The Genocide and Torture is one of the important features of our liberation war. Genocide includes every types of killing during war like dying while fleeing to refugee camp, dying by rape, torture. And the definition of word ‘Torture’ is not limited to only physical torture. Any sorts of violence and crime against humanity by Pakistan army and their collaborators including rape, detention and interrogation, creating panic, chasing, force people to leave home, and even asking about the victim's religious view are included in torture.
We always glorify the victory part of our liberation war, but we forget that Genocide and Torture is equally important as victory. If Pakistan Army and their local collaborators hadn’t committed such mass genocide and torture in 1971, the liberation war of Bangladesh wouldn’t have got such global attention and public support so rapidly. People forget victory easily, but they remember Genocide and Torture for life, because it's the highest form of pain and insult. People never forget an insult especially those who have lost their near and dear ones. In our country, some people dare to question the genocide and torture of our liberation war. The reason is not to give proper attention and priority to Genocide and Torture.
That's why Professor D. Muntassir Mamoon, the President of ‘Bangladesh Itihas Sommiloni’, Bangladesh based social organization aims to study, practice, and spread secular and pro-people history proposed country’s first ever Genocide and Torture Museum in Khulna. After his proposal, 1971: Genocide and torture Archive and Museum was founded in Khulna in May 2014. It’s the first Genocide Museum of Bangladesh. It was founded in Khulna, because during our liberation war, a number of genocides were committed at Khulna and among all the genocides, the biggest one was committed at Chuknagar, Khulna.
As a national organization, the objectives of the archive and museum are to develop a rich genocide archive, spot the killing fields and mass graves across the country, create database of killing fields, publish related book, publication, network with global genocide museum and institution and organize related events. In a word, we would like to make the present and next generation realize 'FREEDOM' is not just a six letter word. It is consisted of blood, shed, tears, anger, torture, insult and pain. We wish the people at the present word know the true history and build a peaceful world and roar together, "Stop Genocide and Torture".
We have started our journey at Khulna city on 17 May 2014. Honorable Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has given us land and house to support this noble cause. After redecorating the house, we have started the activities of the archive and museum under a trustee board. Professor D. Muntassir Mamoon has been working as a chair of the trustee board from the very beginning. People of different ages and classes, especially students are visiting the museum regularly.
We haven’t crossed three years (2016), yet we have developed a rich archive of genocide and torture photography, documents, and books and it’s getting richer day by day. We have been setting up memorials killing fields and torture cells across the countries and already set up twenty (20) memorials in Khulna Division. Also, we have started visiting the schools to tell the genocide and torture stories to the school children and connect them with local freedom fighters. One of our priorities are to publish the genocide and torture index. We are writing the index based on the statements of eyewitness of genocide and killing fields. We are glad to inform you that we have published 31 genocide indexes (in Bengali) till 2016.
Recently, with the support of Planning Commission and under the supervision of the Ministry of Cultural Affairs of Bangladesh, we have started a project titled ‘Centre for Genocide-Torture and Liberation War Studies’ which will conduct exclusive certificate course on genocide, torture and liberation war.
Every year genocide archive and museum trust organizes Memorial Lecture, Martyr memorial lecture, and installation. Also, we observe the national and special days. Some of our biggest achievements are:
- Joint exhibition with National Museum of Bangladesh.
- Joint exhibition with the Government of Tripura titled 'Genocide - Torture: 1971'.
- On our proposal, Government of Tripura has built memorial park to preserve the memory of our liberation war and inside this park, a sculpture garden resembling our liberation war was made under the supervision of 1971: Genocide-Torture Archive & Museum.
- Decorated a gallery at Tripura Museum dedicated to our liberation war. And the name of the room is titled, 'Liberation War and Tripura 1971'.
- Bangladesh Post Office has published a commemorative envelop on our second anniversary.
- On 16 December 2016, Bangladesh Post Office Bangladesh has published 71 commemorative stamps featuring genocide and torture of the liberation war of 1971 which was proposed by us.
We have opened a book store to sell pro-liberation books, and publication. Also, we have set up a nice cafeteria inside the museum for the visitors. We have an excellent and growing library which has the area wise liberation war publications and books. There is an open podium inside the museum (Mukto Moncho) for cultural activists. Cultural activists can use this podium with a minimum token fee.
It takes huge time, cost and labor to set up a Museum and will take ours too. As it's a non-profit private organization, it requires your support to flourish. By setting up the museum, we have just ignited the flame. It's the holy duty of all pro-liberation war spirited people to carry out the flame and keep it burning. Thus, we call for your help. Please, donate any souvenir, books, publications, documents, or anything related to this archive and museum. Let us know if you have any information about any Killing field, mass grave. Your unconditional support could be financial or any form you seem fit to us. With your support we would like to spread our activities in upcoming years and make this museum more institutional.