A different Falgun at Shahbagh

Shahbagh hasn’t seen it in years. Pahela Falgun is there. But couples rarely whisper romantic couplets, roses don’t change hands like before, the colour yellow can’t be seen as it used to be over the past years.

A much stronger love has descended on the city heart, a spirit that once led the Bangalees to free the nation from the clutch of the Pakistani rulers. A resolute people has now occupied what once used to be the most frequented place for couples only. Slogans pour incessantly, as scores of new faces throng what is now known as ‘Projonmo Chottor’ like the past eight days.

Songs have turned into slogans, slogans songs; all tuned to the demand of a just trial of the war criminals. Thousands of people demand in unison justice for the 1971 genocide.

The Shahbagh protesters are continuing their demonstration as the movement entered the ninth straight day on Wednesday.

Half of the demonstrators attired in traditional yellow dress joined the protest at the intersection, chanting slogans “ei bashonte bashonta dag (mark of chickenpox) nipat jak, nipat jak”.

Pahela Falgun heralds the first day of the spring, the king of the season, and every year in Bangladesh, the occasion was marked with festivity and welcome songs. But this year, Falgun will be welcomed by rendering protest songs at Shahbagh.

People from all walks of life, mostly students of different schools and colleges were marching towards the protest venue since the morning chanting slogans. Vendors were seen busy with selling flowers in and around the protest venue.

Dhakabashi, a socio-cultural voluntary organisation, joined the protest around noon.

Hundreds of outraged students, activists and ordinary citizens started the non-stop movement on February 5, soon after a war crimes tribunal sentenced Jamaat-e-Islami leader Abdul Quader Mollah to life term in prison for crimes against humanity during the country’s 1971 Liberation War.

Though the ‘Bloggers and Online Activist Network’ started the demonstration, soon it transformed into a people’s movement.

The movement spread to other parts of the country getting louder with the call for capital punishment for all war criminals.

On Tuesday afternoon, the protesters and countrymen held a three-minute silence to press home the demand for death penalty for all war criminals including Mollah.

After holding the silence protest, the protesters vowed to continue their movement and said that Jamaat-Shibir would no way be able to stop the people’s movement, not even by exploding bombs or carrying out attacks.

Later, they declared a two-day programme to press home their demand.

As par the programme, the youths will render protest songs at Shahbagh at 3:00pm on Wednesday and hold a countrywide candlelight vigil at 7:00pm on Thursday in the memory of the martyrs killed by Jamaat and its student wing during and after the Liberation War.

The protesters on Sunday submitted a six-point charter to the Speaker, demanding death penalty for all war criminals, and revocation of the state’s power to grant them amnesty.

The other demands include an amendment to the International Crimes Tribunal Act, allowing appeals against inadequate punishment and disposal of appeals from both the defence and the prosecution within three months of their filing.

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on the same day thanked the youths for raising voice against the 1971 war criminals.

The organisers held a grand rally at Shahbagh intersection on Friday where tens of thousands thronged and called for the death penalty for all war criminals of the Liberation War.

Source: The Daily Star


  1. 1971 was a grand slam for India. Bangladeshi freedom fighters under their army wing did a great job of liberating Bangladesh and make them win what Nehru always wanted; i.e. distegrate and nuter Pakistan. After the crackdown by the Pakistani army on 25th March 1971, almost 10 million visitors went to India as the Indian border crossings were all open. Indian intelligence and the civil service trained the Bangladeshis to make plays, write poems and songs to depict Pakistanis as horrible and less than human. These were sung in a nicely choreographed set up. Not that the Paki army was good. They did horrendous acts. But the propaganda machinery in India created a phenomenal culture within these expats in Calcutta and Mujibnagar. When these artists came back to Bangladesh; they kept singing the same songs till today; and kept on adding more and more. Like 3 million people killed. CIA had the figures at 200,000. The higher figure off course; was Indian generated propaganda and fed to the Bangladeshi expats who loved this figure. It made a monster out of Pakistani soldiers and bid well for the Indians. What Bangladeshis are doing today is dancing the same tune; writing more and more poems, composing thousands of songs, stories and books after books based on questionable facts. Not that Pakis were good. But I have not seen any leaders courageous enough to come out and fix the story right and stand tall as a nationalist. They are scared to write facts as they know they will be called Razakars or sympathizers of the people who opposed independence; carrying stigma that will stink or lose his/her life. The emotions have been charged up so much that no one would dare to write anything that will oppose the myth. Bangladeshis would prefer to live in the wonderland of myths. They even do not write or talk about the thousands of families and unarmed Biharis who were murdered ruthlessly by the Mukti Joddhas. Bangladesh government even does not recognize this carnage. So when you see these kids in Shahbagh, you should curse yourself and say why were they never told the true history? Once again; the Indians came to play. They wrote the script and we are dancing to their tune and choreography. We Bangladeshis like to think we are independent. Actually we are not. We have been engulfed by the Indians from within and outside. Yes sir; I am talking about the present situation. If you have some brains, you will know it immediately when you come and stay in Dhaka for 3 to 4 weeks. You will hear about fraud stories of Mukti Joddha bravery even from people who were not even born in 1971. Indians would like to colonize Bangladesh without owning it as it is cheaper and better; Chanakya diplomacy in full action. Meanwhile we should eat the carrots and be happy while they screw us. Perhaps we should practice to enjoy it as you will not be able cross over to your friendly brother anymore as they made those impenetrable fences all throughout your boundaries almost 2500 kilo meters of it. Their border guards have been ordered to shoot to kill. If BJP comes to power you will again get rejuvenated as they will screw you more. My advice; get your stories right; demand India to provide you with the true history from their archives of 1971 war and before. Also you should do the same with the United States. Ask them to give the Nixon and Kissinger papers. You may write thousands of books and display them at Boi Mela; you will have learned nothing. Bangladeshis are not aware of their true history as their text books in the schools are fudged with made up history by the politicians who are out to sell their country to India.

  2. Thank you Kaiser Ali for writing a long comment on the report above. In my short comment, I would only say that the present leadership of our country have no allegiance to Bangladesh and deserve to be tried for treason. I fervently hope that the ‘Falguni Mela at Shahbagh’ add to their list these elements who are looting our country and trying to sell our beloved country to another country. We simply cannot let it happen.


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