Bangladesh adopted March 25 as Genocide Remembrance Day in 2017, but so far, unlike the Rwandan genocide or the Holocaust, the Bengali genocide remains surprisingly little known or recognised in the world forum. A couple of days ago the Liberation War Affairs minister held our foreign missions responsible for not being able to generate enough momentum in the international community about the day. Then, on March 25 Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina called upon all for making collective efforts to gain more international recognition of the massacre committed by Pakistani occupation forces in 1971.
It is hoped that government will provide detailed information regarding the genocide to international community and agencies to publicise the matter and make strong demand to observe March 25 as genocide day, the day when in 1971 Pakistani military junta chief Yahya Khan unleashed the worst genocide in modern history. On that single night as many as 50,000 innocent people were brutally killed. Overall, the death toll reached to three million during the nine-month long War of Liberation.On this day we not only pay tribute to those who sacrificed their lives for our independence, but also need to sensitise the world community about preventing any conflict or war, considering the rise in hostility and intolerance across the world. Although the United Nations marks December 9 as genocide commemoration day, we believe that it will simultaneously recognise March 25 as such a day if we start acting on it.
Marking such a day is also important to create a bulwark against Pakistani propaganda. The ruling quarters in Pakistan has never apologised to Bangladesh for its military regime’s systematic campaign of mass murder in 1971, rather they hardly miss any opportunity to spread falsehood about it.
So, it is high time we adequately sensitised the world community about the genocide of 1971. Apart from government missions, Bangladeshi expatriates and independent genocide researchers should come forward in this regard.