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Behind the Myth of 3 Million - By Dr. M. Abdul Mu’min Chowdhury

Behind the Myth of 3 Million - By Dr. M. Abdul Mu’min Chowdhury

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Published by BTghazwa
Dr. M. Abdul Mu’min Chowdhury, a Bengali nationalist who actively participated in the separatist cause, spoke out in 1996 to tell the true story of what went on during that war.
Dr. M. Abdul Mu’min Chowdhury, a Bengali nationalist who actively participated in the separatist cause, spoke out in 1996 to tell the true story of what went on during that war.

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Published by: BTghazwa on Dec 09, 2012
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial


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ByDr. M. Abdul Mu’min Chowdhury
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The author, Dr. M. Abdul Mu'minChowdhury, a native of Sylhet, waseducated at the universities of Dhaka,Exeter (England) and London. As ateacher of Sociology, he taught in his earlycareer at the universities of Agriculture(East Pakistan) and Dhaka during theperiod of 1967 to 1973.Apart from his working association withDr. Hasan Zaman at the Bureau of National Reconstruction (BNR), Dhaka, inlate 1960s for undertaking many researchworks, he continued to write for manynewspapers and also edited a fewpublished from Dhaka and London.He co-authored some periodicals andbooks including the Iron Bars of Freedom(1981) published from London during theperiod from mid 1970s and early 1980swith the late Dr. Matiur Rahman whohimself authored a number of books on thepolitical history of the Indian subcontinentuntil his demise in London In 1982.Since late 1973, Dr. Chowdhury lives inEngland and works currently as aManagement Consultant.
Behind the Myth of Three million by M. Abdul Mu'min Chowdhury
Many myths have been formed around the creation of Bangladesh.Among them is the fiction that the defeated Pakistan Army savagelykilled three million people and raped three hundred thousand womenduring their less than nine months unsuccessful fight to preserve theintegrity of a united Pakistan.Recalling this 'heinous' Pakistani crime with suave moral indignationwas made into a national ritual. Not only the beaten Pakistan Army butalso the subverted Pakistan came to be portrayed as inherently evil andher dismemberment a triumph of civilized values over barbarism. Noless a figure than the 'Father of the Nation' was made to consecrate thelore. With his stamp of authority behind it, his grateful children wereimplicitly compelled into faithfully repeating it. Not to accept it as 'thewhole truth, nothing but the truth' with unquestioning faith was to fallshort of being a ‘Bengali patriot’. In those hallucinatory days of ‘liberated’ Bangladesh, the premium for such a terrible shortcomingwas not merely dear, but potentially fatal. The ‘permanentdisappearance’ of Zahir Raihan, the celebrated writer and film director,who showed the audacity of forming and heading 'The BuddhijibiNidhan Tayithanusandhan Committee' (The Fact Finding Committee onthe Killing of Intellectuals), in January 1972 [1] was a calculatedwarning to all doubting Bangladeshis. Understandably, the scepticskept quiet and the scoundrels and the credulous joined the chorusmasters in singing the saga of three million ‘martyrs’ and three hundredthousand ‘heroines’.Once the ‘Father of the Nation’ had fallen into disrepute and even cameto be accused of treachery to the Bangladeshi nation’, some of thedeified artefacts adorning the liberationist altar came to be seen asmendacious. But not this nor any other Pakistani crime; at least notofficially. The successive masters of Bangladesh have shown nointerest in exonerating Pakistan from any charges, however undeservedthey might have been. Instead, by keeping them alive they skilfullyplayed politics by veering on the sides of the accused and the accuserall at once. Alongside the dubious opportunism of the occupants of 
Behind the Myth of Three million by M. Abdul Mu'min Chowdhury
2power, the dwindling band of the conscious keepers of the ‘Bengalispirit of liberation’ have continued their efforts to keep the myth alivethrough a more vociferous recital.Yet, over the years, questioning voices were heard. These were notfrom the much maligned ‘pro-Pakistanis’ alone, but also from amongthe unimpeachable ‘liberationists’ and their ‘Indian comrades’,including the highest Indian most generals who gave Bangladesh its‘Caesarean birth’. Some of the latter have, of course, their own fictionto sell.Curiously, those in Pakistan have remained indolent. There was noattempt to refute any of the vile accusations, including this veryloathsome charge. Instead, there appeared to be a misplaced hope thatapologetic smile to any and every charge would help in taking the heatout and once sobriety was restored and goodwill regenerated, the timewould arrive for the truth to come out. Despite its many attractions,such a stand back posture has helped in perpetuating the falsehood andpossibly retarding the restoration of the brotherly relationship betweenthe peoples of Pakistan and Bangladesh. [2] For the intention of themythmakers was to harbour hatred.In order to create a healthy relationship between the two peoples it isessential to admit, and where possible to take measures to amend, allpast mistakes committed by either people and their leaders. However, itis imperative that such steps should be taken on both sides with fidelityto truth and not on opportunism or contrived facts and unfoundedmyths.Like many other myths of its kind, the fiction of three million dead andthree hundred thousand women raped was not politically innocent; andit is time to recognise this both in Pakistan and in Bangladesh. Not todo so would be a disservice to truth and damaging to the interest of thepeople of both countries, especially the people of Bangladesh. Thiswould be so, for any further credence to such a poisonous myth wouldperpetuate the psychic isolation and the splintered Muslim self-view of the people of Bangladesh in their geopolitically island-like setting. Thiswould not serve their enlightened national self-interest, nor theirindependence. Instead, this would help those in and outside their

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