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Dr. Nusrat Rabbee at ULAB

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Dr Nusrat Rabbee, daughter of martyred intellectual cardiologist Dr. Fazle Rabbee, at a discussion on Saturday highlighted the need for getting international recognition of the genocide that took place during the Liberation War of Bangladesh. Noting the ambivalence of the international community regarding the atrocities committed by the Pakistan army, Dr. Rabbee mentioned that the US support for Pakistan during the war along with academic resistance from Pakistani scholars have not allowed the genocide in Bangladesh to be talked about with the attention it needs.
Speaking at an event to discuss the memoir that she authored, The Spirit of 1971, Dr Rabbee reflected on the role of the intellectual martyrs in shaping the cultural, social, and political fabric of the country.
The martyrs were targeted in the third phase of the Pakistani attack when the colonizers felt that their rule was coming to an end.
“The military attack that started with the mass killing on March 25, 1971, under ‘Operation Searchlight’ moved to the second phase of ‘Search and Destroy’ and ended with the killing of the intellectuals under the third phase titled ‘Scorched Earth’.”
The number of casualties over the nine months can only be compared to the holocaust during the Second World War. Yet this genocide is largely ignored by the western media.
“We need to have the scholars, politicians, diaspora and lobbyists to work together to set the history straight.”
The genocide of the Bengali people is unique because there was a strategic attempt to obliterate the people’s resistance through the killing of the masses, cleansing of the Hindu minority, and weaponizing rape.
In conversation with Prof. Shamsad Mortuza, the special adviser to the ULAB board of trustees, Dr Rabbee urged the audience to restore Bangladesh’s spirit, which momentarily lost its way in the post-1975 era.
The event, organized under the banners of ULAB’s lit salon and English department, was attended by many of the children and family members of the freedom fighters and other dignitaries. Sudeep Chakravarti gave the opening remarks.
ULAB’s Board of Trustee members, Ms. Ameenah Ahmed, Dr. Maliha Mannan Ahmed, Kazi Inam Ahmed, and Treasurer Prof Milan Kumar Bhattacharjee were present at the event. The French Ambassador to Bangladesh, parliamentarians Suborna Mustafa and Nahid Ezahar among others also graced the event.

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