2013: The year of justice
The havoc caused by the Jamaat-Shibir men have raised a lot of eyebrows. It has even raised created a fear of political breakdown. Flipping through the pages of at least a dozen of newspapers alongside the voluminous TV channels with their 'hot' talk-shows, there is little doubt that citizens, in particular those who do not want to see another suspension of their constitutional rights and firmly believe that there is a better tomorrow for Bangladesh, are certainly confused.
This article is in no way meant to argue that what we have today is the best of our potential, but instead, it will only bring attention to one of the head-scratching issues concerning the rational role of the so-called civil society bodies.
This relates to one topic which cuts across different subjects and themes: righting our historical atrocities by bringing the perpetrators of the 1971 genocide to justice. The aftermath of the genocide committed by Bengali collaborators has created mistrust in the society which continues to divide our ideas and perceptions about our motherland.
Suffice to mention that until the day the ghosts responsible for our dark history are brought to justice, the wound of such painful memories would never stop haunting us. Today, however, our civil society groups and organisations are exclusively focused on the issues of economic concern relating to the banking and energy sectors, and pointing fingers wherever they can manage to squeeze it in.
There are, nevertheless, organisations which are proactive in working towards releasing Bangladesh off its blood-stained shackles, erected by the injustices inflicted upon us by the Bengali collaborators and the Pakistan occupation forces during the Liberation War. For instance, some believe that the role played by the Sector Commanders Forum helped in obtaining massive verdict in favour of the pro-liberation forces in the general election of 2008. With an effort to provide first-hand accounts of the liberation war, the Prothoma publications came up with Ekattorer Chiti (Letters from 1971), which is a real heart opener to any who is refusing to acknowledge the atrocities caused by the Pakistani soldiers in 1971.
These are all very good indicators but it is when one sees how little heed is being paid to help remind our dark history, one begins to wonder: whose interest lies where, especially at such a critical time with the upcoming 10th parliamentary election.
As a member of the young generation of Bangladesh, I am struggling to come to terms with our country's birth. We can only hope that may be one day Pakistan will confess to its war-crimes. Prime Minster Sheikh Hasina has rightly refused to attend the D-8 summit and this is surely one ground where all Bangladeshis will find it comfortable to agree with her in demanding an apology from Pakistan for the 1971 genocide crimes.
We can only hope that one day we will be able to bring both the Bengali and non-Bengali perpetrators to justice in order to set right our historical records. This is our month of independence and this celebration needs to be made at least a monthly event, if not an annual one. More can be done by our media and civil society groups to fulfill their duty to their motherland by regularly reminding us of our struggle for independence, the Liberation War and all the factors that have enabled us to claim our identity. They must continue to do so until we are able to see the dawn of justice and let the ghosts of the past rest in peace.
The writer is a researcher. firstname.lastname@example.org