Indian envoy urges new generation to recapture 1971 history
Indian High Commissioner in Dhaka Vikram K Doraiswami on Thursday urged the new generations to recapture the 1971 history saying his country fought alongside the Bengalis while individuals on both sides have near-identical stories of sacrifices and agonies as well.
“There were so many families and women, who were left as ‘half widows’ . . . we have that numbers in India too,” he told a seminar titled “The Martyrs of the Bangladesh War and Dhaka-Delhi Current Ties at the India House in the capital.
The envoy said all of them equally deserved “sympathy and respect” and as grateful nations “we will have to recapture that history”.
The event also witnessed the launching of two books -- “Half Widow – A Woman and the Bangladesh War” and “Muktijuddho: Ajana Addhya” – both authored by journalist Nadeem Qadir.
Doraiswami said the root of friendship between the two neighbours could be traced back to 1971 and “we have to acknowledge the origins of friendship”.
“We may have off-course issues that we may not agree, but if we look at our relations over the last 10 years, the glass is half full, not half empty. . . the glass which is half full has a prospect,” he said.
The envoy said the Bangladesh-India relationship took major steps forward that many countries were struggling to do over decades as “we have resolved (many things) and we are in the process of further resolve (the pending issues)”.
Aroma Dutta, MP spoke on the occasion as the special guest while war veteran and journalist Haroon Habib presented the key-note paper at the function organized by Roktodhara ’71, a forum of 1971 martyrs children in collaboration with the Indian High Commission in Dhaka.
Qadir, also the president of the organization, moderated the seminar when former army chief General (retd) Md Abdul Mubeen, Lieutenant General (retd) Abul Hossain, Professor Meghna Guhathakurta and managing editor of Bangladesh Sangbad Sangstha (BSS) Anisur Rahman spoke as designated discussants.
Aroma Dutta stressed the need for revisiting the struggling stories of the martyrs so the bonding grew and was institutionalized.
Mentioning that the successors of the martyrs had to go through untold sufferings and struggles, she underscored that such missing links should have to be highlighted.
Haroon Habib in his key-note address said that the political leaders of both countries must look beyond the borders, and forge a progressive partnership for a peaceful, prosperous, and progressive region.
“As the two countries traveled 50 plus years, it is the need to acknowledge the challenges, and draw a roadmap to take this relationship to newer heights,” he added.
Anisur Rahman said that the past two years were momentous period for Bangladesh-India relations as it coincided with the golden jubilee celebrations of Bangladesh’s 1971 independence and the birth centenary celebrations of its founder Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman.