Editor’s note

01The most important political event in the history of the people of Bangladesh remains the country’s successful war of liberation against the occupation forces of Pakistan in 1971. Bangladesh emerged independent on December 16, 1971 through fire and blood, braving one of the world’s worst genocide that the Pakistani military junta unleashed on the people of Bangladesh on March 25 the same year.
Politically presided over by the government-in-exile of the Awami League, headed by Tajuddin Ahmad, the liberation war turned to be a people’s war, which was being conducted in the name of Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, who, although away from the scene, became the symbol of the Bengali hopes and aspirations in those years. But for a few anti-people parties with insignificant popular support such as the Jamaat-e-Islami, the nationalist war was participated by almost all the political parties of the country — liberal nationalist and revolutionary communist. However, the people at large, mostly poor, men and women, even the children, was the central strength behind the Mukti Bahini, the armed guerrillas composed of young people mostly from the poor classes and the regular Mukti Fauj, raised in the battle fields with the members of the EPR, Bengali police officers and constables as well as the Bengali army officers and soldiers who defected to Bangladesh, and, of course, the fresh recruits, which wrestled out independence. Many a member of different ethnic minority communities also joined the liberation war.
The country’s dominant political parties, the Awami League and the Bangladesh Nationalist Party, who have ruled the country for most of the time, however, present their own narratives of the liberation war, in which roles of the ‘others’ are either absent or marginalised. They are out to monopolize the greatest part of the national history — the history of the liberation war.
In the times of such partisan monopolization of a people’s history of the struggle for national independence, it is a political responsibility of the intellectually honest national media to give voice to those ‘others’, who had also made significant contributions towards the independence. New Age, therefore, has decided this time to provide space to the left, which were divided those days, to tell readers about their contributions to the great war of liberation. While reading it, the valued readers would also realise that the liberation war, like any other national war for independence on earth, was not a simple affair; it was rather a complex one, in the process of which many a force has played many kinds of role — good and bad. However, braving all odds, eventually it was the patriotic politicians, liberal and left, and the freedom fighters, who, with active support and sympathy of the rest of the people, have given us the precious gift called Bangladesh.

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