There are but a few days in our history more painful and engaging of the collective psyche of a nation than 14 December. On this day, we remember and we grieve. We remember with a heavy heart the loss of the brightest stars of our intellectual firmament. All were luminaries of our intellectual world. And yet, as we approach one more anniversary of the liberation of the land, we remember how terribly high a price our intellectuals paid on the eve of freedom. They were victims of a planned elimination strategy chalked up by the Pakistani occupation forces. One by one they were picked off, by the local goon squads — al Badr, al Shams, razakars — of the crumbling Pakistan occupation army and swiftly pushed to death. The idea was to deprive the newly emerging nation of its brain and its soul.
Those we lost during those fateful days of 1971 cannot be replaced nor their contributions to the nation replicated in full measure. The killings were a well planned strategy to divest a nation that has just emerged as an independent country of its thinkers, professionals and teachers to cripple its progress. It is for the succeeding generations to learn from the lives of these people and draw inspiration from their sacrifices, and emulate their works as much as possible.
On this very painful day, while we pay our homage to the martyred intellectuals we would also like to convey our heartfelt sympathies to their families who have had to bear the loss personally, a loss that can never be made up, a sorrow that cannot be forgotten. In this supplement we publish a collection of articles some of which are reminiscences, while some are accounts of friends and very close relatives which throw light on the persona and the qualities of some of those we have lost on this day forty-two years ago.