44 years to the day, we lost some of the brightest stars of our intellectual firmament to the marauding Pakistani occupation forces. This was a very well planned action designed to divest Bangladesh of its intellectual leadership that could have given the country the necessary direction that a newly independent nation so badly needed for nation building. This year, the day is made even more poignant in the background of the Pakistan government's distortion of facts about the War of Liberation, particularly its the denial of the genocide of innocent Bengalis and the massacre of our intellectuals.
We, unfortunately, are seeing an attempt again by the defeated forces of 1971 and their cohorts that still exist in this country and pass off under various identities, to replicate 1971 – to stifle free thought by means of force. Today's supplement carries several articles reflecting on this matter.
As we remember, both with reverence and sadness, the intellectuals martyred in '71, we must resolve to take all necessary actions collectively as a nation to thwart any attempt to destroy the syncretic ethos of the people of this country, the essential characteristics that have marked the uniqueness of this nation. We cannot allow the blood of our intellectuals to go in vain.