Every year on December 14, we remember martyred intellectuals with due solemnity, who lost their lives in 1971 at the hands of the Pakistani military and their local collaborators. They were picked up from their homes in the dark of night, blindfolded, tortured, and shot or hacked to death. Many of those martyrs remain traceless even today, and their families, waiting for excruciatingly long years, have given up hope of ever seeing them again.
Intellectuals through the ages have been prone to slaughter and torture at the hands of rulers. Our intellectuals in 1971 were no exception. The Pakistan junta erased the brightest minds whose significant presence could well have culminated in Bangladesh and its nationalism into great prosperity.
While we commemorate the loss of the brightest intelligentsia, let us resolve that never again shall we allow evil forces to take root and that the free, broad nature of the people of this land not be lost.
Nuzhat Rifa Ehsan