We got our Bangladesh by giving blood of million martyrs. More than three million people were killed, nearly a quarter of a million women were raped, and over 10 million people were forced to take refuge in India to escape brutal persecution at home. After nine-month-long war of liberation, we became independent in 1971. I did not see the liberation war but heard their sacrifices from family members, relatives. I have not experience the 1971 Liberation War but feel that great spirit today.
Running eight days the people of all walk of life gathered at the city’s busiest intersection, Shahbag square demanding capital punishment to all war criminals including Jamaat assistant secretary general Abdul Quader Mollah. Even the protestors have forgotten to sleep or eat. This movement was launched by the bloggers and online activist Network on 5 February, 2013 but it soon transformed into a general people's movement.
This movement started when Bangladesh International Crimes Tribunal sentenced Mollah to life in prison. He was accused a series of killings including large-scale massacres, gang rape in the liberation period. Frustrated at a crimes verdict agitating peoples have been showing their dissatisfaction at Shahbag square, later known as Generation square. From east to the west, people were everywhere. Overwhelming was the participation of young generation -- students of schools, college and universities - the life force of the movement. They sang patriotic songs, recited poems; some arranged for screening of films on the history of the Liberation War. Many activists shared their experiences and updated the events online; a few got together and filmed a three-minute documentary on the premises over the last four days. "Join the Fight" is the title of the documentary, where a brief history of The Liberation War was also narrated.
All these have turned the venue of protest into a nice colorful exhibition of artwork and music amid peace and harmony. The encouraging slogans, which were commonly chanted during the Liberation War, once again encouraged the people, mostly the youth.
The protest has spread to other parts of the country. People of all classes and religions within the country and abroad are raising their voices for the same demand—“Hang War Criminals”. The National Parliament expressed solidarity with the demonstrators.
Youths driven by the ’71 spirit, joined the venue were demanding capital punishment for all war criminals, ban Jamaat from politics and Boycott all Jamaat institutions. They also submitted a six-point charter to the Speaker on Sunday, demanding death penalty for all war criminals including Mollah, and revocation of the state's power to grant them amnesty. The movement will continue from Teknaf to Tetulia until capital punishment is handed down on those Razakar and Al-Badr members who committed crimes against humanity like mass killing and rape in 1971.
Social networking websites and blogs were abuzz following the verdict as people updated their status on Facebook, tweeted, posted messages and articles denouncing the judgment.
The movement at Shahbagh belongs not to any political group, organization or network, but to all those men, women and children who show up so eagerly every day at the intersection, leaving behind jobs and family responsibilities, to fulfill their dream of a Bangladesh they want to see.
We do not know that protest is going to be crowned with success or not, but people still joined the movement to do justice with the martyrs of '71.We proved that we were successful to keep the Spirit of '71 alive. If that's true, it isn't impossible to be on the winning side once again like 1971.
The people from all walks of life observed a three-minute silence across the country on Tuesday afternoon to express solidarity with the demand of death penalty for all war criminals.
The entire country is in the ’71 mood and we are witnessing '71 in the year of 2013. We have the courage to raise our voice with others in this demand. And hope the spirit of the mass never dies down. Everybody should come to make this movement a success.