The editorial of a englisch newspaper of Bangladesh.
Today is the 40th anniversary of our victory in the 1971 War of Liberation against the Pakistani occupation army. After the Independence Day on 26th March, this day marks the culmination and the ultimate victory of the Bengali people's protracted struggle for emancipation from subjugation and oppression by foreign occupation forces.
Through celebration of this day amid much fervour we declare to the whole world how proud we are about our success in vanquishing the enemy of our freedom. But do all our responsibilities towards the nation and its people end with the celebration of the Victory Day?
How much we remember today with a profound sense of gratitude the contributions of Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman and the other four leaders in making this historic day possible. We recall too, the valiant fight waged by the whole people who turned into soldiers of freedom.
We recall the neighbouring India's generous and unflinching support in sheltering and caring for the millions of refugees who were encamped in the Indian soil. The words of tribute will be incomplete if we do not recognise and reminisce the sacrifices of the Indian army shoulder to shoulder with the Muktibahini in the joint force.
A word of thanks is due to the international community and the media who were a tower of strength at our hour of need. They did a tremendous catalytic job of securing goodwill for Bangladesh's cause for which no word of gratitude would be enough.
Now, after the triumph of democracy two decades back, people pinned much hope on our politicians, who they expected, would rid the nation of the legacy of assassinating our national leaders and liberation heroes, usurpation of state power through extra-constitutional means and of foisting of dictatorial rulers upon the people. People believed the return of democracy, for which they have been struggling so long both before and after the independence, would now deliver the exploitation-free just society ushering the era of their economic prosperity they had dreamt of.
If truth be told, much of the dream remains unfulfilled. Unfortunately, after the fall of autocracy and return to democracy, the nation has been witnessing the rise of confrontational politics of the worst kind. The ruling party, rather than taking the opposition into confidence and giving them the necessary space for criticising the government for its lapses, is forever in its pursuit of bashing and holding it at bay. The opposition, on the other hand, far from meeting the constituency's expectations, is keeping itself aloof from attending the Jatiya Sangsad, the national parliament, where they might put across their grievances, their opinions about where the government is failing the people and what wrongs it has done to the opposition leaders and activists. Far from that, it is rather busy getting a political mileage out of the eviction of the opposition leader from her cantonment residence by a court order. In this case, the opposition leaders and activists are defaulting on the fact that the very spirit of democracy is to abide by the law, which makes no distinction between the big and the small, the leader and those led.
The net outcome of this pervasive infantilism in politics is that the people are being denied their right to lead a better life, the craving for which the victory in the liberation war had instilled into their hearts. It is therefore time, those in power as well as in opposition, had an honest soul searching and sorted out all the issues that are coming in the way of national progress and address those in the revitalised spirit of democracy. And that should be our pledge on this 40th national Victory Day.