Freedom fighter status for Biranganas
While we congratulate the government's decision to recognise Biranganas as freedom fighters, we would like to apologise to these great women for taking a long 43 years to honour them for their sacrifice for our country.
During the Liberation War, more than two lakh women of the country were raped and tortured by the Pakistani army and their local collaborators. Even though after Bangladesh's independence, Bangabandhu honoured these women with the title 'Birangana', the society turned its back on them. Hundreds of thousands of rape survivors were socially ostracised and denied proper care. After the changeover in 1975, the rehabilitation work for these women was put to an end and their records were seized, after which they went into oblivion. However, the demand for state recognition of Biranganas as freedom fighters has been in existence since long. Finally, this January, the Parliament passed a proposal to include Biranganas in the list of freedom fighters. Following that decision, the Liberation War Affairs Ministry issued a gazette notification on Monday and made it official. Now 41 war heroines will get all the facilities that freedom fighters are entitled to. Besides this regular arrangement, they should be given a lump sum amount as reparation for the agony that they suffered over the last four decades.
The ministry has also formed a committee for each Upazila which will look for Biranganas in the area, verify their identity and make a list of their names. The government should prepare the full list of Biranganas at the earliest, and honour them accordingly. It should also uphold the War Crimes Tribunal's directive to incorporate stories of sacrifice of Biranganas in textbooks, so that the new generation can know the real history of the war and their contribution.