Barrister Miti Sanjana :
A mother’s love for her children is endless and unconditional. There has never been, nor there be anything as pure and precious as the love of a mother. It cannot be broken or reckon. In 1971, following the crackdown on March 25, many youth joined the liberation struggle. Thousands of mothers across the country sacrificed their sons during the War of Liberation of 1971. Azad’s mother is one of them.
30 August 1985, was another clear day of autumn with a clean horizon. The sky was filled up with infinite variety of blue shades. The sun was slowly but surely going down below the horizon. The clear sky suddenly became cloudy and gray, it started raining heavily. Azad’s mother, Safia Begum took her last breath after 14 long years of suffering through the unimaginable pain and grief for her only son, who sacrificed his precious life for our motherland. Azad’s friends, who returned alive from the war, buried her with honor as the mother of a martyred freedom fighter. As per her last wish, her epitaph is written only as Shahid Azad er Ma (Martyr Azad’s Mother). Being the mother of a great martyr was her lifetime pride.
Azad’s mother Shafia, was a very dignified woman from an affluent family. She left her wealthy husband’s home with her only child, Azad when he remarried. She started her own struggle to raise this little boy - her only purpose to living.
She did not take any support from anyone to raise Azad. By the time when the liberation war began, Azad was a graduate from Dhaka University. Instead of pursuing his career he joined the liberation war. Azad sacrificed his youth, a bright future and his precious life for our motherland. He participated whole-heartedly in the liberation war and sacrificed his precious life for his motherland. He had been an inspiration of youth and had ignited the fire of freedom in thousand hearts, who fought fearlessly to free our country. Azad was the fighter from famous urban guerrilla group Crack Platoon and carried out several successful guerrilla operations which shook the enemies of the entire capital. In an operation, this guerrilla group executed attack on Hotel Intercontinental against the Pakistani Army. After this incident, Azad was captured by Pakistan Army.
Being the fighter of a major successful guerrilla operation on Hotel Intercontinental, he became an icon of thousands of youth freedom fighters and at the same time an implacable enemy of the Pakistan Army. On 29 August 1971, the night when Pakistani Army caught most of the guerrilla fighters based on the information provided by the unknown sources they also raided Azad’s house in Dilu Road. He was arrested and taken to Ramna Thana (Ramna Police Station) first. His mother hurried to meet him there. The Pakistani Army told her mother that if Azad provides all information about his co-fighters they would free him. But Azad’s mother said, “Be strong my child, do not confess anything.” She asked her 25 years old son to stay strong for the sake of freedom of the motherland. Azad told her mother that last few days he did not have any rice and to bring him some rice on the next day.
On the next day, Azad’s mother prepared rice with such care and attention as if she had never prepared rice before. She was dreamingly planning if she could feed her son by herself. Next day she rushed to meet her son with some rice but she could not meet him. By the time she reached there, he was already taken to MP Hostel formerly known as Martial law Court. Oppressors tortured both Azad and others fighters brutally. The pain and deprivation he endured during those days of detention was harrowing. He endured all the tortures and pains without showing any weakness to the oppressors as he was inspired by the spirit of patriotism awaken by his mother. They all were kept in a very congested and small room. There was no bed in the cell. He was brutally tortured and killed there. His dead body was never been found. Azad’s mother could never meet him again.
For 14 years following the death of Azad, her mother wrapped herself in sorrow, grief and silence. There was no end of her grieves. There was no remedy for her broken heart, no going back in time. As long as she breathed, she grieved for her son with all heart and soul. Her grief lasted forever. The bleeding and ache of her broken heart never stopped until her last breath. Every day she moved mountains of grief for Azad. After the death of her son there was never been a single moment she could forget the memories of her martyr son. In her 14 years as a bereaved mother she never touched a single grain of rice as she could not fulfill her promise to feed Azad with rice in the custody. As there was not bed in her son’s cell, she never slept in a bed.
Love between a mother and son is the most powerful force. Nothing in life is more important than our precious children. Can we ever imagine living a life without our children? It would be easier to give one’s own life than to live without children. Anything in this world would be easier for a mother than living without children but thousands of mothers like Safia Begum, Jahanara Imam and many more sacrificed their precious children, their pieces of hearts at the altar of the freedom of our motherland. Because of their sacrifices every day we breathe new life in a free and independent country.
The mothers gave their blood, flesh, heartbeat of lives to free us from the shackles of enemies. There are fighters, warriors, survivors and heroes but the brave mothers of our great martyrs have redefined the word ‘sacrifice.’ n
(Inspired by 'Maa,' Anisul Hoque, 2003 by Somoy Prokashoni)
[The writer is an Advocate, Supreme Court of
Bangladesh and an activist]