FB   
 
Powered bysps
        Society for Policy Studies
 
 

 
When Pakistan questioned its history
Posted:Mar 12, 2015
 
Print
Share
  
increase Font size decrease Font size
 
 By Salil Tripathi 
 
21 February resonates with special meaning for Bangladeshis. That morning in 1952, hundreds of students of what was then known as Dacca University came to their campus to protest against restrictions placed on public assembly. The students were part of the movement that sought equal recognition for the language spoken most widely in East Bengal, and the mother tongue of most, Bangla. Bangladesh was part of Pakistan then, and the national language was Urdu. The police arrested some students, and more students went to demonstrate at the East Bengal Legislative Assembly. When some students attempted to enter the premises, police opened fire and several students were killed. For Bangla nationalists, 21 February became martyrs’ day; the language movement, which would ultimately culminate in what Bangladeshis call the war of liberation, and the country’s independence in 1971 was now unstoppable. On 21 February this year, I was in Lahore. I entered the hall at the impressive Alhamra Art Centre, the home of the Lahore Literary Festival, before a nearly-packed audience of Pakistanis, who were curious about my book, The Colonel Who Would Not Repent: The Bangladesh War and its Unquiet Legacy, published last November. The talented radical musician Taimur Rahman, who is part of the progressive group Laal, and teaches political science at the Lahore University of Management Sciences, had the unenviable task of steering a discussion about my book—and the 1971 war, which broke Pakistan—that was bound to reopen old wounds. My co-panelists were Sadaf Saaz Siddiqi, a poet from Dhaka who has worked for the rehabilitation of birangonas, as the Bangladeshi women who survived sexual violence in 1971 are known, and the brave human rights activist from Lahore, Hina Jilani, who protested against the war and would later during that hour tell us about her experience of trying to get Pakistanis to oppose violence in East Pakistan by signing petitions on Mall Road in Lahore, only to be ridiculed, and she recalled others telling her they were occasionally spat at.
 
 
 
 
 
 
Print
Share
  
increase Font size decrease Font size
 

Disclaimer: South Asia Monitor does not accept responsibility for the views or ideology expressed in any article, signed or unsigned, which appears on its site. What it does accept is responsibility for giving it a chance to appear and enter the public discourse.
Comments (Total Comments 0) Post Comments Post Comment
Review
 
 
 
 
spotlight image Relations between India and Morocco go back a millennium with the first recorded links dating to the 14th century, when the famous traveller and writer from Tangier, Ibn Batuta, travelled to India.
 
read-more
Stepping up action against terrorists attacking India, President Donald Trump's Administration has declared Hizb-ul Mujahideen (HM) a “global terrorist organisation” in an attempt to choke off financial and other support to it.
 
read-more
On 14 August 1947 Pakistan, consisting of East and West Pakistan, celebrated its independence. The 14th was chosen for the ceremony because Lord Mountbatten who came to Karachi as the Chief Guest had to later leave for Delhi where ot the midnight stroke India was to declare its independence.
 
read-more
The Doklam stand-off and a variety recent opinion pieces in magazines and newspapers draws attention to the poor state of defence policy preparedness and the lack of meaningful higher defence control in India. 
 
read-more
The two ideologically divergent ruling partners - the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) - in Jammu and Kashmir are headed for a showdown as the debate over the abrogation of Article 35A of the Constitution of India heats up.
 
read-more
At the root of the present Doklam crisis is China’s intrusion into Bhutanese territory for its road building projects. These connectivity projects are integral to President Xi Jinping’s dream project, the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI). India and Bhutan were the only two countries that did not participate in the first forum
 
read-more
It wasn’t so long ago that the whole world watched as Donald Trump sashayed on to the Riyadh red carpet and stole the show with his tough talk on Iranian-sponsored terrorism.
 
read-more
A vehicular attack to maximise casualties and spread panic is now a well-tested terrorist strategy in European cities.
 
read-more
It is a privilege to be invited to this most prestigious of law schools in the country, more so for someone not formally lettered in the discipline of law. I thank the Director and the faculty for this honour.
 
read-more
Column-image

As talk of war and violence -- all that Mahatma Gandhi stood against -- gains prominence across the world, a Gandhian scholar has urged that the teachings of the apostle of non-violence be taken to the classroom.

 
Column-image

Interview with Hudson Institute’s Aparna Pande, whose book From Chanakya to Modi: Evolution of India’s Foreign Policy, was released on June 17.

 
Column-image

This is the continuing amazing spiritual journey of a Muslim man from Kerala who plunged into Vedic religion after a chance encounter with a Hindu mystic under a jackfruit tree in the backyard of his house when he was just nine. It is a story w...

 
Column-image

History is told by the victors but in our modern age, even contemporary events get - or are given - a slant, where some contributors soon get eclipsed from the narrative or their images tarnished.

 
Column-image

Humans have long had a fear of malignant supernatural beings but there may be times when even the latter cannot compare with the sheer evil and destructiveness mortals may be capable of. But then seeking to enable the end of the world due to it...

 
Subscribe to our newsletter
Archive