Greatest heroes of 1971 to me…

Audity Falguni

When we first did a little VDO of her and made a photo with screenshots of the VDO footages (she was not willing to be snapped), I was feeling a little guilty before posting her photo: am I violating ethics? But then another thought came to my mind: our brave mothers (all the war heroines who were ravished in 1971) will die soon. They are growing old. For example, there was another war heroine named Heeramoni Santal of Chandpur-Begum Khan tea garden who died recently. So our mothers will die soon! On the other hand, there are ill campaigns by some quarters at national and international level that no “genocide” or “mass rapes” occurred in this land during 1971. So it was a very small initiative on our part to record at least one “unnamed” face of the history.

Generally people discuss and debate over great leaders or generals in war history. Who was greater or even the greatest? There were leaders like Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, Tajuddin Ahmed, Syed Nazrul Islam or Maolana Bhasani or there were army persons like Brigadier Khaled Mosharraf, Major General Zia-Ur-Rahman, Colonel Taher, Major C.R.Dutta or Colonel Osmani. Who was greater or the greatest? To me: these questions carry little value. With all my respect to the reputed leaders or warriors of the war, I think the “unnamed” soldiers are our REAL heroes. I met Shamsul Haque, an old farmer of Chunarughat who fought in the 1971 war with a TRAINER-3 rifle and LIBERATION WAR is “Mannaf er Yudhdha (War of Mannaf)” to him. Mannaf was his friend, a fellow peasant youth who died in a rainy day, front-line war of the Bengali month of BHADRA (he cannot mention English months). A raped Sabitri Nayek or an old guerrilla farmer are the forever greatest heroes of 1971 to me…



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