Remembering our martyred intellectuals
Over the last 49 years, we have observed the Martyred Intellectuals Day annually, realising more and more the significance of the damage that the enemy caused to our nation. What sort of an enemy who, on the verge of defeat, could hatch a plan to kill the professors, writers, litterateurs, and professionals of a country? When they realised that their defeat was imminent, they wanted to destroy the intellectual backbone of our nation, and picked up people of eminence from their homes and later killed them.
Atrocities, however tragic and gruesome, have been recorded in wars over the ages. But deliberate killings of non-combatant civilians, especially intellectuals, are a rare phenomenon and occur only when the perpetrating troops have a special hatred for the country and the people upon whom this barbarity is being perpetrated. Pakistanis had such a hatred for us, and when they saw defeat staring in the face, they killed our scholars in an effort to thwart our post-victory recovery. The further sad aspect of this already tragic phenomenon is the fact that local collaborators forming the al Badr and al Shams paramilitary forces actually implemented this barbaric plan of the Pakistani forces.
As we celebrate the 50th anniversary of our country's birth, our economic and social success serves as a fitting rebuttal of those heinous attempts to debilitate the newly formed state of Bangladesh. We recall with pride and gratitude the contribution of our martyred intellectuals in creating the required motivation and the essential spirit that served as a beacon of light throughout our struggle for independence.