The Bangladesh War of Liberation was fought in several fronts by people in all walks of life. While the main war is largely known by the battles fought by brave freedom fighters both inside and outside the borders of then East Pakistan, much of the war’s success depended on the resistance and random acts of bravery by people in all nooks and corners of the country. The ranks of these unknown and forgotten fighters for liberty were filled by students, farmers, small shop keepers, and village wives. They are the unsung heroes of the war of liberation who people may not remember.
The author of this book spent much of the dark nine-month period as a young chief of civil administration two sub-districts (called sub-divisions) of the then Dhaka district- Munshiganj and Manikganj. Like the vast majority of his civil service colleagues working in the country that time he served under the watchful eyes of a malevolent army dictatorship, helplessly watching the atrocities as they continued to occur during those terrible months. Like all Bengali government officers working in the country that time he was a suspect in the eyes of the occupation forces and was subject to surveillance. While working through the difficult times the author also had the occasions to hear and witness some courageous acts of our people that in their own way registered a protest against the atrocities, and even frustrated the cruel agents of Pakistan Government.
The articles in this book are the author’s personal accounts of events and occurrences in the most turbulent period of the national history of Bangladesh. Some of these are simply narrations of some dire events, some are stories of chicanery and treachery, and some are stories of bravery of people in the villages who suffered the tumultuous time. The book is an assembly of these articles around a common theme, and a message that 1971 was essentially a people’s war, a war we all fought to rid us of an evil that had descended on us, and had launched a wanton act of aggression and mayhem. The recollections are expected to help our new generation to realize that our freedom did not come cheap; and that the harrowing experience of their previous generation and the murderous sufferings they endured knew no gender or religious boundaries.
All of the articles were published earlier in Dailies and Magazines in Bangladesh.
About Ziauddin M. Choudhury
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Published February 2, 2011