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Kolkata intellectuals stood firm for Bangladesh independence

By Asraful Huq

DHAKA, Mar 04, 2015 (BSS)- Intellectuals of West Bengal,
particularly of Kolkata, worked hard for the independence of
Bangladesh from the very beginning of the War of Liberation in
1971 against the Pakistani occupation forces.

They formed different associations including "Bangladesh
Muktisangram Sahayak Samity (BMSS)" in West Bengal that played a
significant role in achieving the independence of Bangladesh, at
the cost of lives of three million people.

One of the leading Bengali novelists of West Bengal
Tarasankar Bandyopadhyay was the president of the samity while
novelist Dipendranath Bandyopadhyay was general secretary.

Dipendranath Bandyopadhyay was the key organizer of the samity. Most of the artistes, writers and cultural personalities of the West Bengal joined it.

Noted historian Professor Dr. Muntassir Mamoon in an article
"Bangladesher Muktijuddhe Sahayak Samitir Bhumika" (The Role of
Contributing Associations in the Liberation War of Bangladesh) in
his edited book "Mutijuddher Chhinna Dalilpatra" narrated the
role of intellectuals of West Bengal and their samity in
achieving the independence of Bangladesh.

Immediately after the beginning of the nine-month long war against the Pakistani occupation forces, most of the people across the globe, took stand behind Bangladesh and many associations like BMSS were formed abroad particularly in West Bengal, Tripura and some other states in India to build public opinion in favour of the War of Liberation.

BMSS of West Bengal is one of such contributing associations. It was mainly formed with the initiative of intellectuals of West Bengal, particularly of Kolkata.

With the call of the samity, some other organizations were also formed to assist it at different states of India. Two more such organizations were also founded at Puna and Mumbai in India.

The samity gave their all out support to the nine-month long
battle against Pakistan and its auxiliary forces by creating
public opinions through holding meetings, publishing booklets and
organising art exhibitions.

At the beginning of the war, the samity published a booklet
of 54 pages with headline Swadhin Bangladeh Keno? (Why Independent Bangladesh)? The publication drummed up public support across the world towards Bangladesh's war against Pakistan.

There were six essays in the booklet which can be treated as
the document of Liberation War. The publication also included
translation of a poetry titled "Bangladesh" of a noted Indian
Urdu Poet Kaifi Azmi and six photographs.

"Sheikh Mujibur Rahman: Amader Bachar Dabi:Chhoy Dafa Karmosuchi" by one of the key organizers of Liberation War Tajuddin Ahmad, "Bishwabashir Proti Maulana Bhashanir Abedan" by Gouri Ayub, "Onno Dristikon Theke Dui Bangla" by Professor Muzaffer Ahmed and "Pakistani Bhai Bonder Proti" by Simanta Gandhi Khan Abdul Gaffar Khan, were published in the booklet.

The poetry "Bangladesh" translated by Siddheshwar Sen was
published in the first page of the booklet.

In his article Gouri Ayub coined some lines of the statement of Maulana Bhashani given on June 25. The lines are: "Mujibur Rahman Aaj Ar Ekti Nam Noy, (Today Mujibur Rahman is not merely a name), Mujibur Rahman Aaj Ekti Bhabna (Today Mujibur Rahman is a conscience, Ai Bhabnaye Bhabito Hote Na Parle Itihash Amader Khoma Karbe Na, (History will pity on us unless we are not led by this conscience).