Happy Birthday, Elimination Committee – Bhorer Kagoj

After the death of Jahanara Imam in 1994, it was not surprising that the Nirmul Committee movement came to a halt. But that did not happen. One by one the leadership has gone. It seems to be the longest running movement. It has many wonderful features. I think the first of these is its vast scope, almost all the prominent people of Bangladesh are involved in it in one way or another.

The full name is ‘Ekattarer Ghatak Dalal Nirmul Committee’, the name is long enough for an organization, it takes time to say. But in the last 29 years, it has fulfilled such a historic responsibility for this country that nowadays, one does not have to say the full name, everyone understands who the organization is to eradicate. When it was born on January 19, 1992, I was in America. Then e-mail, internet was not born, I don’t get the news of the country directly, I have to go around. I get upset when I hear the news. Wanting to do something, I do not understand what to do. Those who are like-minded think, exactly two decades have passed since the liberation war, let’s take out a compilation called ‘Twenty years later’, where the writings of all the prominent people in favor of the liberation war will be published. I don’t know any of the prominent people of the country except Humayun Ahmed, no one knows me either, so I said I will do the editing work. No one should think that editing is very easy, because many people can’t even guess, if you want to publish a book in Bengali in America thirty years ago, it is the responsibility of the editor to compose that book! The task was very difficult then, because the task of writing Bangla on the computer was not easy at all. The responsibility has fallen on me, because I have set up a method of writing Bangla on the computer, many people in North America use that method to publish magazines.
Freedom fighter Dr. Nurun Nabi took the responsibility of publishing that book. He is a man of the same kind of work as I am. Have contact with everyone, know everyone! He took out the writing from everyone, I typed those writings and sighed. Shaheed Janani Jahanara wrote in the title of Imam’s article, ‘Twenty years of poison-vapor’, ‘After twenty years, she wants to shout one word ে the whole country and the nation are dying in the suffocation of twenty years.’ What a terrible thing! The title of Kabir Chowdhury’s article is, ‘Twenty years of independent Bangladesh: does the account match?’ The first line of Professor Anisuzzaman’s writing was, ‘Twenty years after Bangladesh’s independence, the country’s dire situation naturally raises the question, what did we want and what did we get?’ Humayun Ahmed wrote about receiving the Independence Medal of war criminal Sharshina Pir, the last line of his writing, ‘Alas, where do I put this grief?’
Every writing in the whole book is like this, making one more upset from the other. When the book came out, I took it in my hand and looked at it sadly. In between, there was only sadness, frustration and anger. Twenty years after the country became independent, why will there be only sorrow, frustration and anger?
Just then I received a surprise news from the country that on March 26, 1992, Golam Azam would be tried in a people’s court at Suhrawardy Udyan. We waited with curiosity and enthusiasm. After the end of the trial, I got the news little by little. Police did not allow the stage, Mike was also snatched, two trucks side by side made the stage and the people’s court has been held there. In that people’s court or just people and people, there was not enough space in the huge Suhrawardy Udyan. Shahid Janani Jahanara Imam, President of the Judiciary. Ghulam Azam was convicted and sentenced to death by a people’s court. Letters are coming from home, I am also getting news from there, a news is very surprising to me. My mother was on the stage made of that truck of the people’s court, our family also has a little touch in a huge historical event. What a surprise!
A huge event does not happen by chance. In order for that to happen, one or the other person or organization has to work behind it. This people’s court has been organized by the National Coordinating Committee for the Implementation of the Consciousness of the Liberation War and the Elimination of the Deadly Brokers of the 1971 War. A month ago, on January 19, the ‘Ekattarer Ghatak Dalal Nirmul Committee’ was born. Shaheed Janani Jahanara Imam is the president of Nirmul Committee. I know Jahanara Imam from her book ‘Days of Seventy One’. I did not know that he could lead such a big movement.
After the publication of the book ‘Twenty Years Later’, much of the frustration was felt after the people’s court. We all know how excited we are. It seems that a kind of excitement about the war of liberation and a kind of intense hatred towards the Razakars has started to be born. The words of the trial of war criminals were often uttered.
One day I found out that Jahanara Imam was coming to New York. There is no end to our excitement. When he came one day I went to see him, his handwritten book ‘Seventy-One Days’. I said with a frown, ‘You don’t know me, my elder brother Humayun Ahmed Ñ my name is Muhammad Zafar Iqbal.’
Jahanara Imam stopped me and said, ‘I know you too, you have a book, the name of the book is Coptronic Happiness Sadness’, then I said something very kind about that book. I was shocked to hear that and that moment was a big change in my life. I handed it to Jahanara Imam to get her autograph in the book, ‘I have had a hard time reading this book.’ Jahanara Imam said, “I also had a hard time writing this book. I wrote this book with a stone tied to my chest.” The cordial relationship that I had with Shaheed Janani Jahanara Imam lasted till the last day of her life. What a story I had with him sitting in the back seat while driving to America! I was amazed to see that the man who had formed a huge movement against the war criminals in Bangladesh, for whom the Razakars and Al-Badrs were trembling, was in fact as simple as a little girl!
Remember, when we realized that his time on earth was over, many of us from the New Jersey area drove all night to Michigan for the last time. We are going to meet him in twos for a short while in the hospital cabin, then we can’t talk anymore. He wrote on paper and exchanged views with us. He consoled us, then wrote in the paper, that one day war criminals will be tried on the soil of the country.
He died a few days later. It is difficult to believe, he is still accused in the treason case given by Khaleda Zia government! He was not wrong about the trial of war criminals. The trial of war criminals really started in this country about eight years ago. In that trial, many crimes have been proved and verdicts have been passed, punishments have been given and punishments have been carried out. The trial is not over, it is still going on. With the people’s court, the love for the war of liberation and the strong hatred for the war criminals was never stopped. I am amazed to see that now that emotion has been transmitted to the new generation as well.
After the death of Jahanara Imam in 1994, it was not surprising that the Nirmul Committee movement came to a halt. But that did not happen. One by one the leadership has gone. It seems to be the longest running movement. It has many wonderful features. I think the first one is its vast scope, almost all the eminent people of Bangladesh are involved in it in one way or another, from the poet Sufia Kamal, the poet Shamsur Rahman, Professor Ahmed Sharif, the narrator Shawkat Osman, Professor Kabir Chowdhury to almost all of their next generation. Prominent poets, writers, professionals, then his next generation, now his next generation of young people have come, are coming. The Committee on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Minorities published a three-page, 3,000-page report. In addition, Hefazat has published thousands of pages of white papers on violence and radical communal terrorism. The Nirmul Committee is not only interested in emotional words, they also present evidence. There is no comparison in this country with the amount of information and evidence collected by the Nirmul Committee.
Many people are involved in this huge work of Nirmul Committee, this country will be grateful to all of them. I would like to remind the name of Shahriar Kabir separately, a man can have such intense love for the liberation war, he does not want to believe even with his own eyes! (He used to write very well for children and adolescents. He gave up writing for the Nirmul Committee to give time to them! The children and adolescents of this country have suffered a great loss!) Shahriar Kabir has been jailed for revenge during the coalition government. I was present at the jail gate with Mamun. I have seen with my own eyes how much a person has to suffer to love this country. This country has been insulted a lot by awarding the Independence Medal to war criminal Sharshina Pir, while I am sometimes surprised that Shahriar Kabir is not seen by anyone while honoring him for his contribution to the liberation war! The Committee for the Elimination of Conscientious Objectors of this country has been going on for 29 years. Congratulations to this extraordinary, historic organization and everyone involved with it. I am dreaming that the new young generation will take this huge organization forward.

Muhammad Zafar Iqbal: Educator, scientist and novelist.

SH


Source: Bhorer Kagoj by www.bhorerkagoj.com.

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