Bangladesh is making efforts to formally recognize genocide committed by the then occupied Pakistani army and their collaborators during the Liberation War in 1971.
The efforts include presenting documentary evidence to the international community and the new generation in Bangladesh so that the future population have all the knowledge about the evil intentions of the Pakistani forces.
State Minister for Culture KM Khalid told Bangladesh Post that the Pakistani forces, their friends in this country have carried out genocides. International publicity is being organized including identifying the places of genocide so everyone know about their evil intentions.
"The biggest genocide in history was carried out at Chuknagar in Khulna. We are establishing the country's first ever Genocide Museum through which new generation will know about Pakistan Army’s atrocities. Such efforts will also help us to highlight our people's sacrifice to the world," he added.
Under the government funding the museum is being established for first hand information of the mass graves, slaughterhouses, torture centers, martyred freedom fighters of the country. The collected information would be preserved in the archive. A total of 18 massacred victims of the same family in Chandipur, Kushtia, have been traced.
Professor Dr. MuntasirMamun said, Genocide needs international recognition, the journey should start from this country. Genocide can be institutionalized but it cannot be preserved forever unless it is properly preserved.
The Liberation War Museum and the Genocide Museum will both highlight about the Liberation War. The genuine freedom fighters did not fight with the hope of being included in the list, but a proper list is necessary.
MuntasirMamun described the background of the Genocide Museum. He said that the Genocide Museum is not only doing the work of displaying artifacts, but the research it is conducting at the field level is changing the course of the history of the Liberation War.
He said, the main feature of the liberation war is genocide and torture. The killing of more than one person is defined as genocide. Torture includes physical torture, rape and forced exile.
Heroism in the liberation war is the most discussed and it is natural. But no country has killed so many people in such a short period of time since World War II. Although we say 30 lakh martyrs, the number seems to be much higher. Genocide, massacres, torture are not completely absent from the narrative of liberation war, but they are not given much importance. That is why the issue of self-sacrifice in the liberation war is hidden, he further added.
He also said, "A good way to understand the horror of the genocide in Bangladesh is to compare it with the genocides that took place all over the world in the last century. Then, just as it is possible to understand the severity of the Bangladesh genocide, it is also possible to clearly understand the politics of genocide denial."
From Amenia to Karat, the 20th century witnessed countless massacres. Not all are internationally recognized, but researchers have discussed them extensively. Genocide alone has killed so many people that researchers have dubbed the last century the 'Century of Genocide'. History shows that dictatorial, fascist and military states are more prone to genocide.
On the other hand, various types of activism in the prevention of killings in the civil society are also noticeable in the anti-genocide campaign, a part of the civil society in the country and abroad has remained simple.
They have produced movies, written novels, researched, built museums and archives. Behind these slogans lie some common dreams of the conscious part of the world: to prevent genocide, to ensure justice for the victims of genocide, and to heal the emotional and physical trauma of the victims.
State minister for cultural affairs when taking about freedom fighters’ families who are not recognised, said that such families are now being traced out. In recent time, 20 families have been found out with proper evidence. Like them, many are now under process to bring into light from the verge of extinction.
Even after almost 51 years have passed after independence, Bangladesh has not yet been able to achieve international recognition of the genocide that took place in 1971. In addition, efforts are being made to distort the history of the Liberation War, local and foreign propaganda are being carried out about the number of martyrs and victims. Anti-independence war criminals have been rewarded. This is because after the war of liberation the country's victory has been given more importance not genocide and torture.