As Bangladesh continues to cherish its hard-fought independence, the legacy of the 1971 liberation War remains an integral part of the nation's identity. Every year, the 7th of November serves as an emotional reminder of the sacrifices and struggles that led to the birth of Bangladesh as a sovereign nation. It is a day when the nation reflects upon its core values, including democracy, justice, and the unwavering commitment to uphold the spirit of independence. The individual who has played a significant role in preserving this spirit is Khaled Musharrof, a distinguished figure in the annals of Bangladesh's history.
Khaled Musharrof is not a household name, but his contributions to the nation's progress, particularly in the context of preserving the spirit of the liberation war, are immeasurable. Born in 1937, he grew up witnessing the atrocities committed by the Pakistani military during the 1971 liberation war. These early experiences instilled in him a profound commitment to the principles of democracy, justice, and human rights, which have remained at the core of his life's work. Maj General Khaled Musharrof upheld all these principles all through his career from the 4th East Bengal Regiment, Sector Commander of Sector 2, Crack Platoon to his last day as chief of army staff of Bangladesh Armed Forces.
Khaled Musharrof's life has been marked by his uncompromising commitment to the spirit of Bangladesh's independence. He has consistently advocated for the values of the liberation war and the importance of preserving the historical memory and ideals of 1971. Throughout his career, he has championed democratic principles, fought for social justice, and worked tirelessly to ensure that the sacrifices of the war heroes are never forgotten.
The 3rd of November 1975 holds a special place in the hearts of every Bangladeshi. On this day in 1975, a group of military officers led by Maj. General Khaled Musharrof played a pivotal role in restoring the democratic and secular ideals of the liberation war, which had been compromised by the killing of Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, father of the nation, just four years after Bangladesh's independence. The atrocity of the 15th August 1975 followed by forming a new government with the aid of some misguided army officers. In protest of such atrocity, Major General Khaled Musharrof’s efforts on the 3rd November 1975 forced Ziaur Rahman to resign from the position of the army chief and overthrew the autocratic regime and emerged a new era guided by the spirit of the 1971 war.
Khaled Musharrof and his companions, on the 7th of November, aimed to reverse the course of the nation, ensuring that the ideals for which countless lives were sacrificed in 1971 were not in vain. Their actions on that fateful day were in line with the aspirations of the liberation war, which sought to establish a free, democratic, and just society, devoid of tyranny and repression.
Khaled Musharrof's actions in the November 1975 were a testament to his patriotic commitment to the spirit of the liberation war. His actions aimed to restore the principles of freedom, justice and democracy that were enshrined in the nation's constitution after gaining independence. The events of that day signify the resilience of the Bangladeshi people and their continued struggle to uphold the ideology for which they fought.
To uphold the spirit of the Liberation War, Bangladesh must continue to embrace the principles that guided the struggle for independence. These principles include the promotion of democracy, the protection of human rights, and the pursuit of social justice. Khaled Musharrof, through his actions, exemplified these principles and demonstrated that the spirit of independence remains alive in the hearts of many.
The 7th of November serves as a day of remembrance. It is a day to honour the sacrifices made by the Maj General Khaled Musharrof and his companions soldiers giving their heroic lives for the continuity of the liberation and reaffirming the nation's commitment to the principles that guided our liberation war and made us independent. Khaled Musharrof, through his role in the events of that day, stands as a symbol of the nation's unwavering commitment to uphold the spirit of our war of independence.
In honoring Khaled Musharrof and the significance of the 7th of November, Bangladesh acknowledges its past and takes inspiration from the values that have shaped its present. The country continues to strive for a future in which the ideals of the Liberation War are preserved, where democracy, justice, and human rights flourish, and where the spirit of independence remains a beacon of hope for generations to come.
*Mahjabeen Khaled, daughter of Maj General Khaled Musharrof