Joy Bangla and independence of Bangladesh

by Nasrin Sultana Khan

Through this article, I am asking a fundamental question to every citizen of Bangladesh, while also would reply to several disputed points.

Ever since tragic assassination of Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, this country seems to have divided into two segments – one upholding Joy Bangla (slogan) as their spirit and symbol of patriotism, while another coming-up with a new slogan – Bangladesh Zindabad.

Exact English translation of Joy Bangla would be Victory Bangla, while Bangladesh Zindabad stands as Alive Bangladesh.

Every freedom fighter and pro-liberation forces of this country chanted just one slogan – Joy Bangla, while anti – liberation forces and cohorts of Pakistan did chant Pakistan Zindabad during our war of independence in 1971. So Joy Bangla is not a mere slogan but the spirited mantra of this nation.

If someone denounces Joy Bangla or replaces it with Bangladesh Zindabad, then s/he may even denounce our national anthem, flag, and even the very creation of Bangladesh.

Bangladesh Zindabad is just the prototype of Pakistan Zindabad. Moreover, the word ‘zindabad’ is not a part of Bangla vocabulary. Zindabad is part of both Urdu and Pashto language. So, why in the world we should replace our very own Joy Bangla with Bangladesh Zindabad?

Can anyone find a single freedom fighter who did not get tremendous spirit by chanting Joy Bangla slogan during our war of independence? Without any hesitation I can firmly say – those who are trying to replace Joy Bangla with Bangladesh Zindabad, are in other words, trying to deny our war of independence and sacrifice of three million lives. They have ulterior agenda of smashing one of the main pillars of Bangladesh – secularism. They want to Islamize our constitution, culture, education system thus transforming secular Bangladesh into Muslim Bangladesh.

For past few decades, there is alarming rise of anti-liberation and radical Islamic forces in this country. Just recently, we are witnessing the wild demand raised by the religious bigots, who want the statue of Lady Justice in saree clad, erected in the premises of Bangladesh Supreme Court to be demolished. They claim, it is the statue of a Greek goddess.

The depiction (of Lady Justice) is quintessentially Greek for it stands as the Greek goddess Themis, an allegorical embodiment of the moral force in judicial systems.

Kudos to Sculptor Mrinal Haque for creating the statue of Lady Justice in the Bangladesh Supreme Court premises. Such initiatives will help our society in remaining secular. Our government needs to take elaborate plans of erecting statues of Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, Rabindranath Tagore, Kazi Nazrul Islam, Hason Raja, Lalon Fakir, and other legendary figures of this soil.

The government also must continue its battle against radical Islamic terrorism with full vigor. At the same time, President Abdul Hamid, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, Chief Justice Surendra Kumar Sinha and other need to take immediate steps in saving eminent figures like anti-jihadist journalist Salah Uddin Shoaib Choudhury from intimidation and wrong imprisonment.

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