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Every nation has their unique history and certain reasons behind their actions. Those who are following Shahbag Movement already acquired some knowledge on 1971 by now. We have come together, the youth of Bangladesh, first time since liberation. In 1990, the current political parties, Awami league (ruling party) and BNP, the biggest opposition, joined hand to oust the military dictator, Ershad. We had our Tahrir Square back in 1990. This Shahbagh Movement is non-partisan, yet political, emotion driven. Our people have tolerated every corruption and disparity. We have always talked about a change in last 22/23 years of family-led fragmented democracy. The current ruling party promised the nation of trying war criminals. People wanted justice. And therefore, Awami league won a landslide victory. The International Crimes Tribunal started around with its procedures and investigation 2009.
On February 5, 2013 when butcher of Mirpur, Kader Molla was given life imprisonment, we came down on the streets, within hours of the verdict. Thousands and thousands joined in next days. We screamed ‘hang them’. We screamed for justice. Justice! Yes. We expected maximum punishment. The punishment is valid in our law of the land. We didn’t ask for anything what is not permitted in our laws. The people demanded capital punishment.
This movement is an out pour of extreme betrayal. The youths felt betrayed by the ruling party. We thought they compromised with Jamat (the collaborating party in 1971, and ally of BNP). Youths would never allow that. We had tolerated everything thrown at us, but not when it comes to our existence. JamatEIslam directly opposed to our liberation war and was ally of Pakistani army, they are against the primary teachings of the constitution and spirit of the liberation war and finally JamatEIslam, controls about 12% of the economy. They have hundreds of business. These all fund their politics, politics of anti-state activities. They still act as Pakistani agents in this country. We want an end to them, to their politics. The nation and its politicians but agree on one history, of liberation. JamatEIslam distort history; they make money and yet act against this nation.
Therefore, we want justice. We want the collaborators must be handed. Another reason for asking for capital punishment is the fear that if BNP (now opposition and ally of Jamat) wins next election, in 6/8 months time, they would free the criminals. So, if these war criminals aren’t hanged, they would walk free, and become ministers, once again. We cannot accept that, as this will be a betrayal with 3 million martyrs and 2 hundred thousand rape victims, betrayal with the intellectuals who were killed just a day before victory to cripple the nation, this will be betrayal against humanity.
Shahbagh isnt a platform to discuss punishment, but of justice. When we scream ‘hang them’, we scream for justice of 3 million who died in 9 months of 1971,. We scream to ask for justice of 200,000 women who were raped then. These collaborators helped Pakistani soldiers to commit one of the most heinous crimes in history of humanity. The genocide is compared to World War II. We are peaceful nation. Bangladesh was recently listed as one of the happiest nation of the world. Even when we die of poverty we smile. We want a new Bangladesh. We want to free our country from dirty politics, religious fanatics and anti-state elements like Jamat. We want Bangladesh to be safe place for our furutre generations to practice diversified culture and grow in a progressive society. We have re-invented the spirit of our liberation war. And if this means we need to hang people, who are against it, so be it, if it means we need to kill jamat-shibir (shibir is jamats student wing, responsible for terrorism), so be it. Blood will flow.
This is a time to talk, to discuss, to fight, all for change. We are here to finish the unfinished war of 1971. Back then, right after the war, they weren’t tried for many factors, plus even after the trials started the Father of the Nation was assassinated. It got paused for long 42 years. But now, after long 42 years, justice cannot be denied, even though delayed.
23 young activists from Rumi Squad started till death hunger strike from 26 March till April 1 – for government to act according to our demand of banning Jamat from politics. They got dehydrated and weak but still went high on moral. We feel if we can achieve this, we can go farther demanding and winning more rights for the people. This is a start of a new Bangladesh. An Uprising.

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You have wounded my heart
If wounds could have been seen
It would have looked lot worse than a fire burn
The heart inside me has perhaps turned black as coal
The red blood turned blue and cold
It doesn’t thump anymore as a joyous beating heart
The heartbeat that was once tuned with yours
Plays rather a sad melancholic song these days
It shrank and became hard like a piece of stone
The way the heart inside Nefertiti’s mommy resides
Lonely, sad and wounded…

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