• Sixty-Five Million Collaborators by Enayetullah Khan

    From abuk36214@gmail.com@21:1/5 to Jom Doot on Tue Oct 17 05:46:02 2017
    On Tuesday, 17 June 2003 06:30:52 UTC-5, Jom Doot wrote:
    Enayetullah caused much stir during those days with this article in
    question. Due to his uncompromising role, bangosatru mujib threw him
    into jail. His book 'A Testament of Time' covers the political
    scenario of Bangladesh from mid-60s thru' mid-70s. Readers
    might want to keep it as a handy history reference. _____________________________________________

    Sixty-Five Million Collaborators
    by Enayetullah Khan
    The Weekly Holiday, February 6, 1972

    The TV and the radio are today faced with an acute famine of
    performing artistes consequent upon the summary banning of those who
    had appeared on the TV screen or lent their voices on the air during
    the nine months of terror and genocide in occupied Bangladesh. The
    embargo was reportedly imposed by some functionaries of the Ministry
    of Information who zealously branded them as collaborators of the
    occupation regime of Yahya.
    The excommunication of the defenseless artistes from the holy
    communion of patriots, and the incidence of high-handedness by some
    Swadhin Bangla Radio personnel over some respected artists like Abdul
    Ahad abd Abdul Latif have come as a rude shock to many. A similar
    attitude has also been displayed by our noveau-patriots fn other
    spheres, where they merrily bludgeoned their helpless victims with
    their perverted judgement.
    The rationale offered by these people in support of such brazen
    actions, which often smack of professional jealousies arid personal animosities, is a curious blend of egotism and spite, and
    self-glorification. It is symptomatic of the aberrations of a twisted
    psyche, and hence an unpardonable offense against the majority of
    silent sufferers by a minority of freaks.
    This has naturally resulted in a crisis of confidence between the
    civilians who sought refuge across the border and those who had to
    stay in perforce to live through the agony and misery of nine long and interminable months. And this has been due to the exaggeration of the
    former of their role in the liberation struggle in the safe recluse of Calcutta or Mujibnagar in total negation of the suffering millions
    trapped inside the territory of occupied Bangladesh.
    While the above does not apply to those who have really fought with
    arms and the saner elements among the civilian refugess, this strain
    seems to have vitiated the social, political, and cultural life in Bangladesh.
    Context of struggle: The context of the struggle for national
    independence and economic emancipation in Bangladesh is not as recent
    as that of the period intervening March 25,1970 and December 16, 1971.
    In fact, this period was the high watermark in our struggle against
    national repression which began exactly 25 years ago.
    Hence, the record of the last 24 years, and not merely the nine
    months, will have to be taken into consideration in determining the
    bonafide of each and every individual case. Just as one does not
    become a collaborator by merely attending the office or performing for
    the radio or the TV under duress over the nine black months, one
    cannot also quash one's guilt of the past 24 years by merely crossing
    over the border and turning into a glorified refugee.
    Collaboration is a political term and it has got to be defined
    politically. A collaborator is one who/her own volition helps in the
    scheme of the regime, who agrees with the political, cultural and
    economic blueprint of the rulers and assists the government machine in
    all its anti-people and repressive measures for the perpetuation of
    alien interests.
    Judged in this context, only the anti-national elements belonging to
    the hated Jamaat-e-Islami, Muslim League and other communal parties
    and their cadres in the administration, educational institutions,
    business world and other spheres, and the linguistic but pampered
    minority population of Bangladesh are the collaborators of the
    occupation regime. The rest of the population put up either active or
    passive resistance against the demonic occupation army wherever they
    To repeat what has been stated in our earlier reports, genocide is
    committed only when the rulers treat the entire people as their enemy.
    The Bengalees were the enemies of Yahya regime by the time it was
    March 25, 1971, and hence each Bengalee was a suspect in the eye of
    the government. If collaborators were found in abundance, the regime
    would not have had to import West Pakistani police, West Pakistan
    civil servants, West Pakistani programme producers in the TV and the
    Radio to run the civil administration.
    Patriotism: Going back to the question of the performing artistes, the functionaries of the Ministry of Information have no right to question
    their patriotism. If some of them had appeared on the TV or performed
    over the radio, they had done so under compelling circumstances and at gunpoint.
    Did they not play their glorious part in the struggle for emancipation
    and national independence during the past 24 years? Did they not
    inspire the nation with their resonant voices and music, with their
    enactment of patriotic plays and dramas during the month of March at
    the call of Sheikh Mujibur Rahman? If they have done so, the
    authorities concerned must take those into consideration.
    Artistes like Abdul Latif, Abdul Ahad, Abdul Alim, Ferdousi Rahman and
    scores of others have always been with the people of Bangladesh. Any
    sinister attempt to blacken their names will be resisted by the
    people. With liberation, they -- like the rest of the six and a half
    crores of people -- have broken their chains. The era of slavery and
    forced labour is gone now and they would be free to sing the songs of
    freedom to enthrall the millions all over this golden land.
    It has been reported that the ministry of Information has set up `a
    screening committee' to clear or ban the performing artistes for the
    TV and the radio. This would be an affront to the entire community of performing artistes. They have earned their inalienable right to earn
    a living as patriots without having to establish their bonafide before
    a committee of glorified refugees. And this principle should apply to
    every sector of our national life.
    The community of artistes should for once rise to the occasion and
    fight it out to the last. If one of them is victimised by the
    officials, they should prefer starvation to humiliation.
    Respect had always been denied to our performing artistes. They should
    earn it the hard way.
    It is ironic that when the real collaborators are still at large and
    some of them rehabilitated with honour, witchhunting of defenseless
    officials and artistes has become the favourite pastime with some of
    our own people in the administration. The people have earned their
    freedom. No one has any right to deny it to them.
    Collaborator: Let us be clear, reporting to office under strict
    government orders, attending schools and colleges at gunpoint,
    receiving citations from Yahya for no initiative of one's own,
    performing for the TV and the radio under threat of dire consequences,
    and earning a living for oneself and one's family are not measures of collaboration. If that be so, six and a half crores of Bengalees are collaborators and they are proud to remain collaborators, if the
    government will.
    Bangladesh, during the nine months of occupation, was like a vast concentration camp where government officers and employees, teachers
    of schools and colleges, industrial workers and artisans,
    intellectuals and artistes were compelled to go on forced labour like
    slaves in chains. They could neither breathe nor talk freely, awaiting penalty and death with each passing moment. Yet they fought bravely
    and silently, paying a heavy toll in terms of lives and properties
    until they were delivered by our gallant freedom fighters from the
    tyranny of Yahya, and his marauding troops and political
    Let us cite some instances to drive some sense into the head of the
    zealous patriots -- the glorified refugees who fled this country.
    Sardar Fazlul Karim who was forced to sign the statement of 64
    intellectuals singing hymn for the regime was taken into custody by
    the same regime. Munir Choudhury, a signatory was deemed to be too
    dangerous by the collaborators of Yahya to be kept alive.
    This does not mean that all the rest of the signatories come under the
    same category. But there must be many more people like the
    above-mentioned ones whose patriotism should not be questioned merely
    on the basis of an isolated action situation and certainly the past 24

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