Of the many vicious acts carried out by the Pakistan Army and their local collaborators, the systematic murder of our intellectuals in 1971 remains one of the the worst.
With the intention to wipe out an entire generation of the greatest thinkers of the generation, this was a crime like no other: It was barbaric in its methodology, brutal in its execution, cruel in its objective.
It was a disgraceful act which took the lives of over 200 of our country’s brightest individuals, in an effort to permanently cripple the nascent Bangladeshi nation.
The repercussions of this most heinous act are still being left today. For a nation which was about to be born, its intellectuals were an indispensable part of its ability to recover and move forward.
But, despite the hefty price we have paid as a country, we have not and will not forget their sacrifice. We have, as a people, struggled and strived to be where we are today, a nation booming with confidence and success.
And remembering the countless lessons they provided this country, and the countless more they could have gone on to provide, we must strive to be even better.
There is no doubt that we have come a long way. But there is much yet to be done.
On this day, December 14, let us remember the importance of education, of freedom of expression, of the crucial contributions intellectual thought make to the growth of a nation.
It is only through working towards establishing these principles, principles which our martyred intellectuals believed in and worked to achieve during their all-too short time in this world, can we truly honour them and their legacy.
The Pakistan Army and their collaborators in Bangladesh may have taken the souls of our most eminent and well established individuals away, but they have not succeeded. It is important, now more than ever, to look to the future and cultivate a nation that allows more of their kind to flourish and succeed and work for a better Bangladesh.
We must come together and work towards a Bangladesh that our intellectuals would have been proud of. Through constant diligence towards maintaining their principles can we truly move in the direction of a more successful Bangladesh.