Our Liberation War and our Bangabandhu do not need a law to define and protect26 August 2016 Editorial Desk
The Cabinet on Monday approved a Draft Law with provision for highest life-term imprisonment and Taka 1 crore fine for dishonouring the War of Liberation or Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman. From a leftist influenced Cabinet with many members who had once humiliated Sheikh Mujib with dirty language and endless insult, such move appears to be unbelievable. Many fear that both our liberation war and Bangabandhu will be subjected to misuse and that is why the law is necessary.
The weekly Cabinet meeting approval of the Draft Law which says if anybody carries out propaganda or make public remarks on settled issues on Liberation War by the court or on Bangabandhu through media he or she would suffer maximum life-term of 14 years and Taka 1 crore at the highest as fine. It also provided for similar punishment for cyber crime and hacking of important state information infrastructure like Biman and such other public organization.
It is natural that the government will make laws to protect public property but the move to legally protect the integrity of War of Liberation and image of Bangabandhu appears to be highly ironic coming from highly enthusiastic quarters.
We must say, Bangabandhu is the unequivocal leader of the Bengali people and we believe that protecting his image and dignity by making law appears to be otherwise making him controversial. A law means there are people who decline to accept him as the Father of the Nation or the undisputed leader of the Bengali people. But punishing does not create respectability, it will help those who abuse Bangabandhu or the Liberation War. We must believe in his popularity and public strength to protect the values of freedom.
We must say even Nelson Mandela, who lived in jail for over 27 years fighting the white apartheid regime and won independence for the black people of South Africa had many critics from radical left to ultra-nationalist white. But the people of South Africa have no hesitation accepting him as the Father of their Nation. He is so loved and revered by people that prompted him on many occasions to warn his people not to treat him as a messiah.
Our Liberation War and our Bangabandhu do not need law, the people made them and the people will protect Bangabandhu and protect their freedom. Any discussion will not diminish their values people held high in their mind.
The truth of the matter is Bangabandhu or the Liberation War must not be claimed as achievements of any political party or group. The crisis lies there and the root of controversies also lies there. The great leaders and great events are known and understood by free debate and discussions; that is not criticism. The people know Bangabandhu as their fighter for democracy and the people joined the Liberation War for their democratic freedom. We have to uphold these values and do not need any law for respecting and honouring Bangabandhu and the Liberation War.