A Walk Down Memory Lane: The Mass Upsurge Day

Anwar A. Khan

23rd January, 2019 09:44:47 printer

The Mass Upsurge Day of 24th January1969 is a significant milestone in the history of Bangladesh’s independence struggle. This epical like movement should be written in red-letters and celebrated across the country every year with due pureness and dignified seriousness. But it is very lamentable that with the passage of time, this splendiferous day now passes away almost by far taciturnly. The day also is no elision to it in the present times.

Brimming with the honesty and passionate conviction for which it has become far-famed account of the country’s revolution through all of its achievements and challenges which captures both the valiancy of the mass upsurge that leadingly generated eventually birthing to the state of Bangladesh. It is its people’s historic gain. This write-up is a tribute to an outstanding and unyielding revolutionary which can be told it as I personally saw it and participated in this glorious movement being a fearless student of class ten aged about 15 only.

I was an eyewitness of events of this historical importance, of great hope and even greater tragedy that finally led to the creation of an independent and sovereign country for us through a bloody war with the facinorous Pakistani military junta. Let a new earth rise. Let another world be born for Bangladesh’s people. Let a bloody peace be written in the sky. Let a second generation full of courage issue forth, let a people loving freedom come to growth, and let a beauty full of healing and strength of final clenching be the pulsing in our spirits and our blood. Let the martial songs be written, let the dirges disappear. Let an air stream of men now rise and take a full beam ascendancy re-echoing its grandness.

For such a people, with such a memory, and such daily recapitulation of history, revolt was always then minutes away, in a timing mechanism which no one had set, but which might go off with some unpredictable set of events. Those events came more ferociously at the start of 1971 across the sacred land of Bangladesh till our freedom was accomplished in full. All people were out there in the streets. They were talking about how they were going to march on every part of the country with guns and bullets and tied it up; brought it to a halt, not let the brutal Pakistani government went forward. Our 3 million people were brutally perished by those ferocious sub-humans to foreclose from bechancing Bangladesh in 1971. We are telling you what had happened then. That was a great revolution. That was the people’s revolution. …completed.

It was the grass roots out everywhere in the country. It scared our men, women and children to death, scared the ferocious power structure in Pakistan to death. Being a college student, I also was there in the battle field in 1971. It did not cease to be angry; it did not cease to be hot; it did not cease to be uncompromising. Why, it even did not cease to be a march to finally accomplish a new country for its own brave and patriotic people.

No, it was not a sell out on the part of our people. It was a takeover. ... The enemies controlled it so tight, but our leaders and freedom fighters told us what time to hit the enemies, where to stop, what signs to carry, what song to sing, what speech we could make, and what speech we couldn't make, and then told those cruel animals to get out of our land before sundown....When combined and shared in song at collective events, music and poetry heighten the experience of community and solidarity and in 1971, it exactly occurred.

The beautiful clouds started weeping raining scent roses, and the purple dawn started breathing of our deep pink love. And the world blew a powerful wind, to unlock the doors of freedom in our kingdom, thus the foes won't go away that late. Clouds disappeared shortly, and then the stars came between our hands, but to put them as armless soldiers on the banks of surrendering at Race Course Ground (now Suhrawardy Udyan) on 16th December 1971. In case if dreams take you away, far from our real honest clear love for the country, be awaken and happy, to this day and the days ahead together we would record this revolution. Give the candle on, we would melt by sharing one night full of pleasure, where you, and me stay together for the remainder of our valuable life in this sacred land of Bangladesh.

Great satellite, up in the sky, we see you watching over us. Disdaining their evil natures and luring demons out of our souls, we asked not for possessions only but also triumph soon followed us. We rose against the satellite at will and the Mass Uprising of 24th January 1969 played the role as one of most substantive preludes to attain Bangladesh.

We were the bleeding lungs of a scream sustained for far too long. We were the knuckle joint of inconsiderate rage gripping to strong. We were the splitting ripple echo of a migraine too big to contain. We were the pummelling assault of spewed words seething disdain. We were the clenching compressing tension of teeth ground to dust. We were the jumpstarted rabid raging lunatic about to combust the enemy fortified defensive structures. We became the catastrophe of inferred innuendos nothing to lose. We were under the oppression's subjugation to thrashing chartreuse colour of life’s bruise. We were the cantankerous susurration of our sneering disgust. We were the brazen defiance of influence unjust imposed on us by the alien goons and their mango-twigs. We were the uprising insurgence of misery that those beastly animals crudely bestowed on us. We then became the phantasm succubus of their abysm. We would overthrow these hellish fault lines and finally reduced them to ashes

We were more than our genders and more than our stations. We were here to render our future frustration. A wish brings the promise of tomorrow to people with life-threatening conditions. A dreamt that we gave them hopes to fight on, happiness that heals, and memories to last a lifetime.

What was so inspiring and heart warming was the enormous out pouring of kindness and generosity from so many different and unexpected people at home and abroad. It was a dream came-true for us whose life was ravaged by the cruel evils. More than that, it provided an opportunity for people to unite for a worthy cause, to do something nice for someone else, and to discover the pure joy that being kind and generous brought to both the recipient and the giver. Humanity needs this spirit of doing good and feeling good to go viral and the 1969 Mass Upsurge is a celebrated milestone in our history. Like the superhero, we fought against all odds and learnt to have hope, and gain strength from the collective spirit of the wish of experience. Every wish is special, every wish is unique.

Poetry is important because it’s our way of life. Poetry is song, everyday life, ritual, and where the heart and soul of the world unite. It’s a form of paying tribute to what exists beyond just what we see. It is also important for keeping the memory of our ancestors alive for our children and their children. Through ..poetry,… hopes to add a new chapter to the 1969 Mass Uprising legacy; one that extends beyond the typical associations of their warrior heritage. If the pen truly is mightier than the sword, then perhaps translation can give even more power to the pen—and the people who hold it. The 1969 inspiring Mass Upsurge in our motherland shall be written in golden letters and it will remain alive till the human civilisation exists. We must not forget to celebrate it every year with its grandeur and nobleness. It is a Bangladesh's blue.


The writer is a senior citizen, writes on politics, political and human-centred figures, current and international affairs