Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has rightly said recently that the new generations should be told the real history of Bangladesh so that they may come to know about the heroic struggles of the students, imprisonment of the leaders, their torture and bloodshed, and the ultimate sacrifice of millions of people for the independence of Bangladesh. The history of Bangladesh in one sense is the history of Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman.
The history of Bangabandhu’s fight against Pakistani military rule started in the ‘50s after the 1952 Language Movement followed by the dismissal of the 1954 cabinet of Sher e Bangla AK Fazlul Haque in which he was also a minister.
Since then till 1971, he kept the Pakistanis under tremendous pressure on various issues concerning the existing glaring disparity between the East Pakistan and the West Pakistan. In every public meeting he told the people how the bulk of the foreign currency earned by our jute, tea, hide and paper was being spent in West Pakistan. He pointed out how Bangalee young men were not taken in the armed forces and how foreign trade was kept under the control of the West Pakistanis.
A research will show that Bangalees, under the leadership of Bangabandhu, were taking preparation for the final push for total independence for over two decades. Therefore, when the supporters of BNP keep telling people that 7.5 crore people joined the war of liberation at the call of Major Ziaur Rahman on 27 March, 1971, it is nothing but a blatant lie and a poor attempt to erase the long 23 years of step by step movement for Bangladesh.
Only fools can believe that an entire nation jumped into action after hearing a non-entity like Major Zia declaring independence in the middle of the night. This is the wrong history that BNP has been imparting since 1991 after forming the government. And this is exactly why the present generation is in great confusion hence they must know the truth. They should be told that no one ever heard the name of Ziaur Rahman in this country before 27 March 1971. They should be told that as a Pakistani military officer Major Zia was on his way to Chittagong Port to unload weapons that had been shipped from West Pakistan to crush the movement in East Pakistan. In fact, killing of all central leaders of Awami League was the main objective.
Some junior officers came to know about the plan and warned Ziaur Rahman. They told him to abort the mission. But, books written by many sector commanders and deputy commanders tell us that Ziaur Rahman was hesitant to disobey the order as a true Pakistani officer. Later, when the young officers insisted he turned his jeep around and went another way.
Ziaur Rahman’s joining the war of liberation is again filled with mystery. It has been written in books that Major Zia was grounded for some months as commander of the sector he was responsible for. That mystery was never solved. Similarly his approval in the assassination of Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman is now well established among the researchers at home and abroad.
Therefore, it is high time the young generations are taught the real history to understand the role of Bangabandhu and his brilliant comrades in snatching victory from the mouth of the enemy. When they will learn the truth they will be able to judge the heroes of Bangladesh in their true perspective. And they will also be able to understand the level of conspiracy that the enemies hatched to weaken the country so that they can invite Pakistan to come and take control. But the people of Bangladesh thwarted all attempts by BNP and its allies to turn the country into Pakistan.
The young generation is largely aware of the anti-Bangladesh conspiracy still going on at home and abroad. They are quite active in the social media in this regard and it is heartening to note that they voice their resolve to fight the enemies of the country. So, it is apparent that in case of an attack on the sovereignty of the country, millions of the new generation “Freedom Fighters” will stand shoulder to shoulder to defeat the enemy.

Shahnoor Wahid is Advisory Editor, Bangladesh Post