Mashrafe Bin Mortaza is a very emotional character but he always uses his emotional energy as a positive influence while leading Bangladesh on the cricketing front. And on Saturday the inspirational Bangladesh ODI captain demonstrated another positive energy in what was an emotional override for a completely different audience.
He took the Liberation War Museum in Agargaon by storm after Dr Nuzhat Chowdhury had just finished her speech where she gave a vivid description of some Liberation War heroes including cricketer Jewel -- his joining as a Crack platoon member, his involvement in the Ashganj Bridge operation, losing his fist in an explosion and how he was captured by the occupying forces of Pakistan with a bandage on his hand and tortured to death.
“The whole of Bangladesh is now obsessed with mobiles. I think the purpose we have come here to serve today and the speeches that have been delivered have failed to make any impression on you. All of you are now busy with your mobiles," a visibly irritated Mashrafe told the audience, mostly students who were busy recording videos of the sporting icon on their mobile phones.
He was speaking at a function organised by Project London 1971, a non-government organisation working to keep a record of the Liberation War at home and abroad. As one of the most influential sporting ambassadors of the country, Mashrafe also did not hide his frustration at the lack of awareness about our Liberation War history, especially among the youths.
“If I now ask you a question about our Liberation War, you will turn to your mobile to find the answers. That should not be the case and it is very unfortunate,” he said bitterly.
He also lamented that 'we need to run even quiz competitions to create awareness among the youth about the history of our liberation.
“It is really unfortunate that the school-goers will learn the history of our liberation through quizzes,” he added. He said that he is still learning about the Liberation War by reading books, newspapers and watching movies.
“By watching movies we may not see the real Liberation War. But whenever I watch a movie about our Liberation War I don't stop watching until it is finished.
“Whatever we do -- education, sport or business -- is it impossible for us to manage one hour a day to read about our Liberation War? We simply can't say this. Learn it, use the internet and one day we will have that emotional attachment,” said Mashrafe.
He also criticsed the 'trolling' of kids not aware of the history of the Liberation War on social and electronic media.
“Find out why they don't know the history. The families and schools have to take the responsibility. For those who don't know, this kind of news is also not responsible,” Mashrafe observed.
“My two kids will learn about our liberation from you. Even I can also learn from you. You will have to learn more if you want to tell the next generation about our heroes of 71,” concluded the 34-year-old pace bowler.