Give recognition to indigenous FFs
Freedom fighters from the indigenous community should have recognition from the state and enjoy equal facilities as the Bangalee freedom fighters, speakers at a book publication ceremony said yesterday.
The people should also recognise the contribution of the indigenous people to the War of Liberation, they said and called for an immediate end to the oppression of indigenous people.
Air Vice Marshal (retd) AK Khandaker launched the book titled 'Muktijuddhe Adivasi' (Indigenous people in the War of Liberation) at the Dhaka Reporters' Unity auditorium in the city.
Oitijjhya Prakashoni published the research-based book written by Ayub Hossain and Charu Haque.
AK Khandaker said the entire nation took part in the liberation war in 1971 and that the contribution of indigenous people was equal to that of Bangalees. So, they should be given equal rights, he added.
Referring to several incidents of land grabbing, he said no-one has the right to grab the lands of the indigenous people.
Their contribution to the liberation war must be recognised by the state, said the war veteran.
Sanjib Drong, a writer and researcher, said the indigenous people joined the liberation war to realise their dream of a secular country, but their dream has now been shattered.
"They did not want anything from the state and the state also did not give them any reward," he said.
Poet Belal Ahmed said, "We fought for the country under the banner of 'secularism' but the secularism was hijacked from our constitution after 1975. Since then we have been turning away from the main spirit of the liberation war."
Chief Executive of Oitijjhya Prakashoni Arifur Rahman Nayeem and Engineer Sheikh Muhammad Shahidullah were also present at the ceremony.