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Finally, a certain politician has apologized to the family of martyred Noor Hossain and apologized unconditionally in parliament for terming a national hero as an addict. He also labelled Noor Hossain as a mentally challenged person.
We still don’t know what was going on inside his brain when he decided to disgrace someone who was brutally killed by an autocrat whom this politician still follows. We are also unable to fathom how his party can still operate in our political arena.
This was an audacious act on part of this so-called leader. It was more surprising to see that, apart from only a few people, initially, no political leader reacted against his comment. Those who were near Noor Hossain and watched him being shot at kept eerily quiet. We didn’t expect such silence from them.
We expected wholehearted condemnation from all political leaders, from parties that had an active role during the anti-autocracy movement. But it was our media which raised the issue, and then everyone started condemning this man. The media, as always, did its part.
Let me also recall the fantastic role that the media played during those days when the entire nation rose up against the autocrat.
It was Noor Hossain’s mother, this time, perhaps, who had stood up for his son and for his sacrifice for the nation. She also pointed out our failure to remember Noor Hossain’s contribution at a very crucial moment in the history of this country.
This was also a reminder to us all that we haven’t done much for Noor Hossain or the family members that he had left behind. It’s time to think about what we can do for him and for his family members.
This politician should have known and realized how deep-seated the emotions of the Bangalis are against his late leader who ruled the country quite ruthlessly during the ‘80s. He shouldn’t have presumed that we had forgotten the era and what had happened during the time.
The memories and the scars are quite vivid in the minds of a huge number of people who survived that reign. That reign was indeed one of the unhappiest episodes in the history of Bangladesh.
Those of us who have seen the movement closely enough not to forget probably also wouldn’t forget what this politician said against the hero who had inspired us in the later years of the movement. The anti-autocracy movement of Bangladesh and heroes like Noor Hossain will always be remembered.
All those who were intimidated, tortured, and had to sacrifice their lives during that time will be remembered as national heroes no matter what politicians say about them.
People like him should have understood by now that we Bangalis could never live under any strongman and we would never accept the role of a legacy that the autocrat had left behind.
Having said that, we have to say that our political arena is full of people who don’t respect each other, who don’t seem to value the contribution of others in society. Appreciating others is foreign to our politicians, as we have seen on uncountable instances of mud-slinging among the political lot.
We don’t expect that a member of the political organization that was founded by the autocrat would appreciate what Noor Hossain did for the whole nation. They would surely try to demean the valour that he showed against the autocratic regime’s injustices.
The politician in question, in effect, unknowingly, has done a great job for us. He has reminded many of us of Noor Hossain and what happened during that regime.
Noor Hossain has come back with renewed vigour as a bigger hero, and we have another opportunity to collectively express our respect for him. Thank you, Mr Politician, for stirring our memory and leading us towards a renewed love for Noor Hossain.
First published in Dhaka Tribune.

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