Bangladesh bemoans Manekshaw, a personal elegy
It was 1971, the year of liberation war of Bangladesh, which was started from the late hours of 25th March of 1971 and ended on December 16th of the same year. As of my memory, I had seen an influx of quarter size posters photographed with Bangababdhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, (father of the nation, who was detained in Pakistan), Indira Gandhi (the then prime minister of India), General MAG Osmani (Commander in Chief of Freedom Fighters of Bangladesh) and General Sam Manekshaw (Chief of the Indian Army and the joint India-Bangladesh command). This poster was such popular that it was collected by boys to older, poor to affluent, unlettered to scholars; in fact this poster was collected by the mass of Bangladesh.
As of my personal concern, in 1971, I was a student of five grades in primary school. I had the ability to understand the cruelty of war, pain of death and sting of destruction. But as a minor, no one inspired me to join in front fight, which is a personal pain for me till today. Anyway the above said poster was the symbol of victory to me and possibly to all against the invader Pakistani Army. As a matter of recognition and honour general Manekshaw was being ranked as Field Marshal after the war 71.
Today, after nearly four decades, when I informed that Field Marshal Manekshaw passed away, feeling was that we have lost a kind neighbour, a good friend, a well wisher and a blind supporter.
The death of Field Marshal Sam Manekshaw was deeply condoled in Bangladesh. Foreign Affairs Adviser Iftekhar Ahmed Chowdhury said in a message to his Indian counterpart Pranab Mukherjee, “The people and the government of Bangladesh will always recall with warm gratitude his signal contribution to our War of Liberation and his association with a glorious epoch in the history of Bangladesh’s evolution.”
Army Chief of staff General Moeen U. Ahmed said in his condolence message: Manekshaw’s successful leadership as the chief of the allied force in the Liberation War in 1971 had helped Bangladesh achieve a quick victory in the war.
The death of Field Marshal Sam Manekshaw was also widely condoled in Dhaka by numbers of political parties, social organisations, freedom fighters, professionals and intellectuals. In many separate messages they recall the contribution of the depart soul to the rapid emergence of Bangladesh in the globe.
It should be recall that under his command, in 1971 invader Pakistani army was bound to final surrender with 92000 solider in Dhaka and that was the end of the liberation war of Bangladesh.
When all concerned were engaged in condolence, personally I was in nostalgia of a heavily coloured poster, which was a symbol of victory for a school boy of grade five. WORDS ARE FEW WHEN THE HEART IS FULLOF SORROW.
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