16th December 1971 By: Tanveer Ahmed Shamrat

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The War is over, the freedom fighters ch and every home across all of Bangla. Every rooftop is proudly flying an independent country’s flag. People are embracing each other, hugging each other. They are bowing and kissing the ground. Every so often the slogan of “Joy Bangla”, with heaven and earth-shattering cry, can be heard. Today the sun is different from the one that rose yesterday, today there is freedom songs in the air, and tunes of freedom in the heart. From today onwards, Bengali belongs to a free country.

 Even in this victory, there is the anticipation on the mind of the mother who has lost her child; when will my son return! There is restlessness in the mind of the wife; when will she see her darling husband! There is uncertainty in the mind of the sister, whose brother had to run away from home during the war.

These dearly loved children might never return to their mother’s loving arms. Neither will the married men, who wed just before the war, return to see their young wife’s face. In this vast land of Bangla, maybe they fought and became martyrs. The motherland has taken them deep into her heart and loving embrace. In thousands of homes across Bangla, from within the cries of those who have lost their fathers, brothers and husbands bursts out the red sun of victory and shines bright proudly in the sky. After losing too much, they have at last tasted victory. Today when I see that dirt-covered face of the teenage freedom fighter, a question arises; will we be able to live up to the cost of this struggle? When I see the sweating farmer turned freedom fighter and his blank stare, a question arises, will we be able to do anything about his helplessness?

Will we be able? That student who ran away from home to join the war, that youth who put the country before his dearest ones, that middle-aged man who kept his family and children waiting because of his homeland, will we ever be able to repay their debts?

The question remains …

I know that these people, who bet their lives in the country, went to war without expecting anything in return. Some work still remains after 43 years, even today there are those opposing the independence of the country – roaming this land, taking part in politics. Without vanquishing them from politics, society and without cutting off their finances, it is not possible to make the Shonar Bangla that the freedom fighters envisioned. To devalue and disregard the resistors to the independence of the country is our commitment for this Victory Day!

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