I am delighted to say that last week's cover story, along with its photos, was very impressive indeed. After reading “Awaiting Justice” I remembered an English proverb saying “extreme justice is often extreme injustice” in the third eyes of the soul. However, the metaphorical expression was totally absent in your write-up.
Thank you for your objective opinion on the controversy surrounding the War Crimes Tribunal. The trial of war crimes against humanity must be carried out according to people's demand. Let us hope that the devil gets his due even after 41 years of independence without any political consideration or interference. Readers of the Star are greatly benefited from the details you shared of the crimes committed in 1971. The younger generation owes much to the Star magazine. Hats off to you.
Photo: Star File
It is truly unfortunate that today the War Crime Tribunals is fraught with such conflict and divisiveness. Why should the trial of war criminals be an AL-BNP-Jamaat issue: doesn't it concern all citizens of Bangladesh, irrespective of which party they belong or subscribe to? It took us 39 years to come to a point where we could even put them on trial and even now, the drama surrounding it only seems to increase in magnitude. Each party has their own agenda to push regarding the trials. Forget the deplorable politics and ideologies of Jamaat, and to a lesser but significant extent, the BNP, even the Awami League, the party that alleges to stand for liberation values, is using the war crimes for its own benefits.
In last week's Postscript, the writer asked some questions I would like to offer some answers to. To the question 'Whatever happened to our rights?' the answer is regrettably, we have either buried or burnt our rights like the dead. As a result, our society is without all human rights.
And to your other question 'Who is the enemy now?' the answer is, the enemy is within us and at “age 41” the enemy has grown into a gigantic giant, a Frankenstein!
The hard truth is that Bangladesh, which was born out of the sacrifice and glory of so many men and women, is not “a free and democratic nation.” The deliberate killing of a young innocent citizen, Biswajit Das, proves it.
Photo: Raghu Rai
Red Badge of Courage
the Star published an article about Indian photojournalist Raghu Rai, who had a photo exhibition in the capital last week. It was an honour to personally see Rai, one of the best photojournalists in the world, and his lost collection of pictures about the Liberation War of Bangladesh in 1971. Seeing him and listening to him talk about his experience in Bangladesh in 1971 as a young twenty-something-year-old who came here from Delhi to record the painful days of the refugees of the Liberation War was a heart-warming experience.
The exhibition had more than 50 pictures, all of them portraying the people who took refuge on the borders and how they spent their lives during the war. These pictures that have never been published are eye opening to most Bangladeshis. There is a lot of talk about the war and how great the loss of life was for our independence but rarely is there an opportunity to witness (albeit second-hand) the lives of displaced people caught in the middle of a civil war. Considering these pictures were lost for 40 years, we are lucky to have them exhibited in this now liberated country.
I was intrigued to find out, through an interview of British poet Gillian Clarke on 7 December, about the similarities between the Bengali and Welsh language movements. We take such pride in our own language's triumph that many must think we believe and act like our language is superior to all others. Indeed, we do feel very strongly about our beautiful language and as native speakers, it is only natural for us to prefer our own language over another. But at the same time, it is enlightening to discover other valuable world languages which deserve to be preserved and celebrated, like Welsh.
Bangla is not the only language to struggle against the world dominance of English. Clarke's grandmother being beaten as a child for speaking Welsh instead of English in school but now the Welsh language has official status -- what a remarkable example of how a language so close to English's native land can still strengthen its importance against the universal lingo.
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