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Of fathers, museums and fighters

  • Published at 06:16 pm August 15th, 2016
Of fathers, museums and fighters

Inspired by Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman and a freedom fighter in the Bangladesh Liberation War of 1971, Akku Chowdhury carries on the spirit of Bangabandhu and Muktijuddho quite close to his heart. He is also one of the trustees and the founder director of the Liberation War Museum.

Dhaka Tribune reached out to the freedom fighter to revisit how he carried on the legacy of Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, in his own unique manner.

How did the Liberation War Museum represent Bangbabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman and his legacy?

The liberation war of Bangladesh is the cause and effect of the existence of Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman. It was Bangabandhu who instilled our nation with the passion to create our own identity in the first place. He is the leader who spoke of autonomy, who spoke of six points which gave the people of Bangladesh the right to live like human beings should.

Due to the Pakistani regime after 1947, the people of Bengal were treated as second class citizens. In 1947, during the partition of India, a part of Bengal (East-Bengal) was handed over from the British to the Pakistanis, to be named East Pakistan. The people of East-Bengal voted for a new nation as they didn’t wish to be ruled by colonists. But a new ruler emerged after the British stepped back and Pakistan was created.

The discrimination, disparity, and exploitation of Bengalis were unimaginable. A child born in today’s Bangladesh will not believe how the Bengalis of then East-Pakistan lived.

Therefore, the Liberation War Museum, which represents the birth of Bangladesh, portrays Bangabandhu as a true leader of Bengalis who has given us the taste of freedom, justice and emancipation. He was a great visionary and a leader who saw far ahead, who knew the people of then East-Pakistan needed to rise up and be noticed as people; as human beings.

The liberation war of Bangladesh is the cause and effect of the existence of Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman

How has Bangabandhu inspired you to become a freedom fighter? On March 7 of 1971, after the Pakistanis had made it very clear that Bangabandhu, who won the majority votes from the Pakistani election, will not be allowed to become the leader of Pakistan, the people of Bangladesh began a non-cooperation movement under the command of Bangabandhu. On that same day, at the racecourse of Dhaka city, there was a massive public meeting, where the leader of the people spoke for about 90 minutes, creating a sway of humanity. Listening to every word that Bangabandhu was telling them uplifted the crowds' restlessness to take the nation forward, not just to liberation, but further beyond. He clarified the scenario as not just a struggle for liberation, but a struggle of absolute emancipation.

How did Bangabandhu’s absence have an impact on our country?

In 1975, Bangabandhu and his whole family, the forefront of leadership of Muktijuddho, were wiped out to create a vacuum seeking direction, all in order to erase the spirit cumulated from Muktijuddho or 1971.

Bangabandhu’s absence was felt for the last 40 years with the rise of Rajakars, Albadars, and Alshams - the collaborated Pakistani military in 1971, not just in politics but also in the major industries and government organisations which they manipulated and took over. But with the rise of Bangabandhu’s daughter Sheikh Hasina emerging as a new leader of not just Bangladesh, but even Asia, it has given us hope that the spirit of the Liberation War will not be wiped out from the soil.

What measures are being taken by the Liberation War Museum to inform and inspire the future generations of Bangladesh about the Father of the nation?

The Liberation War Museum can be a very important tool for teaching the future generation of Bangladesh about the truth regarding our struggle for independance and the truth behind of the Bangladesh Liberation War of 1971.

We have outreach programs, reachout programs, and other integrated activities related to the Liberation War, all through which the future generations can be enlightened about Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman.

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