History 1971: Our diseased and 'illegitimate' incubation?
"Aspirations of the people, are best understood by those, that transpire and conspire, in a MIND GAME called Power"
What are we really arguing about?
The recent trend is not new, nor is there any chance for anybody accepting anything other than what serves the existing status quo. Before long, yet another new 'value added' power player will appear in the horizon to checkmate whatever has been 'undone', add newer distortions while editing out 'old distortions' and the plain bottom line; we would be back to square 1, to where it all started: to 2 steps forward and 3 steps backwards to - nowhere?
Lord behold, we are the only 'nation' on God's earth to have our eyes placed at the back of our skulls!
History as played out in Bangladesh is only for those with a conceited vision of the present in relation to the past. The pasts again are rehashed moments of our glorious warrior's fame, battles and skirmishes, but the irony is - try as we might to fool ourselves, we did not WIN the war, so forget the oft bulldozed terms: 'Proclaimer of Independence' or the 'Father of the Nation'.
We were never WINNERS - we were merely on a 'win, win spree' in 1971 and breezed through some skirmishes which we heroically call 'battles' in which the poorest of the poor got killed, not us city bred educated elite who have since taken upon the mantles of the 'Liberation War' only to protect our inadequacies, and reap a bonanza HISTORY literally brought to our shores.
Winners do not behave as badly as we do. If it was WAR that we have WON, then thirty-three years down the line, the idiosyncratic repeat of differing and conflicting versions of 'history' would never have occurred. NOT at tax payers expense, not in the Parliament where we had voted some irresponsible jokers to sit in air-conditioned comfort, and hoped would guide our bleached destiny into things more tangible, like law and order, food and the emancipation of the common man to set himself firmly in the global world.
The faults is certainly OURS - for we have convinced ourselves into believing that our politicians are our only solution, while HISTORY tells us that they never deserved the trust we unflinchingly reposed on them, despite their countless treachery. Remember all those the pre-polls 'ongikaars' or 'commitments' ?
History is a constant search (or is it research) in trying to get a fix on all the coordinates possible, more like a modern day football or cricket game with two dozens cameras following every move of the ball and how it is played about. History ought to be the domain of historians, not that of half literate Members of Parliaments, or heads of Government and Opposition.
Like it or not, we tend to think history is a simple eatable in the menu. Far from it, it is more complex than rocket science, for it has neither beginning nor an end, and there are no FINAL words in history per se. Destinations are not what history seeks, they look for variables in versions and try and locate the ordinary out of the apparent 'extra-ordinary'. Sieving lies from half-truth and so-called truth is the prime reason history was born. History is an inordinately dangerous commodity to be left entirely in the hands of politicians, (like wars are equally dangerous left in the hands of Generals alone) who would rather fixate on their much 'beloved' (or loathed?) supremo with their Stalinist or Hitleristic visions and 'dreams'!
"We are a halfhearted nation, desperately redefining our halfhearted freedom, debating: if this was a donated moment from the past, arguing passionately, if it was worthwhile for so many to have died and call this BRAVERY, or sensible to have indulged in treachery, with the enemy, with all his savagery"
Little do we realize that this charade of HISTORY being played out doesn't make any of us look intelligent and the annoying debates and the reams being written only points to our bankrupt morality, our foggy imagination, our constipated egos, our pathological lying, our wasted sense of value, our myopic incapacitation, and per chance if all of the above is not enough - we have somehow decided that we will sit back and take it all in stride and clap the sides that does a 'quick fix' on the 'other?' outsmarts and out debates one debater after the other, or to suspend them 'temporarily', as providence creates new 'threats to our INDEPENDENCE' with floodwaters ominously close and on verge of actually wetting the bottoms of our well ironed pants!
So much for our patriotism, and much of it depends on the side of history you choose to accept as the truth. It is this MY WAY OR THE HIGHWAY mentality in play here, and while we would write a million words on the Bushonian caveat of "Either you are with us or with the terrorist" - there is no Iranian among us Bangladesh patriots to remind Khaleda Zia or Sheikh Hasina - that we are with neither of you, because we have better things to do, and importantly what your spouse or your father did - was no FAVOUR, but a sacred duty that was done, because it had to be done.
Thanking the two leaders, their wives and children and their children's children and so forth, we have done aplenty over the last thirty-three years, but expecting us to thank them all of the time, is expecting a thanks one too many.
It is not a question of who the bigger hero is; the question is one of duty to the nation. When the enemy attacks and kills your brother or rapes your mother - you have no time to even think how HISTORY will record your reactions, for when you retaliate, you also know for a fact that you may not even live to see the next morning. You go about annihilating the enemy the best way you think fit, and by that the last thing on your mind is to be decorated for gallantry or some fine 'golden lines' written in a history book. Macabre as this may sound, WAR is a theatre where the living tramples over the skeletons of the dead and makes the most when they come out alive. Dying is cheap - so living has got to be expensive and the best thing to do is con yourself into becoming a historian or an expert on this or that. That is a lesson from history that we ought not to forget.
The past as told to us in relation to the present is again hazardous material. Consider for instance how history would have been written if Sheikh Mujib and Ziaur Rahman were both killed in 1971? Consider also, had the tide of war changed and went against our aspirations where we would be today?
Lest we forget, history typically has never been fair to losers.
None of the major players in the 'real game? of 1971 being alive, what we have been deluged with over the weeks are sidekick versions of the 'real story', by people who were in the right position at the wrong time or vice versa. Compare that with times in football or cricket's 'history' before the advent of television; and you would have fifty different versions depending on where in the stadium you managed to place your itchy back during the course of the game. Sidekicks are well sidekicks!
The referee being the most important part of the game, would usually be the last to know what happened. Today this nation called Bangladesh is positioned to speak up as the 'referee' in the 1971 HISTORY saga, and to be fair it is not an entirely enviable position to be in.
If we are to accept the reality of the 'referee' hypothesis, the first and most important thing we need to examine is: Why is this nation Bangladesh a 'Motherland' yet by some quirk of fate also has a 'Father of the Nation' ?
Does it mean that we had a 'virgin Mother' all along and just needed a father to 'do us a favor' for us 'offspring's' to be born - and a Bengalee for all practical purpose would be more like IT?
The question therefore has fewer answers for it borders on our legitimacy as a nation, i.e. if that be the case, who was it that impregnated Bangladesh to cause the Mother to deliver the much diseased fetus - 'nine calendar months' never being the full course of gestation for any physical birth? Are we brave enough to accept that we have had a premature birth and it is this unexplained illegitimacy that is causing all the heartburn's and that for thirty-three God forsaken years we have not been able to come out of the faulty incubator placed on us to breathe easy, to taste freedom, as we really MUST?
To the sore point of legitimacy, the debate as to who 'declared' the Independence of Bangladesh, is equal to two fathers claiming paternity of a single child, little realizing that the 'mother' in the melee has either been raped, was a two timing flirt, or worse a slut or whore - surely Bangladesh our 'motherland' deserves better.
Not much changed since this poem was written in 1994 where it ended:
"Bangladesh in 1994, is like a ravished, well bedded, over used WHORE, who smiles with pride each time, for a price to its next CLIENT, and calls it INDEPENDENCE"
Does the 'Motherland' weep in shame as much as we do?
Quotes from Mac's poem Bangladesh '94
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