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Eyes wide shut

  • Published at 11:59 pm December 20th, 2019
pen paper
Photo: BIGSTOCK

People are laughing about the erroneous freedom fighter list

inally, the chief executive of the country, as our head of state, had to intervene in what was going on between two important ministries, and partly shoulder the responsibility for publishing an almost-flawed list of persons who didn’t want to see the birth of Bangladesh in 1971.

One ministry had published a list of razakars, al-badr, al-shams, and the peace committee members in which the nation found many names of various noted freedom fighters. What could be more outrageous than to find the names of freedom fighters among the names of those who opposed our war for freedom? That was a sheer mockery to the spirit of freedom.

Then the ministry said that it published the list that was created by the Pakistanis.

Another edition of hubris. The extreme form.

When that didn’t sound credible to the members of the public and to those freedom fighters who were named in the list, the ministry, then, passed the buck on to another ministry. The second ministry, then, announced that they -- the ministry that published the list -- didn’t publish what the second ministry had provided.

The ministries exchanged a funny war of words. Their diction couldn’t convince the people. And then the executive order came to withdraw the list. The chief executive said that it was a mystery as to how the names of the freedom fighters found their way into the list.

The list was a perfect Trojan horse.

“What was outcome?” you might ask.

Here’s the impact:

It was like a slap in the faces of the freedom fighters. It disgraced them and their contribution in the war. For sure. And as far as the image of the government -- that is targeting to build the economy of the future -- is concerned, the close-to-funny list, without any concealment, has tarnished the image of the government. 

It struck at the roots of credibility that the government has earned over the last decade. The citizens are laughing about it.

What, do you think, would the international communication mediums transmit about this particular list? They may say that our fact-finding was erroneous. What happened to the fact-finding team that worked prior to the trials of the war criminals?

It’s been about five decades since we fought our war of independence. Achieving freedom wasn’t easy. We lost three millions. It was gory -- in all forms. We hate those who made us bleed, we wanted justice for the genocide that was committed to us. We also wanted to see them tried -- those who didn’t want to see us as a free nation. 

But we didn’t want to see this kind of neglect while performing such an important task. This is what happens when you perform your duty with your eyes wide shut. This is what happens when you don’t give importance to the people you represent. This is what happens when you don’t understand the psyche of the people while shouldering such an important responsibility of the state.

This was indeed an inexcusable act committed by the relevant ministries.

We seem to have a new date for publishing a new error-free list. It would be our request not to rush with this list. We also appeal to the persons involved in the process to engage themselves with strict integrity. 

Ekram Kabir is a story-teller. His other works can be found on ekramkabir.com.