Martyred Intellectuals Day (শহীদ বুদ্ধিজীবী দিবস) is a memorial day celebrated in Bangladesh annually on December 14 to honors the death of Bengali intellectuals, who were killed by the Pakistani Army during the 1971 Liberation War.
After the exit of the United Kingdom from India and Pakistan Bengal was linked to Pakistan as its eastern part. At last, this prompted the confrontation of East Pakistan and West Pakistan and the 1971 Liberation War. One of the bloodiest and most troubling events of the war occurred on December 14, 1971.
The government of Pakistan comprehended, that it was losing, that is the reason the decision to wipe whatever the number of Bengali intellectuals as possible was made. The Pakistani occupation forces and their local partners kidnapped, blindfolded, and afterward murdered Bengali intellectuals – teachers, doctors, engineers, academics, columnists. The bodies were dumped on academics grounds in Dhaka. On December 16, two days after these events, Bangladesh defeated the Pakistani forces and the war was finished.
Martyred Intellectuals Day History
The Bangladesh Liberation War against the nation West Pakistan started on 26 March 1971, developed into the Indo-Pakistani War of 1971, and finished with the triumph of Bangladesh on 16 December 1971. On 14 December, detecting inevitable defeat, Pakistani forces and their nearby colleagues—Shanti committee, Razakars, Al-Badr, and Al-Shams—kidnapped and killed front-line Bengali intellectuals and experts to handicap the new country intellectually.
Prestigious academics, teachers, intellectuals, doctors, engineers, columnists, and other famous personalities were hauled out of their homes, blindfolded, and murdered. Their bodies were dumped in Rayerbazar, Mirpur, and other killing grounds in Dhaka only two days in front of the last triumph of the war.
During the nine-month duration of the war, the Pakistani Army, with the help of local teammates systematically executed an expected 991 teachers, 13 columnists, 49 doctors, 42 lawyers, and 16 authors, artists, and engineers. Even after the official completion of the war on 16 December, there were reports of killings being committed by either the armed Pakistani troopers or by their associates.
In one such incident, remarkable movie producer Jahir Raihan was killed on 30 January 1972 in Mirpur purportedly by the armed Beharis. In memory of the people who were killed, 14 December is seen in Bangladesh as Shaheed Buddhijibi Dibôsh (‘Day of the Martyred Intellectuals’).
As per the Provisional Government of Bangladesh, 360 intellectuals were killed. This number has been questioned. Some say more than 1,000 intellectuals were killed. Even though a thorough list of the individuals who were killed has been guaranteed by the government, that list presently can’t seem to be produced.
In 1993, the government of Bangladesh had the idea of building a memorial in Dhaka for the martyred intellectuals. Construction for the Martyred Intellectuals Memorial started in 1996 and was finished in 1999. Before the memorial was built, relatives and friends and family of the martyred intellectuals visited the site of a mass grave where their friends and family were believed to have died.
Every year the anniversary of this event is seen in Bangladesh as Martyred Intellectuals Day (শহীদ বুদ্ধিজীবী দিবস). President, Prime Minister, and the heads of military, as well as a huge number of individuals, come to Mirpur to lay flowers at the Martyred Intellectuals Monument.