into a fervent anticolonialist and an advocate of social change. While in Southeast Asia he organized the Young Annam League (the precursor of theViet Minh, or Viet Nam League for Independence), became a leading writer and pamphleteer, and founded a newspaper, L’Indochine Enchaînée (“Indochina in Chains”). Crossing to China, he apparently participated in several Chinese revolutionary incidents and may possibly have met Mikhail Borodin, the Russian communist adviser to Sun Yat-sen and then to Chiang Kai-shek.
Malraux was to return to East Asia several times. In 1929 he made important discoveries of Greco-Buddhist art in Afghanistan and Iran. In 1934 he flew over the Rub al-Khali in Arabia and discovered what may have been the site of theQueen of Sheba’s legendary city. Though he was captivated Paris with his exceptional intelligence, lyrical prose, astonishing memory, and breadth of knowledge, it was not generally appreciated that his true life was elsewhere than in the literary salons or on the committee of La Nouvelle Revue Française or at literary congresses.
As fascism, in the shape of Nazism, rose in the 1930s, Malraux recognized its threat and presided over committees pressing for the liberation of the international communists Ernst Thälmann and Georgi Dimitrov from their imprisonment under the Nazis. He simultaneously eschewed a rigid Marxism, participated in the Ligue Nationale Contre l’Antisémitisme (National League Against Anti-Semitism), and in 1935—before the world in general had learned that concentration camps existed—published Le Temps du mépris (Days of Wrath), a short novel describing the brutal imprisonment of a communist by the Nazis. At the same time, he began to write his Psychologie de l’art (3 vol., 1947–50; The Psychology of Art), an activity that bore a relationship to his other interests, for to Malraux aesthetic ideas, like the philosophy of action expressed in his own novels, would always be part of man’s eternal questioning of destiny and his response to it.
Upon the outbreak of the Spanish Civil War in 1936, Malraux went to Spain, joined the Republican forces, and organized for them an international air squadron, becoming its colonel. After flying numerous aerial missions at the front, he visited the United States in order to collect money for medical assistance to Spain. His novel L’Espoir (Man’s Hope), based on his experiences in Spain, was published in 1937. A motion-picture version of L’Espoir that Malraux produced and directed in Barcelona in 1938 was not shown in France until after the country’s liberation at the end of World War II.
His first novel that appeared in 1928 was “Conquerors” followed by another novel: “The Royal way” in 1930.In fact both novels depicted his experiences in Cambodia. In 1933 Malraux was honored with Prix Goncourt for his masterpiece novel: La Condition Humaine. French President General De Gaulle appointed him as Minister for Information in 1945 and he became Minister for Cultural affair in 1958.
Malraux during his long charismatic chequered career associated himself with the field of literature, war, adventure, politics, cinematorgraphy and came into contact with noted personalities like Gorki, Einstein, Mao Tse Dong, Léopold Sedar Senghor—-President and Poet of Senegal and Pandit Nehru.
The world lost a humanist and an intellectual giant at his death at the age of 73 on November 23 of 1976. At his death the Government of Bangladesh commented: “The death of Monsieur Malraux removed from the world scene a literary giant, a humanist par excellence, who championed and fought for the cause of the oppressed. We in Bangladesh will always cherish his memory; his clarion call in defense of our war of Independence was heard around the globe.”
This writer suggests that a road be dedicated in his name where Pakistan’s vanquished army surrendered on 16 December of 1971.

Mohammad Amjad Hossain, a retired Bangladesh diplomat, writes from Virginia, USA

Comment

Mohammad Amjad Hossain

An active supporter of Bangladesh Liberation War, French statesman André-Georges Malraux speaking with Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman in Dhaka.

THE PEOPLE of Bangladesh should forever remember André-Georges Malraux, an intellectual giant and humanist of the twentieth century, for his outstanding contribution towards the Liberation War of Bangladesh. André Malraux was given honorary citizenship by Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, then Prime Minister of Bangladesh, during his visit from 23 - 24 April, 1973.
The French philosopher, novelist, warrior and statesman was also received by President Justice Abu Sayeed Chowdhury, who in praise of Malraux’s humanitarian role said that “Malraux’s love for humanity and cherished ideals never admitted any geographical barrier and his bold voice was heard across the world whenever human dignity was in danger.” Chief of Protocol Arshad-Uz-Zaman, a linguist, organized his trip to Chittagong and Rajshahi.
A civic reception was organized in Chittagong while the Rajshahi University coferred Doctorate of Literature on Malraux. This writer accompanied André Malraux to Chittagong in a helicopter on 21 April. Apart from according civic reception André Malraux had the pleasure of opening art gallery of the Chittagong University where French speaking renowned artist Rashid Choudhury was a professor.
Civic reception was conducted by Dr Mahmud Shah Qureshi, a Professor of Bengali at Chittagong University who was fluent in French. André Malraux had a cruise in Kaptai Lake on a house boat of industrialist and former Minister of Pakistan for industry A. K. Khan, who gave a lunch in his honor on the boat.
 

Andre Malraux aboard a helicopter in Chittagong with writer of the article.

On his return to Dacca André Malraux also met a cross section of people from civic society, including freedom fighters who were wounded during the war of liberation. André Malraux met them at Suhrawardy Hospital where he became emotional. This writer also accompanied him to the hospital. André Malraux was also treated to lunch by Foreign Minister Dr.Kamal Hossain at his official residence on 22 April where among others, writer-poet Abu Zafar Mohammad Obaidullah Khan, then Joint Secretary, was present.

Bangladesh was his second homeland
In his Rajshahi trip my colleague Esrajul Alam and Akramul Qader (who became Bangladesh Ambassador to the US in 2011 after retirement having served as Ambassador to Thailand and South Africa) accompanied him. In Rajshahi, at a special convocation André Malraux said, “On your own tombs there are perhaps souvenir of the words justice and liberty with which the generals of the revolution had put Europe to flame.” During conversation with this writer Malraux described Bangladesh as his second homeland.

Malraux favoured guerilla war
Monsieur André Malraux in a letter to esteemed Indian leader Jay Prakash Narayan, a Gandhite and revolutionary politician said, “What matters is the military organization of Bangladesh. Either it will accept pitched battles with Pakistan and will be wiped out or it will organize its guerillas and Pakistan will be defeated”. This letter was in response to an invitation to attend international conference on Bangladesh held in New Delhi from 16-17 September of 1971.
Malraux also wrote a letter to President Richard Nixon immediately after Pakistan army massacred the innocent people in Bangladesh to exercise his good offices on Pakistan to stop genocidal killings. Apart from this, Malraux proposed formation of an international brigade to fight for the cause of oppressed people in erstwhile East Pakistan but did not materialized as he was successful in forming such International Brigade during Spanish civil war in 1930 along with European intellectuals and ordinary people as well.

Literary and political career
Novelist, art historian, and statesman who became an active supporter of Gen. Charles de Gaulle and, after de Gaulle was elected president in 1958, (1901 - 1976) served for 10 years as France’s minister of cultural affairs. His major works include the novel La Condition humaine (1933;Man’s Fate); Les Voix du silence (1951; The Voices of Silence), a history and philosophy of world art; as well as Le Musée imaginaire de la sculpture mondiale(1952–54; Museum Without Walls).
As a story goes Novel: Georges by Alexandre Dumas and Macbeth of Shakespeare influenced his mind. As a bohemian Malraux was seen in cinema, theater halls, exhibitions and museums and developed a fascination for music. He also had the privilege of meeting renowned artistes like Picasso, Braque, Mark Siegal with whom he built up friendship over the years. Malraux had a name for entertaining his friends in a restaurant where discussion on arts, music, cinema and politics dominated. Malraux was also contributor to such newspaper which were branded as left-leaning, but incidentally he did not subscribe to views of those newspapers. Politically he was non-committal while absorbed philosophical thinking and giving aesthetic solutions to problems. Gradually he developed friendship with celebrated writes of his time.
André Malraux has had difficult time during his visit along with fiancé Clara Goldschmidt, a Jewish by birth, to Florence in Italy to see rich cultural heritage from where Clara Goldschmidt sent a message to her mother that she was betrothed.
In Saigon Malraux brought a newspaper along with Paul Monin, a lawyer, to denounce colonial attitude of French government. While editing newspaper Malraux wrote a number of articles on occidental culture and left Saigon on 30 December of 1925. During second world war Malraux joined French army and fought in the battle field but captured twice by the enemy. Incidentally, Malraux escaped from the hands of the enemy. He was awarded the French military decoration” Croix de guerre” for his heroic act involving combat operation against enemy.
Malraux’s mistreatment in jail by the French colonial authorities turned him into a fervent anticolonialist and an advocate of social change. While in Southeast Asia he organized the Young Annam League (the precursor of theViet Minh, or Viet Nam League for Independence), became a leading writer and pamphleteer, and founded a newspaper, L’Indochine Enchaînée (“Indochina in Chains”). Crossing to China, he apparently participated in several Chinese revolutionary incidents and may possibly have met Mikhail Borodin, the Russian communist adviser to Sun Yat-sen and then to Chiang Kai-shek.
Malraux was to return to East Asia several times. In 1929 he made important discoveries of Greco-Buddhist art in Afghanistan and Iran. In 1934 he flew over the Rub al-Khali in Arabia and discovered what may have been the site of theQueen of Sheba’s legendary city. Though he was captivated Paris with his exceptional intelligence, lyrical prose, astonishing memory, and breadth of knowledge, it was not generally appreciated that his true life was elsewhere than in the literary salons or on the committee of La Nouvelle Revue Française or at literary congresses.
As fascism, in the shape of Nazism, rose in the 1930s, Malraux recognized its threat and presided over committees pressing for the liberation of the international communists Ernst Thälmann and Georgi Dimitrov from their imprisonment under the Nazis. He simultaneously eschewed a rigid Marxism, participated in the Ligue Nationale Contre l’Antisémitisme (National League Against Anti-Semitism), and in 1935—before the world in general had learned that concentration camps existed—published Le Temps du mépris (Days of Wrath), a short novel describing the brutal imprisonment of a communist by the Nazis. At the same time, he began to write his Psychologie de l’art (3 vol., 1947–50; The Psychology of Art), an activity that bore a relationship to his other interests, for to Malraux aesthetic ideas, like the philosophy of action expressed in his own novels, would always be part of man’s eternal questioning of destiny and his response to it.
Upon the outbreak of the Spanish Civil War in 1936, Malraux went to Spain, joined the Republican forces, and organized for them an international air squadron, becoming its colonel. After flying numerous aerial missions at the front, he visited the United States in order to collect money for medical assistance to Spain. His novel L’Espoir (Man’s Hope), based on his experiences in Spain, was published in 1937. A motion-picture version of L’Espoir that Malraux produced and directed in Barcelona in 1938 was not shown in France until after the country’s liberation at the end of World War II.
His first novel that appeared in 1928 was “Conquerors” followed by another novel: “The Royal way” in 1930.In fact both novels depicted his experiences in Cambodia. In 1933 Malraux was honored with Prix Goncourt for his masterpiece novel: La Condition Humaine. French President General De Gaulle appointed him as Minister for Information in 1945 and he became Minister for Cultural affair in 1958.
Malraux during his long charismatic chequered career associated himself with the field of literature, war, adventure, politics, cinematorgraphy and came into contact with noted personalities like Gorki, Einstein, Mao Tse Dong, Léopold Sedar Senghor—-President and Poet of Senegal and Pandit Nehru.
The world lost a humanist and an intellectual giant at his death at the age of 73 on November 23 of 1976. At his death the Government of Bangladesh commented: “The death of Monsieur Malraux removed from the world scene a literary giant, a humanist par excellence, who championed and fought for the cause of the oppressed. We in Bangladesh will always cherish his memory; his clarion call in defense of our war of Independence was heard around the globe.”
This writer suggests that a road be dedicated in his name where Pakistan’s vanquished army surrendered on 16 December of 1971.

Mohammad Amjad Hossain, a retired Bangladesh diplomat, writes from Virginia, USA


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VICTORY DAY THOUGHTS
Importance of multi-party democracy

Mohammad Quamrul Islam

The Victory Day is celebrated in Bangladesh on December 16 to commemorate the victory of the Allied forces over the Pakistani forces in the Bangladesh Liberation War in 1971 which was the outcome of the total war of people in the eastern wing of Pakistan, created through the partition into India and Pakistan by colonial British Raj in 1947.  The Bengalis  lawfully demanded Bangla as a state language of Pakistan that led to the mother language movement of 1952, demand for regional autonomy in 1957, 1966 and finally the electoral mandate achieved by the Awami League on December 7, 1970. The Liberation War began because the Pakistan government headed by Gen. Yahya Khan annulled the results of the polls and arrested Prime minister-designate Sheikh Mujibur Rahman. The war ended on 16 December 1971 after West Pakistan surrendered.
The fact was people in all walks of life were united to struggle and suffer but won an independent state, which was propelled by movements for independence and socio-economic emancipation in phases over 24 years of Pakistan rule. It was possible for serene academic environment and democratic pursuits in all those years, which should not be minimized, for which electoral victory could be attained in 1970.

The first opposition political party
President of the Assam Muslims League before the partition of India, Maulana Abdul Hamid Khan Bhashani successfully campaigned during the 1947 Sylhet Referendum through which Sylhet became part of the then East Pakistan. Later on he became   the founder President of the Awami League—-the first opposition political party of Pakistan—- which came into being on 23 June, 1949.
Moulana Bhashani and Sheikh Mujib led political movements during the exploitative Pakistani rule against the Muslim League and other parties for multi-party democracy.
General Yahiya and newly formed PPP chief Bhutto were in a clique to snatch power from the majority party Awami League leader Bangabandhu in National Assembly in 1971. It was resisted spontaneously by the people of erstwhile East Pakistan as the masses were expecting after the free and fair election, that gave landslide victory verdict of the majority to Awami League in National and Provincial Assemblies led by Bangabandhu for assuming power.
General Yahiya termed Sheikh Mujib as the future Prime Minster in Dhaka on March 16, 1971. Talks commenced and ended
without any result. At that time elected leaders of other provinces of West Pakistan were also present who expressed solidarity with majority leader Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujib. Khan Abdul Wali Khan of National Awami Party from NWFP expressed his apprehension he knew Bhutto from his student life who could go to any length to satisfy his lust for power. It came true.
Bhutto-Yahiya bought time in the name of talks, prepared and attacked unarmed Bengalis, Police and EPR in Dhaka and in cantonments at Chittagong, Comilla and Jessore on March 25, 1971. Bangabandhu was arrested that night.  This resulted in rebellion of Bengali armed forces against Pakistan. In the evening of March27, Major Ziaur Rahman urged the people over Radio to join the freedom struggle on behalf of Bangabandhu.
Indian Parliament passed a resolution to help the peoples struggle in East Bengal on March 27. All India Radio (Akashvani) Kolkata instantly covered the news of genocide on March 25 which initiated mobilization of world opinion. The general secretary of Awami League and the Prime Minister during the freedom movement Tajuddin Ahmed met the Indian premier Indira Gandhi on April 4. The swearing ceremony of exile government took place on April 17.
Simultaneously people’s war ensued against Pakistani forces throughout the country and after a successful 9-month long war Victory was achieved. True a large number of people took shelter in Indian relief camps. As the exile government returned from India and sat in Dhaka, there was rush to seize opportunities, posts and positions and abandoned property etc.
The ground reality was people from different strata of society within the country or those from camps were in close cooperation including students, political activists, farmers and workers etc. who waged struggle from respective position. As such, bifurcate the people into freedom fighters came from camps and those were within the country were not at all desirable.
Patriotic journalists wrote pointedly which was not heeded.

People’s selfless sacrifice
People’s fight and selfless sacrifice must never be forgotten.  Even now allowances and benefits are awarded to the enlisted freedom fighters by the government, made them a privileged class as compared to the multitude, which discrimination belittled the dignity of people.
There is no point in dividing the national politics between pro- liberation and anti- liberation except selfish aggrandizement or forming alliance/ fronts for election and government unlike our neighboUring countries.
When India did not stand by us in Rohingya Muslim crisis for its geopolitical and economic interests, the Chief Minister of West Bengal extended her hands to them in her state.
Whither multi-party democracy of 1947 and 1971?
Why there is no multi-party democracy that we had in 1947 to 1971 in real sense of the term—-which West Bengal enjoys under ruling Trinamul Congress? Congress Rahul Gandhi, BJP, Left front with each enjoying electoral base and not subsist on geo-political links.
The root cause of it is corruption, confrontation politics, the absence of democratic culture in campuses fuelled by degree inflation’, educated unemployed etc.

The writer is an economist and advocate.Email:mqislambd@hitmail.com

Comment

Mohammad Quamrul Islam

The Victory Day is celebrated in Bangladesh on December 16 to commemorate the victory of the Allied forces over the Pakistani forces in the Bangladesh Liberation War in 1971 which was the outcome of the total war of people in the eastern wing of Pakistan, created through the partition into India and Pakistan by colonial British Raj in 1947.  The Bengalis  lawfully demanded Bangla as a state language of Pakistan that led to the mother language movement of 1952, demand for regional autonomy in 1957, 1966 and finally the electoral mandate achieved by the Awami League on December 7, 1970. The Liberation War began because the Pakistan government headed by Gen. Yahya Khan annulled the results of the polls and arrested Prime minister-designate Sheikh Mujibur Rahman. The war ended on 16 December 1971 after West Pakistan surrendered.
The fact was people in all walks of life were united to struggle and suffer but won an independent state, which was propelled by movements for independence and socio-economic emancipation in phases over 24 years of Pakistan rule. It was possible for serene academic environment and democratic pursuits in all those years, which should not be minimized, for which electoral victory could be attained in 1970.

The first opposition political party
President of the Assam Muslims League before the partition of India, Maulana Abdul Hamid Khan Bhashani successfully campaigned during the 1947 Sylhet Referendum through which Sylhet became part of the then East Pakistan. Later on he became   the founder President of the Awami League—-the first opposition political party of Pakistan—- which came into being on 23 June, 1949.
Moulana Bhashani and Sheikh Mujib led political movements during the exploitative Pakistani rule against the Muslim League and other parties for multi-party democracy.
General Yahiya and newly formed PPP chief Bhutto were in a clique to snatch power from the majority party Awami League leader Bangabandhu in National Assembly in 1971. It was resisted spontaneously by the people of erstwhile East Pakistan as the masses were expecting after the free and fair election, that gave landslide victory verdict of the majority to Awami League in National and Provincial Assemblies led by Bangabandhu for assuming power.
General Yahiya termed Sheikh Mujib as the future Prime Minster in Dhaka on March 16, 1971. Talks commenced and ended
without any result. At that time elected leaders of other provinces of West Pakistan were also present who expressed solidarity with majority leader Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujib. Khan Abdul Wali Khan of National Awami Party from NWFP expressed his apprehension he knew Bhutto from his student life who could go to any length to satisfy his lust for power. It came true.
Bhutto-Yahiya bought time in the name of talks, prepared and attacked unarmed Bengalis, Police and EPR in Dhaka and in cantonments at Chittagong, Comilla and Jessore on March 25, 1971. Bangabandhu was arrested that night.  This resulted in rebellion of Bengali armed forces against Pakistan. In the evening of March27, Major Ziaur Rahman urged the people over Radio to join the freedom struggle on behalf of Bangabandhu.
Indian Parliament passed a resolution to help the peoples struggle in East Bengal on March 27. All India Radio (Akashvani) Kolkata instantly covered the news of genocide on March 25 which initiated mobilization of world opinion. The general secretary of Awami League and the Prime Minister during the freedom movement Tajuddin Ahmed met the Indian premier Indira Gandhi on April 4. The swearing ceremony of exile government took place on April 17.
Simultaneously people’s war ensued against Pakistani forces throughout the country and after a successful 9-month long war Victory was achieved. True a large number of people took shelter in Indian relief camps. As the exile government returned from India and sat in Dhaka, there was rush to seize opportunities, posts and positions and abandoned property etc.
The ground reality was people from different strata of society within the country or those from camps were in close cooperation including students, political activists, farmers and workers etc. who waged struggle from respective position. As such, bifurcate the people into freedom fighters came from camps and those were within the country were not at all desirable.
Patriotic journalists wrote pointedly which was not heeded.

People’s selfless sacrifice
People’s fight and selfless sacrifice must never be forgotten.  Even now allowances and benefits are awarded to the enlisted freedom fighters by the government, made them a privileged class as compared to the multitude, which discrimination belittled the dignity of people.
There is no point in dividing the national politics between pro- liberation and anti- liberation except selfish aggrandizement or forming alliance/ fronts for election and government unlike our neighboUring countries.
When India did not stand by us in Rohingya Muslim crisis for its geopolitical and economic interests, the Chief Minister of West Bengal extended her hands to them in her state.
Whither multi-party democracy of 1947 and 1971?
Why there is no multi-party democracy that we had in 1947 to 1971 in real sense of the term—-which West Bengal enjoys under ruling Trinamul Congress? Congress Rahul Gandhi, BJP, Left front with each enjoying electoral base and not subsist on geo-political links.
The root cause of it is corruption, confrontation politics, the absence of democratic culture in campuses fuelled by degree inflation’, educated unemployed etc.

The writer is an economist and advocate.Email:mqislambd@hitmail.com


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