Speakers at a discussion yesterday criticised the role of the Ministry of Liberation War Affairs for not addressing the contribution of women and mass people in the Liberation War.
They also said freedom fighter Bir Protik Taramon Bibi was recognised many years after the Liberation War, speaking at the “Bir Protik Taramon Bibi Reminiscence Programme” at Jatiya Press Club in Dhaka.
“Mainly, we know the contribution of [Dhaka and other town-based] educated people. But, the contribution of all women as well as the mass people – workers, farmers and the poor class – in the Liberation War has not been recognised properly,” said Rokeya Kabir, executive director of Bangladesh Nari Progati Sangha.
Describing her prior experience, she mentioned, “We submitted some evidences to the Ministry of Liberation War Affairs in 2000s on the role of women in the war. However, those evidences were misused by Bangla Academy.”
Speakers blamed the “patriarchal mentality” of Bangladeshi society for abandoning many Liberation War heroines.
Ayesha Khanam, president of Bangladesh Mahila Parishad, said, “Taramon Bibi is a symbol of women's participation in the Liberation War. We should uphold the role of women in every democratic movement from 1952 to 1971 and beyond.”
Nasimun Ara Haque, president of Bangladesh Nari Sangbadik Kendra, said, “Taramon Bibi participated in face-to-face combat with the Pakistani army, killing 13 soldiers. However, we didn't recognise her contributions earlier.”
They also demanded a monument be built in remembrance of the contribution of women in the Liberation War.