After the liberation of America, French gave them the Statue of Liberty; in the same way is Tripura government doing the statue of freedom fight of Bangladesh with the Memorial Garden at Chattakhola?
By- Swadesh Roy | Date- February 29, 2012
Being a small state of North East India with population of 3.6 million, it is the nearest amongst all Indian States to neighboring Bangladesh and has an extended land border with Bangladesh. 75 per cent of their population in Tripura is ethnic groups and they have a long glorious history and culture, they have a special type of dance and music. The great Nobel laureate poet Rabindranath Tagore was also a great admirer of Tripura culture, basically their dance and music. Rabindranath wrote a drama on the base of a historical incident of Tripura Raj. Its name is Rajarshi. So there is a long friendship and a cultural bondage with Tripura and Bangladesh.
In 1971, Tripura showed a historical friendship with the Bangladeshi people. 1971 was the best time for the Bangladesh and the Bengali and also the worst time for Bangladesh and its people at the same time. On 25 March Pakistan started genocide in Bangladesh and the leader of Bangladesh Bangabandu Sheikh Mujibur Rahaman declared independence of Bangladesh on 26 March. People of Bangladesh started freedom fight at that time and consequently Pakistani army came heavily on the civilians. They started an unbelievable genocide. It was then that people of Bangladesh started to leave Bangladesh or their own territory. They took shelter in the different parts of the India. More than 10 million people of Bangladesh took shelter in India and more than three million people of the Bangladeshis took shelter in Tripura. It is mentionable that the population of Tripura was only i.5 million at that time. It is a historical remark that 1.5 million people then gave shelter 3 million people.
Tripura being a hilly and forest area was a suitable place for the freedom fighters of Bangladesh. A large number of youth started training for the freedom fight in Tripura and made many training camps there. There is a place in Tripura named Chattakhola which was one of the training bases. The present government of Tripura has taken a decision that Chattakhola will be a memorial garden of India Bangladesh friendship and the liberation war of Bangladesh because this place is the first training camp of the freedom fight of Bangladesh. There are still some graveyards of the freedom fighters there.
The foreign minister of Bangladesh has laid the foundation stone at Chattakhola on 2009 and the government of Tripura sate has started the work of this memorial garden. On 19 January 2012, one of the eminent historian of Bangladesh Mr. Muntasir Mamun and an eminent artist of Bangladesh Hasem Khan visited Chattakhola as adviser of that memorial garden. The government of Tripura arranged for them to visit the project of the India-Bangladesh memorial garden. It is a big project. Without seeing it, it cannot be imagined that, a country or a government of another country can do this type of memorial garden to uphold the history of freedom fight of another country. After completing of that memorial garden it will be the biggest memorial symbol of the liberation war of Bangladesh.
From the beginning of this project the government of Tripura is taking help of the Bangladeshi historian and artist as they have understood that as it is a memorial of freedom fight of Bangladesh, so the Bangladeshi artists and historians can give them good suggestions. It is a memorial garden; so tree is a major factor. Eminent historian of Bangladesh Muntasir Mamun gave them advice that, all the trees of the garden will be Bangladeshi tree. Eminent artist Hasem Khan gave them advice about the children corner and other part of the garden. He said that, all the designs will be done by the artist of the Tripura but he will help them through advice because they have to maintain the spirit of the freedom fight of Bangladesh. In their plan some style was north Indian. Mr. Khan advised the authority not to allow it.
The humbleness of Tripura government was remarkable. They are building that project but they are depending on the advice of the Bangladeshi expert. Not only that, I asked the Industry and Forest minister of the Tripura during my recent visit, Can I say that, after the liberation of America French gave them the Statue of Liberty; in the same way Tripura government is doing the statue of freedom fight of Bangladesh? He humbly rejected my opinion; he said that, we the people of Tripura will be proud if we can do something memorial for the liberation war of Bangladesh. We are proud that we could be a part of that great freedom fight. Besides that, this memorial garden will help our new generation to be a patriot.
Swadesh Roy is the Executive editor of Daily Janakantha, Dhaka, Bangladesh. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.