She is the mother of a martyr. In 1971, when the country was drowning in profound darkness, she sacrificed her 20 year-old-son for the country like millions of mothers of this subservient Bengal. Her modest family had to pay high price for the freedom of this country. She didn`t even know the fate of her first born. But that indomitable lady denied bearing the grief of losing her child in confidence. She turned her grief into strength and rebelled against the murderers involved in the killing of countless children of this country, including her son. The way of her struggle was not smooth at all. This valorous lady, who loves this country like anything, had to face a case of treason. But that could not put her out of her way. She found her lost child among the youth of the independent country. From the mother of martyr Shafi Imam Rumi, she became `amma` (mother) of thousands of youths. She is "Shaheed Janani" (Mother of Martyrs) Jahanara Imam. Today is her 25th death anniversary.
In her personal life, Jahanara Imam was an extraordinary literary and a successful teacher. She lost both her husband and son during the Great Liberation War. Her eldest son, Shafi Imam Rumi, left the opportunity to study engineering in America and joined the Liberation War snubbing fear of death. Rumi was arrested by the Pakistani army after conducting several successful guerrilla operations and later got martyred. Jahanara Imam spent nine months in the War of Liberation through worry and fear.
She helped the freedom fighters during the time of crisis. She wrote about the events of the days of the war. Her wartime diary "Ekatturer Dinguli" (The days of Seventy-One) was published in 1986. This book received a huge response from people. For the martyrdom of his son Rumi, and because of her contribution to the Great Liberation War, she is regarded as "Shaheed Janani".
The movement against the war criminal began on 29 December 1991 when Ghulam Azam, the infamous war criminal, was elected the Amir of Jamaat-e-Islami. On 19 January 1992, under the leadership of Jahanara Imam, Ghatak-Dalal Nirmul Committee was formed comprising 101 eminent people of the country. The committee called for the trial of people who committed crimes against humanity in the 1971 Bangladesh Liberation War in collaboration with the Pakistani forces. The Ghatak-Dalal Nirmul Committee set up mock trials in Dhaka on 26 March 1992, known as Gono Adalat (People’s Court) and `sentenced` persons accused of being war criminals.
Jahanara Imam died in Michigan, USA on 26 June 1994 after prolonged illness caused by mouth cancer. She was buried in Dhaka as she had wished.
Jahanara Imam is like the mythical bird ‘Phoenix’, which regenerated from its ashes. The birth of Bangladesh had destroyed her family. But she stood up from that ruin. By ignoring the pain of losing her child, she tried to highlight the happy beginning of Bangladesh to the new generation. She sacrificed her first born for the country, so she wanted to disseminate her martyr son`s love for the country’s young generation. On her death anniversary, we pray that her departed soul finds eternal peace and happiness.
Bangla Insider/ SM