Martyred Intellectuals’ Day

The Pakistan military forces and their local collaborators — Razakar, Al-Badr and Al-Shams — abducted leading intellectuals and professionals of Bangladesh on December 14, 1971 during the Liberation War and killed them to cripple the nation intellectually. Academics, litterateurs, physicians, engineers, journalists and other eminent personalities were dragged blindfolded out of their houses and killed brutally at Rayer Bazar and in other killing fields in the city just before the two days of the victory. For the last 37 years after the independence, in this day the whole Bangladesh pays tribute to those Martyred Intellectuals.

My deepest gratitute to those best sons and daughters of the nation. Bangladesh Post Office had published a series of stamps in their memory. Here are those stamps [courtesy to BANGLAR]:

Story of a Martyred Intellectual of 71’s war

14th December 1971, history remorses for the killings of intellectuals of Bangladesh in this day. When the Pakistani Military realized that they were totally unable to defeat Bangladesh in the Liberation war, they tried to crack the psychological strength of freedom fighters by killing numerous intellectuals of Bangladesh. But off course they failed!! I am here to tell the story of one of such bright sons of Bangladesh, who was happened to my relative.

Nizamuddin Ahmed, younger brother of my grand-father, is a martyred intellectuals who was killed on 14th December 1971, just before two days of the Victory of Liberation War. I never saw him actually, but my grandfather never forgot his brother for a single moment in the rest of his life.

Nizam Uddin Ahmed

Nizamuddin Ahmed was born in Munshiganj in 1929. He was a journalist. He passed B.A (Hons) and M.A in Economics from Dhaka University in 1959. Later he joined Pakistan Press International. He became the editor of PPI in 1969 and was promoted to the rank of general manager.

He was an ardent supporter of the liberation war of Bangladesh. He used to send news items on the atrocities of the Pakistani forces to various foreign news media. He had taken New York Times journalist McBrown to a guerrilla camp to collect authentic news. He provided BBC with authentic news under strict censorship. For this reason he was taken to General Rao Forman Ali’s office on two occasions.

On December 12, 1971, while he was taking his lunch, members of Al-Badr (a branch organization of Razakaar) picked him up from his residence forcefully. At that moment there was none but his mother in the house. That was the last time his mother saw him alive. After the victory of Bangladesh, my grand-father took every possible steps to find out his brother’s body, whether he was dead or alive. But his body was never been found.

We’ve passed 36 victory days but the murderers were went unpunished. Not only Nizamuddin, the Razakaars (now they formed Jamat-e-Islami) killed numerous intellectuals from Bangladesh at 1971. But what our political leaders did with them? Whether it was Awami League or BNP, they just made collaboration with them for the power. And at the present day the Caretaker Government is doing actually nothing to the Jamat-e-Islami for their past misdeed. These beasts are roaming in our country, which costs the blood of 3 million martyrs. Does our politics really think of our country? I don’t know. But one thing is sure that I hate the Razakaars as well as the political parties and the individuals, who have already abandoned their moralities for the wealth and power by supporting the Razakaars.

Can’t we dream of a Bangladesh, which is free from the liberation war opposer? Can’t we do something to make the liberation war’s martyr’s dream true?

First Diplomat from Bangladesh.

Abul Fateh (born 1924) is the Bangladesh diplomat who became that country’s first Foreign Secretary when it gained its independence in 1971. He was an unusual diplomat of his time, as he was Bengali-born, but had managed to work his way up the ranks of the Pakistani power structure. Then when Bangladesh began seeking independence, it was a massive morale boost for the Bangladeshi people, for people of Fateh’s stature to resign from the Pakistani power structure, and support the fledgling country of Bangladesh. Fateh was the highest-ranked and most senior foreign service officer in the new country. His story was later documented in a National Geographic documentary, Running for Freedom.

After the Pakistani military crackdown in March 1971, Abul Fateh received a request from a former university dormitory mate, Syed Nazrul Islam, to join the liberation struggle. At about the same time, in July 1971, Fateh received a summons from the Pakistan Foreign Ministry to attend a conference in Tehran of regional Pakistani ambassadors. He chose to take his official car ostensibly to drive to Tehran but, as he and his driver approached the Iran-Iraq border, he feigned chest pains and ordered the driver to return him home, where he arrived that evening. Saying that he would take a plane the next day, he dismissed the driver. That night, he fled with his wife and sons across the border into Kuwait, from where they took a plane to London.

The announcement of Fateh’s defection to the Bangladesh cause marked the first time a full ambassador had joined the fledgling Bangladesh diplomatic service. The news was received with fury by the military regime in Islamabad, which meanwhile had discovered that on the afternoon just before his supposed departure for Tehran, he had cleared out the Pakistan Embassy bank account in Baghdad to the benefit of the Bangladesh government. The military regime’s requests to extradite him from London were rebuffed by the British Government. These events were chronicled in a 2003 National Geographic Channel television documentary, Running for Freedom.

Abul Fateh (second from left) with his family in London.

The Mujibnagar government made him ambassador-at-large, followed in August 1971 by the concurrent position of Advisor to the Acting President, a position he was to resign in January 1972 after the return to Bangladesh of Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman. He had a leading role, as the Bangladesh movement’s senior-most diplomat, in a delegation under Justice Abu Sayed Choudhury which went to the United Nations in New York to lobby for the Bangladesh cause. He was also in communication with other governments, such as the Nixon administration via the French consul. He was one of the first high officials to reach Dhaka after its liberation, and was quartered with other senior officials in Bangabhaban until January 1972. Already the effective head of the incipient foreign service, he became Foreign Secretary at the end of 1971.