From the spur of patriotic inspiration to the blood-drunk struggle for independence, we the people of Bangladesh have gone through unusual circumstances through extraordinary measures. We have significant history as far as conventional patriotism is concerned. 3 million people lost their lives in achieving the free country that we call our own today, with the likes of (Abdus) Salam, (Abdul) Jabbar, (Abul) Barkat, Rafiq (Uddin Ahmed) and many others.
A patriot, a person who vigorously supports their country and is prepared to defend it against enemies or detractors. We mourn their loss of lives and sing songs about how we shall never forget them. The fact is we never should and surely had it not been for their unparalleled sacrifice, we would not have been independent. But to be honest how much do we really appreciate their sacrifice? Has their sacrifice really been worth as much as they thought it would have been? The 1971 war was not just about ending the reign of tyranny and oppression. It was about the kind of change that even people of my generation still dream about.
The songs, the poetry the literature are all irrelevant if that is all we have to give back to the brave men and women who rest beneath the soil of their beloved nation. We might as well not recognize their sacrifice at all if the only purpose of doing so is waving a flag, dressing in red and green, and making pseudo patriotic statements. On this day few ended the fight against many for redemption and prevailed. The first step towards building Bangladesh was taken by the millions of brave men, women and children of the land. On 16th December 1971, we the average people of this nation decided to let the world know that Bangladesh was here to stay.
Somewhere along the way, the inspiration and momentum was lost. The fight for noble beliefs soon gave in to incomprehensible array of corruption. We failed to deliver the promise of a golden Bengal. I have always resented the fact that our songs of liberation have had such somber tones. With no offense to our profound authors and songwriters, our national memory through beliefs and practice have become nothing more than a mass-murder tragedy.
I find reason to believe that the pride of our fathers deserves a bigger realm of appreciation. I find the need to celebrate their lives and their eternal place in glory while carrying on where they left off. The torch has been passed, and it has been a while. For all else that follows, for everything that needs to change, and the Bangladesh we dream to see, on this day let us accede to never stop believing. To the pride of our fathers, Joy Bangla.