The history of almost all traditional wars in the world is a history of armies and politicians giving orders. Traditional wars mostly have two sides fighting each other from both sides of the front, some lose, some win, some live, some die.

But what we call "people's war" is a little different. It involves ordinary people and professionals, not just soldiers but many kinds of people. War happens all around; it's not front-based. In the end, it happens like what happened to us. It happened in villages, towns, rivers, everywhere. People die, live and participate in various ways. The concept of a professional warrior and politicians based war is a bit outdated now. Like history as the autobiography of kings.


The war of 1971 in Bangladesh was much more extensive with the entire society involved and at all levels. About one crore people left the country to save their lives. That is, they were opponents of the armed enemy side. It is rare that almost every person in a country gets involved in a war.

But when we say the liberation war or the war of independence, we only look at the "war", not much at "liberation" or "independence". We are looking for soldiers or politicians in the history of 1971, not society or people. But this war was a collective war. Everyone's war.


Very simply put, what people were doing for Bangladesh in 1971 was part of the war. It had different dimensions and Bangladesh had to win in all dimensions I Many fighters were not institutionalized fighters, many did not go to India for training but fought on their own. Many fought without training, in operations. The bigger war outside of the armed war, has no recognition, no space in our history practice. I think it is because we look for the shape and definition of this exceptional war with traditional eyes and therefore cannot grasp or understand it well. It challenges our intellect so we seek safety in traditional thought.


People are not very interested in the facts or events of the Liberation War. This is partly because the official world is framing it as a "correct history" or a "distorted" history. But the basis of this conflict is only about two or three events, declarations or issues. It reflects contemporary political hostility, not the history of 1971.

There are 2 main streams of this correct/improper history of Bangladesh. At different times, the government buys and reads the books of those close to the government. When the next government comes, the correct author's name list is changed, some books are dropped, new books are added. The history of the liberation war is now a matter of political culture not information.


We want to limit the history of 197 to either armed or political history. State relations with these two classes are the closest. State power has gone only to these two groups and their need for narrative control of any event and that includes the history of liberation war is obvious. In other words, our history practice is also playing a role in that need. They are the children of the politics of the next period. Therefore, the history of our liberation war is not a document of historical reality but a child of political necessity.


That doesn't mean that someone is intentionally lying - although that may be the case at times - but those who practice politics in the middle of this history are helpless. They have to do it. And there are many involved in this construction. The change of power at the formal state level or its survival has been a complex process since birth. We could not get rid of it so this search for "correct history will go on. We are not willing to accept the experience of others as "history" but we are willing to recognize only the history of the powerful as history.


It's been 53 years since independence. Those who have direct memories and knowledge are not many left, so it has to be accepted that many things will not be known. But it is still very easy to know the history of society and people. It is everywhere and all we have to do is look. Complete history means the history of all. It is from soldier to the common warrior, from the politician to the farmer, from householder to shopkeeper, from the village to city people, regardless of men and women. It belongs to everyone. A History means a complete, total comprehensive history of the people.


Every family in Bangladesh is a small factory of history. Goods are therefore to be given but one has to ask. And if asked, they will come. Maybe because no one will ask, one will not know. And after a decade there will be no one to remember, to recollect. In the end we all probably run after self-oblivion, be it history, country or ourselves.

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