Friday, February 24, 2012

February 25: Tribute to our stellar guide

My eyes would light up the minute he walked into the room, and that was not uncommon in my household. My brother Col. Mojib had that affect on a lot of people, and many of his young colleagues told me how profoundly they admired him. He had a special way of showing care and respect, which made everyone feel that she or he was a very special and an important person. I was always amazed to observe his oratory skills and love for the country. I learnt patriotism from him. 

The last time I spoke to Col. Mojib was on February 24. I called to praise his command for the beautifully orchestrated parade. I never felt such a blow in my heart when I was told that my brother Col. Mojib was killed with his other fellows. When the news broke I rushed to BDR HQs but couldn't communicate with my brother. I called many other officers who I knew but that also went in vain. 

I still give way to a flood of tears when thoughts of him rush in. I lost my mother in 2007 to cancer and my father earlier in 2001 but nothing has ever hurt like losing my brother, my guide and confidante. On that black day I lost everything that was my foundation and strength. I thought I was going to lose my mind or simply die from a broken heart, but I didn't. I managed to get through all the pain. I owe this endurance to my brother too, who was an example of strength. On the black days of February 25 and 26 in 2009, despite the cruelty and harsh actions of the scoundrels, they failed to beat our brothers' self-dignity and love for the motherland.

The whole nation felt the pain and cried together. We all were so surprised by the incident and felt such a great loss that it spun our lives into other directions. With death, I believe many of us have to find something to replace that deep, dark void of heartache and loss but, this time, all the martyrs left behind the example of altruism and self-sacrifice for us to see and move on. From them we learned inspirational patriotism and a higher concept of honour and human dignity than anyone in recent time could have ever taught us.

Col. Mojib felt a deep sympathy for the section of the population who remain half-fed, and for the youth. Once, after returning from a mission to capture a notorious criminal, he found that the man's poor children were not going to school due to poverty. The very next day he called the local commissioner and handed over education materials for the children and requested the commissioner to do his best so that they remained in school. His heart ached for not being able to help them adequately. 

He had an extraordinary confidence in our youth, as they were the future of the country. As time goes on my respect for him enhances manifold. He was the one person that I knew would always be there by my side, giving me strength and courage to get through life. He didn't judge, he just listened with understanding and love, and always gave his honest opinion. Having someone like this in life is a special gift and he was a gift to many.

It's hard to believe that it's been almost 3 years now. I had a chance to speak to the martyrs' loved ones; their wives, children, parents, brothers, sisters and friends. They all said the same things: "Our lives were changed forever on the day we lost our best sons of the soil." We will never forget what they meant to all of us but, deep down, we feel that we were lucky because we had been blessed to have such wonderful persons around us. 

My brother even today is constantly giving me strength to live a life for the country. The vigour I require to live far away from my motherland also comes from him. Someday soon, I will return where my brother is sleeping in peace with all his colleagues. Col. Mojib is responsible for making me the person I am today, and with that part of him still in me, I will never truly be alone. I knew that he would always be there for me no matter what. Its now my turn to prove whether I really have learnt anything from the life he lived. 

Our brothers, martyred military officers, had proven time and time again that their courage and their characters were strong enough to withstand any challenge that came their way. Their strength and perseverance are an inspiration to everyone who knew them. In dedicated service to our motherland they sacrificed their lives. To show respect to our fallen heroes we will make sure the culprits are brought to justice. We will march forward the way our heroes refused to give up. You all are in our hearts dear brothers; Col. Mojib Trust along with many others will remember you all today with special events. Far away from your motherland, in Canada, your friends and colleagues will hold special programmes to show their respect to all of you. 

Our youths are blessed by what our martyred officers have left for them, the lesson of patriotism. I hope they (our youth) will always live their lives with the realisation that it is not only about them and what they may be able to do, but what they can do for the country. 

We all, including our government and civil society, assured the nation that our fallen heroes will not be forgotten and we as a nation will keep getting inspiration from their life and works. It is time now to ask ourselves, what have we done so far to remember them? How are we showing respect to them? We often get so caught up in ourselves that we fail to see anyone else but ourselves. Let's not forget, we have a promise to fulfill, and we all know what promise we made to our fallen heroes. 

Today, on Shaheed Shena Dibosh, let us send our gratitude, respect and remembrance to the fallen heroes. 

Dear brothers, you are for us the bright stars that show the way to travelers when the sky is dark and the ways unsure, and we will come back to you for strength and direction. Today, on February 25, with this piece we remember all the martyrs with tears in our eyes and gratitude in our hearts. 

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