Who is anti-liberation?

When Jyoti asked why worry Jamaat, I made a comment on the dilemma pro-liberation people face in dealing with religion-based parties. At that point, Rumi bhai asked a very interesting “side question” to me-

Syeed, a side question, what defines “pro-liberation” people? In 2009, what makes one pro-liberation and what makes one anti-liberation? How can one join Pro liberation club? Is the membership permanent or has to be renewed? What makes the membership null and void?

And more importantly, which camp I belong to? How do I know that or who will issue me the certificate?

It’s a recurrent question in our politics and in this post I will try to answer this from my perspective. In brief, I don’t think the definition of pro-liberation has changed much since 1971 and hence there shouldn’t be any confusion about it.

Please don’t take this as my audacity of lecturing on 1971 as many of you (and definitely Rumi bhai) are better aware of this history. I am just thinking loudly to get a hold of this issue.

A. Anti-liberation club in 1971

In 1971, there was NO pro-liberation club, but there were anti-liberation clubs.

Many voluntarily joined the liberation war and that made them our freedom fighters. Others supported the liberation war in minor actions and in belief. Together, they were all pro-liberation. Pro-liberation was not a club, it was a stance where one had to prefer “independence” over the results of religion-based two-nation theory.

Few on the other hand took anti-liberation stance “in action”. But instead of becoming members of Pakistani military, they organized/ joined various anti-liberation clubs such as Rajakar, Al Badar, Al Shams to help the Pakistani army and to commit war crimes. These club-members have always cited “religion” as their role in those war-crimes. They thought we should have remained part of a religion based state despite all the torture, discrimination. These people were put on trial after independence.

Some people remained anti-liberation “in belief” probably for the same or other reasons. Since these people were inactive during 1971, irrespective of their membership in those rajakar-clubs, they came under general amnesty after the independence and are unimportant in this discussion.

B. Post-independence scenario

Being pro or anti liberation can mean different thing to some people depending on the context of their conversation. BUT, to most, it holds the same meaning as it used to mean in 1971.

The pro-liberation people became engaged in politics and over the past four decades most of them remained pro-liberation while having disagreement on various political issues under different political parties.

Similarly, the anti-liberation people also remained at large.

To understand what anti-liberation means now, we need to understand what the anti-liberation force believed and did in 1971.

First, to remain part of a religion based state system they ignored the West Pakistani extortions and crimes against humanity in our land.

Second, to keep that belief, they not only opposed the liberation war, they actively orchestrated war crimes.

For what they did, they were put on trial soon after independence. The constitution was amended and laws were enacted to try them. That is until the trial was abandoned, laws were abolished, and they were rehabilitated under military regimes. Now, we are hoping that the trial process will resume for the sake of justice.

For what they believed, remained the major problem for our independence. When they were rehabilitated, they got reunited to defend their belief for what they joined in the Pakistani army in the first place—the dream of a religion-based state (under shariah law).

How that daydream is actually a nightmare; or how Shariah law (the foundation of that dream) grossly misinterprets the holy Quran; or how the Islam forbid everything these dreamers do; or how spread of Arab culture is not necessary for the spread of Islam is a different debate.

But there is no denying the fact that the motivation and goal of the anti-liberation force remains unchanged—turning People’s Republic into Islamic Republic; replacing bangali culture with Arab culture (which is not necessarily Islam btw); abolishing secularism (i.e. end of lakum dinukum waliyadin); and more importantly, ceasing the freedom of women, and other believers.

Make no mistake, they may have changed their tactics, but their goal remains the same.

C. Anti-liberation in 2010

Since the goal of the anti-liberation force remains the same, the concept of pro-liberation remains the same too. That is, believing in what the freedom fighters believed in 1971—independence is preferred over extortion in the name of religion.

Pro-liberation is not about membership, it’s about belief and stance… a stance against that known anti-liberation force in every way.

Joining anti-liberation club on the other hand is easier. There are number of clubs in operation that recruit foot-soldiers under religious camouflage. One can actively join them, or indirectly help their progression in different ways.

[NB: Pro-liberation however should not be confused with patriotism. Yes, pro-liberation people are patriot, but one can change his/her stance on liberation later on and still believes in patriotism. For instance, say once pro-liberation ‘Mr ZEM’ now thinks that his country is better off under another influential country, say Arab World. Now he can claim that he wants that for the benefit of the country. At that point one can debate whether he is a patriot or not, but even he knows that he is NOT pro-liberation or pro-independence anymore.]

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