Remembering Col. Mojibul Hoque and the brother Martyrs | The Daily Star
12:00 AM, February 25, 2013 / LAST MODIFIED: 12:00 AM, February 25, 2013

BDR Carnage: February 2009

Remembering Col. Mojibul Hoque and the brother Martyrs

Photo: STAR

Surprisingly, four years have swiftly passed since the death of your band of brothers. In these 48 months your silences ringed out loud and clear in our lives. I know that in line with the laws of existence, we will hear you speak no more. We may try but won't be able to comprehend what went through your minds that fateful day and night. Did you notice the sun shining, the birds chirping either in alarm or silent and frightened away by the gunfire and explosions of the handful of cowards methodically exterminating the brave sentinels of my beloved motherland?
It pains me to think what other thoughts raced through your worried mind. Did you long to talk to your wife and children and siblings? I wonder what you would have done had you known that one of your child was covering in sheer raw fear of dear life within walking distance from you. Would you have been able to maintain the Soldiers poise if you had known that your wife and daughter are separated; one imprisoned and the other at school?
I am sure some such thoughts must have raced through your mind. Your thoughts were obviously overshadowed by the sense of duty to help bring the situation under command.
But one thing is clear: Out of sheer raw bravery as a Soldier, you displayed purpose and commitment when you ventured out -- unarmed amidst a nest of fully-armed-to-the-teeth dastardly traitors -- at the command of your General, towards your destiny, the destiny which every true soldier dreams of -- to become a veteran or a martyr -- a Shaheed.
Today, in a far away land, displayed on my desk are your photographs -- pictures showing you in service uniform, as an ace Golfer and one capturing a moment of you as command of a sector in Georgia.
In your early years, you were a good debater, showing a glimpse of your talent as a natural speaker. There was something electric about the way you spoke, giving off a burst of energy for the audience to absorb. That vigor yet keeps me going when my spirits are low because, as the poet said "I have promises to keep and miles to go and miles to go before I sleep."
Dada, your departure was unexpected and sudden, you could have offered so much more to those you loved and to the motherland. Alas, dear Dada, it hurts to realise that we will not communicate any more the way we used to in the not so distant past.
Although you were, are my eldest brother, you never took offence but instead remained elder brotherly calm and steadfast to your philosophical views. You displayed confidence and without any ambiguity, you forcefully reiterated that when it came to integrity, there is no option but to lead decent and honourable lives.
I last saw my dear brother, Colonel Mojib's face, peaceful, devoid of life, at the mortuary of CMH. And I also remember his firm and alert face saluting the dais at the 2009 Annual BDR Parade, just a few days earlier. So much had changed within these few days and so much did not happen that ought to have, it is indeed a conundrum. That lifeless face was the face of a humble and calm self. His graying mustache camouflaged his last facial expressions when the cowards and hyenas gunned him down on February 25, 2009.
Dear Dada, sadly, many amongst us, find enough reasons to be skeptical about the future. In your motherland people are still suffering meaningless, untimely and violent deaths. Only recently, an innocent apprentice tailor by the name of Biswajit was extremely brutally slaughtered in broad day-light in plain view of a large general citizen, over 100 innocent ready-made-garment workers lives turned into ashes, their charred bodies dumped in body-bags, buried in anonymous graves, awaiting DNA identification.
This, unfortunately, has become the way of the world in our unique brand of democracy. However, in spite of such hopelessness, I see a flicker of light at the end of tunnel, in the form of our youth. I trust, hope and pray that they shall turn their back on such heinous and putrefied political culture.
The youth are blessed by the legacy of the band of martyred officers, the lesson of patriotism. Unbeknown to the traitorous perpetrators, the youth is aware of the truth and is looking forward to its revelation and justice. Our youth have witnessed your bravery and they feel proud that this nation produced sons like you all. They appreciate the strength of your convictions.
I feel confident that they will not get caught up in the present social pettiness. They have a promise to fulfill, and they know the debt they own you all and the promise they have made to you and to the nation. We have weaved a history through such sacrifices and our youth are donned in red and green, the colours of the motherland's standard.
I reassure you, if you can feel this that they observe everything and they shall not disappoint you.
You must have seen them, their vigor and spirit in recent time at Shahbagh. This time around, they will neither quit nor will they remain quiet anymore.
Today, on Shaheed Shena Dibosh, we remember all of you with tears in our eyes and gratitude in our hearts and hope in our minds.
May you all rest in peace, Ameen.

The writer, a former UN staff, is the brother of Shaheed Colonel Mojibul Hoque.

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