Those who work with bureaucrats know how anti-liberation war they are: Muntassir Mamoon

Historian Muntassir MamoonFile photo

Most people have no clear idea about bureaucracy, remarked historian and trustee of the Liberation War Museum Muntassir Mamoon on Monday.

“Those who work with them (bureaucrats) know how anti-liberation war they are,” he said.

Muntassir Mamoon was speaking at a media conference at the Liberation War Museum auditorium in the capital’s Agargaon. The media conference was organised to inform people about the virtual tour at the museum at the initiative of Grameenphone, a telecommunication service provider.

Mentioning that most of the victims of genocide were of the Khulna region, he said, “When I went to Khulna, I found the name of one of the avenues in the city is Khan A Sabur Road. I asked many people why the road is named after a miscreant. There is no road named after Bangabandhu. No one answered to my question. I did not go to Khulna for a few years after that.”

Later I had to go to Khulna for some work of the Ekattorer Ghatak Dalal Nirmul Committee, Muntassir Mamoon said. “That time I asked politicians of different parties, ‘Is the road still named after Khan A Sabur? The (city) mayor is of Awami League; why aren’t you doing anything?’ No one said a thing. One person said, ‘Khan A Sabur worked to incorporate Khulna into Pakistan.’ I said, ‘Khan A Sabur was hoodlum then. How did he integrate Khulna into Pakistan?’ It was then that we decided to build a museum there (Khulna) as the largest mass killing took place in Chuknagar of Khulna yet the people were still not conscious. We constructed the museum out of that anger.”

“Actually, whatever we may say, we have not been able to take the aspirations of the liberation war to at the hearts of people. Otherwise, why would there remain that name for such a big road even during this government? The auditorium of the Islami University was named after anti-liberation war person Shah Azizur Rahman. I filed a writ petition with the High Court after failing in my initiatives to change the name through the government. Later, a verdict was given – no road, infrastructural work, or establishment can be named after any anti-liberation war person.”

Regarding a survey report on genocide during the liberation war, Muntassir Mamoon said, “We speak about 3 million martyrs. We have conducted a survey after 50 years of liberation war and found out the number of incidents of mass killings. We have found that in 36 districts there were 15,019 incidents of mass killing, 781 killing fields (badhyabhumi), 1161 mass graves and 1053 torture cells. If this is the picture of 36 districts, what would be real picture in all districts? We have also drawn up a list of martyrs. If we add that, the number will exceed 3 million.”

Welcoming the Grameenphone’s initiative to display the Liberation War Museum virtually, he said, “We will lag behind if we do not keep up with technology. If the youth can learn about all this, they will have a clear concept about the liberation war. We have been contacting Google too so that the information is shown everywhere.”

Trustees of the Liberation War Museum, Sarwar Ali, Asaduzzaman Noor, freedom fighter Sazzad Ali, Grameenphone’s chief executive Yasir Azman, martyred intellectual Mohammad Fazle Rabbi’s daughter Nasrin Sultana, freedom fighter Shirin Banu’s daughter Joya Tahsin, among others, were present at the programme.