Victory Day celebration and our spirits of Liberation War
As a nation, we, the Bangladeshis, are just heading to celebrate the 48th victory day on the upcoming 16th December, 2018. It was such a tremendous victory that we achieved through a hard-fought and bloody battle against the giant like occupation forces of West Pakistan that, emerging as a new type of colonial power, used to treat the Bangalis as low creatures and their rightfully possessed slaves during the tenure of the undivided Pakistan. This glorious victory against the Pakistani oppressing mentality proves that Bangladesh was not just a fruit of historical accident. It rather emerged out of a long process of struggle that eventually culminated in a bloody War of Liberation.
As the victory was achieved through a sea of blood, of patience, of sacrifice and of iron will, its historical dimension as well as its socio- political appeal will stay above other national issues as the days go on. Needless to say, the foundation of a newly emerged nation that gets freedom paying a heavy price of blood and lives is laid on the pillars of spirits that guide its freedom fighters and the bulk of its population to dive into the unfathomable sea of battle against the hawkish enemy of their dear motherland. Like other newly born nations of the world, the Bangalis, after attained freedom, declared to run their darling country on the foundation of those spirits of Liberation War that took place in 1971.
It is worth mentioning the fact that a people’s life dispossessed, plundered and brutalized by the neocolonial State of Pakistan rekindled the spirit of liberation amongst the valiant youths of the then East Pakistan , now Bangladesh. Thoroughly speaking, it was the spirit of Nationalism, Socialism, Democracy and Secularism that inspired and stimulated the Bangali youths to jump into the ocean of enlightenment, fraternity and freedom. These were those vital points for the sake of which thirty lacs freedom loving Bangalis stood against the tyrannous forces of West Pakistan and accepted to embrace the valley of death willingly and smilingly.
That is why, the constitution of 1972, the first constitution of Bangladesh as an independent country, declared the above mentioned four glorious spirits of the Liberation War( i.e. Nationalism, Socialism, Democracy and Secularism) as the fundamental principles of state policy of Bangladesh. The article 8(1) of the Constitution of the People’s Republic of Bangladesh States, ‘The principles of nationalism,socialism, democracy and secularism , together with the principles derived from those as set out in this part, shall constitute the fundamental principles of state policy.’ This constitutional declaration asserts that Nationalism, Socialism, Democracy and Secularism are that ultimate goals that the independent Bangladesh has been searching for since its inception.
Meanwhile, we have spent forty seven important years from our life span as a nation after we got our long cherished freedom. But our collective achievement regarding climbing up that point is still not satisfactory. It’s true to mention that we made a constitution on the basis of those glorious spirits of our Liberation War. But in our practical life, those ennoble ideals are not fully reflected and sincerely practised. Today, our national goals and aspirations are astonishingly distorted and fractured. Instead of promoting Bangali nationalism, we have built a wall of hatred, enmity, jealousy and segregation across our dear motherland. Surprisingly enough, we discarded our true patriotic zeal that was once passionately sought for by our valiant freedom fighters and, disgracefully enough, started to harbour either a pro Pakistani mentality or a slightly different one called pro Indian outlook. Such types of bizarre mentalities residing among us lead to an environment full of chaos, uncertainty and disorder.
As of Socialism, we are still far away from making a just and balanced society. Returning from the scary battle field, our war heroes and war heroines pledged to build a society where all are treated equally and all national productions are distributed honestly and equitably. But our national lofty dream of establishing Socialism in our holy land is still a far cry. Here in Bangladesh, the rich become richer and the poor become more helpless and vulnerable because of the formulation of a myopic national economic policy. While the privileged sections of people lead a quite luxurious life possessing personal aeroplane on the sky or speedy BMW private car on land, the under privileged sections do not have food to eat, water to drink, clothes to cover their bodies and house to live in. The situation got totally messed up.
About Democracy, we have many words to articulate but are not supposed to do that as our freedom of speech and freedom of choice have been robbed of by the authority concerned. It’s like things fall apart and the centre cannot hold. As a growing nation, we are struggling to inculcate Democratic ideals and values in the minds of our citizens. Our house of the nation is still dysfunctional and our political parties are combative, revengeful and vindictive. The truth is that we have not yet succeeded to establish a congenial Democratic environment here. And we have nothing special to talk about our secular ideal. It seems to us that secular belief here is etherized upon a table. Our dream of establishing a secular country is still not fulfilled. We are evermore fighting against one another over the silly question of religious superiority. The fate of the whole nation is in the tight grip of religious zealots and extremists. There is no hope to heal the wound around. The bridge of good will, relationship and love is falling down, falling down, falling down.
Though we have, in the meantime, spent forty seven years of our Liberation War, we are yet to unite the whole nation under a single umbrella. We have nothing to boast for but stories of chaos, conspiracies, intrigues, clashes, vandalism and political turmoil. These negative practices are the potential threats on our way to practise the spirits of Liberation War. Apart from these, rise of communalism, inequality, superstition, political use of religions and the controversial ideologies propagated by a group of anti-liberation fronts are incessantly brandishing their weapons to disfigure and demolish our hard earned victory and erase those lofty spirits from our memories. Keeping such active but dormant threats to our national interests aside, we are just getting to celebrate one more victory day of our illustrious past. But keeping the foundation of a nation under any potential threat, no victory day celebration is meaningful and cabalistic, no matter how much colourful the celebration is or not. So, on the advent of 48th victory day commemoration of the Bangladeshis, the implication of practising the spirits of Liberation War is being highly felt.
Author: Teacher and columnist