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Down the memory lane: The jail killing of 3 November 1975

With thick love and trust, they bivouacked in our hearts as heroes and shall remain as heroes in our hearts in the days to come






by Anwar A Khan

( November 1, 2018, Dhaka, Sri Lanka Guardian) 43 years have gone by, by this time. I was then a student of the University of Dhaka and lodged in Sergeant Zohurul Hoque Hall. After the brutish slaying of Bangladesh’s Founding Father Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman by some pettifogger military Majors on 15 August 1975, the country entered into the dingiest frat house. It was a terrible shock that shook the whole country. Despite being apolitical, I cannot forget that jounce wallop as of today. KhondokarMoshtaque Ahmed usurped power of Bangladesh walking on the blood of his supreme leader, Bangabandhu and became the self-proclaimed President of the country in connivance with those shyster junior army officers. Since then despoiling of the core values on which Bangladesh were grounded in 1971 after a huge bloodbath, started by Moshtaque tam-tam which was vociferously espoused by the shyster military dictators – Gen Zia, Gen Ershad, civilian ignoble politician Begum Zia and their mango-twigs showing arrogantly their banal actions.

In absence of Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman who was then internment in Pakistan’s jail, when under the Premiership of a great statesman Tajuddin Ahmad of the Provisional Mujibnagar Government was in the process of attaining of Bangladesh, KhondokarMoshtaque Ahmed was the Foreign Minister. But he was a deft-schemer since our glorified Liberation War of 1971 who constantly was after Tajuddin Ahmad to do impairment to him to gimpy the fight against the bestial Pakistani military regime to gain ground for establishing Bangladesh. This artful character, in fact, cherished for a confederacy with the Pakistani regime instead of an independent and sovereign country for us for which we had then been fighting do-or-die like revolutionaries.

In less than three months of the country’s Founding Father’s bestial killing, the four national leaders – Tajuddin Ahmad, Syed Nazrul Islam, Capt. M. Monsur Ali and AHM Kamaruzzaman, the lambent leaders who maneuvered the Bangladesh Liberation War successfully to attain Bangladesh from the brutal vitellus of Pakistani government were gunned down along with bayonet charges in the wee hour on 3 November 1975. This horrific incident was designedly kept closed book for a long time by the felons, Moshtaque and his bands together.

To change our taste of food, I along with my class-mates and friends – Kajal, Arif, Kashem, Nabendu and Nasir was taking dinner at the Jagannath Hall’s canteen on that November evening time; a one band radio was then tuned on to listen to the BBC news and to our utter shock and outrageousness, we heard that those bright star politicians of our glorious yesteryear history were felled in the safe custody of Dhaka Central Jailhouse. All present in the canteen were dumb-founded momently. There continued heated up discourses amongst us. Some said these malefactors must not go unpunished; some pronounced that they must be sent to the gibbet and some enounced aright that the true inspirits that we achieved through our splendiferous Liberation War would now be sent to limbo to bring back the Pakistani political orientation in Bangladesh. But everybody present there also expressed their potent fret against the malevolent acts by those ruffians. While returning to my abode in the Sergeant Zohurul Hoque Hall, I was so upset that I was only thinking that Bangladesh had entered into a black society where some ghosts and goblins would rapine it with more ferocity.

These four gentlemen like politicians walked many a path for several decades; brought many bridges along the way until their feet became weary. An emphatic glance into their lackadaisical drowsy eyes, revealed hidden sorrows built up through their last drop of blood. Every wrinkle on their sullen faces seemed to be an emblem of pain. They looked tired, worn down by life and defeated by some hands of savage goons belonged to the netherworld. Life is full of emotions, broken dreams, forgotten promises and bleeding hearts!! Regretful memories, of haunting ghosts, whose spirit voices torment my mind!! We want to call back something nostalgic. Walking away in somewhat of a daze instinctively I remember the lamentable song of losing them all.

They were like great speechifiers, writers, fighters, old-timer word rhymers always thought free verse was asinine. They were the queerest, the dearest and the tear in our hearts. They were archaic, prosaic, euphoric, historic and made pentagrams optically divine for Bangladesh. Montages made their artistry torch shine. They were the spiffiest, geekiest, and uniquelymost outré; they were the people’s welfare oriented statesmen over the line; they were the personas of great abilities; and the poets of politics for their motherland.

With thick love and trust, they bivouacked in our hearts as heroes and shall remain as heroes in our hearts in the days to come. I am a reader, a writer, an eternal life seeker; I am a trier, a crier who is drowning in the tears that they groaned before their painful demise. These old sorrowful songs that I sing are not now just a fading memory of the days when they loved us, but them ole' tears will start to stream with those beautiful notes and melodies knowing they won't hear a single word that I say.

They were fighters who stood up with their blood dripping down. The steel of their helmets were holding back their scowl with pleasure they saw their just cause was emerging as victorious. The theme of us has been written about for ages. Love missed us, tragedies shared and shaped us. We did our best to live, to survive, different kinds of battles, but battles nonetheless bloodied, and battered. Life taught us how to survive and we have. Our worlds were so much the same like those of our majuscule fallen leaders, but different. They have always been in our hearts, that's simple to say. Men can be so transparent. And are we not so different.

So, the gardeners when you plant, up your flowers, sow your lawns and baskets you hang. Remember to also put up a feeding table and put out seeds for the starlings that sing.

The harsh winds bite at my very soul. Alone I sit, waiting for the fight to commence. My heart is racing, sweat pours despite the cold. Caution…not of today only! The warrior reaps the spoils and cowards merely pray. Scars are reminders, painful, but not fatal lessons of a fighter. Forward! We march to claim what is ours. Steel rise above our heads; and our swords of truth transcends time. Seize the day! The moment is now not for past heartaches, nor future vows only. Slay the demons, for they must fall. Thrust our sword deep and only then will we hear Victory’s call.

We shall fight a battle every day against discouragement and fear; some foe stands always in our way; and the path ahead is never clear! We must forever be on guard against the doubts that skulk along; we get ahead by fighting hard, but fighting keeps our spirit strong. We hear the croaking of despair; the dark predictions of the weak; we find ourselves pursued by care no matter what the end we seek; our victories are not small and few; it matters not how hard we strive; each day the fight begins anew, but fighting keeps our hopes alive.

Our dreams that we earned in 1971 are spoiled by some rogue politicians. Our upright causes are wrecked by the skullduggeries of those nefarious of people. Some hour, perhaps, will come our chance, but that great hour has never struck; our progress has been slow and hard, we have to climb and crawl and swim, fight for ever stubborn yard; but we have kept in fighting trim. We have to fight our doubts away and be on guard against our fears; the feeble croaking of dismay has been familiar through the years; our dearest actions must keep going right, events combine to thwart our will; but fighting keeps our spirit strong, and are we undefeated still! NO, not, at all!
Arise, our soul, arise; shake off our guilty fears; the bleeding sacrifice in our behalves appears: before the throne our surety stands; their checkered names are written on our hands. They ever live above, for us to intercede; their all-redeeming love, their precious blood to plead; their blood atoned for our entire race, and sprinkles now the throne of grace. Their bleeding wounds they bear received on the jailhouse floors; they pour effectual prayers, they strongly speak for us.

Their spirit answers to the blood, and tells us we were born for loving of our beloved country - Bangladesh. We can no longer fear: with confidence we now draw nigh, and Dear Leaders, we cry for your absence in the soil of Bangladesh that you once created for us. We remember them with all sacrosanct.

If one person awake, awakens another. The second awakens his next-door brother and sister. The three awake can rouse a town by turning the whole place upside down. The many awake can make such abustle; it finally awakens the rest of us. One person up with dawn in his or her eyes, surely then multiplies. We must not forget this!

-The End-

The writer is a senior citizen of Bangladesh, writes on politics, political and human-centred figures, current and international affairs

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