• Saturday, Dec 04, 2021
  • Last Update : 08:26 pm

A day of national tragedy

  • Published at 06:41 pm August 15th, 2020
Photo Courtesy: Rafiqur Rahman

This Op-Ed is being republished on the occasion of National Mourning Day

Just as December 16, 1971 will stand forevermore as the crowning glory and greatest moment in the history of Bangladesh, so must August 15, 1975 stand as the lowest and most shameful point in our history.

Let us make no mistake about it. The brutal killing of the Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman together with almost all of his family on August 15, 1975 shames all Bangladeshis and can be viewed as nothing other than a day of infamy that will live on as a permanent stain on the honour of our nation.

Without Bangabandhu, there would be no independent Bangladesh today.

It was he who embodied the spirit of our nationalism and united the nation into a proud and liberated people.

To brutally murder this great man in his own home, not even four years after the he had led us to victory and the dignity of being a free and independent people -- beggars belief.

Even worse was the butchery of almost his entire family in the process, including his 10-year old son. The brutality and bloodiness of the assassins was chilling, and continues to shock the conscience even today, 40 years on. 

Also Read -  The epitome of courage, confidence, and compassion

We may not agree on much as a nation, but surely we can all agree that these were killings that should never have happened and that can never be justified or excused.

This should not be a partisan political thing. To mourn on August 15 is not the sole preserve of the Awami League or the family of Bangabandhu.

The killings of August 15, 1975 were a national tragedy and it is right and befitting that the day be commemorated as a national day of mourning.

The memory of that black day in Bangladeshi history should bring a tear to the eye of any proud Bangladeshi and every sentient human being.

In a bitterly divided country, we must have some touch-stones of unity and consensus, to say nothing of decency and respect. The Liberation War is one of them, but August 15 must be another.

The trials of the Bangabandhu killers were therefore very necessary, and it is to be regretted that it was only the Awami League  governments of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina which saw fit to launch them and to bring them to fruition.

Also Read - August 15 reflections

There is much left to be done, with some of the convicted killers still beyond the reach of the law, and no stone should remain unturned in our efforts to bring them back to Bangladesh to face justice.

This is about justice, not revenge, and it is the cry of the entire nation, not that of one political party or one family.

A nation that does not respect its heroes can never respect itself or expect others to respect it in turn.

Let us never forget that Bangabandhu was the greatest and most enduring of all of our heroes and ensure that he never is dislodged from the place of respect he deserves so long as our nation survives.

Zafar Sobhan is Editor, Dhaka Tribune.

Facebook 63
blogger sharing button blogger
buffer sharing button buffer
diaspora sharing button diaspora
digg sharing button digg
douban sharing button douban
email sharing button email
evernote sharing button evernote
flipboard sharing button flipboard
pocket sharing button getpocket
github sharing button github
gmail sharing button gmail
googlebookmarks sharing button googlebookmarks
hackernews sharing button hackernews
instapaper sharing button instapaper
line sharing button line
linkedin sharing button linkedin
livejournal sharing button livejournal
mailru sharing button mailru
medium sharing button medium
meneame sharing button meneame
messenger sharing button messenger
odnoklassniki sharing button odnoklassniki
pinterest sharing button pinterest
print sharing button print
qzone sharing button qzone
reddit sharing button reddit
refind sharing button refind
renren sharing button renren
skype sharing button skype
snapchat sharing button snapchat
surfingbird sharing button surfingbird
telegram sharing button telegram
tumblr sharing button tumblr
twitter sharing button twitter
vk sharing button vk
wechat sharing button wechat
weibo sharing button weibo
whatsapp sharing button whatsapp
wordpress sharing button wordpress
xing sharing button xing
yahoomail sharing button yahoomail