The screening at Vue Leicester Square, organised by the diaspora group Bengal Heritage Foundation, coincided with the 52nd anniversary of “Bijoy Dibosh” – Liberation of Bangladesh Day – which falls annually on December 16.
Vikram Doraiswami, the Indian High Commissioner to the UK, said: “The film projected the strong sense of the power of an idea – no amount of violence, no amount of oppression can actually kill that.
“The spirit of the Bangladeshi people comes through in the film. It was the people who stood up and once the people are ready to die, then there is no amount of force that you can use to steer them off. As an Indian whose father served in the war in 1971, I couldn’t be prouder of my father today.”
The Bangladeshi High Commissioner to the UK, Saida Muna Tasneem, recalled the proactive role played by the UK Parliament during the India-backed conflict with Pakistan in 1971.
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“A motion was passed here in the UK Parliament at the time. Today, we are making an effort to make our genocide better known and we welcome the UK’s support once again,” said Tasneem.
The Bengal Heritage Foundation said the event sought to showcase the enduring bonds of kinship forged between India and Bangladesh during the war and to pay tribute to the extraordinary sacrifices made by the common people of Bangladesh in defence of their heritage and identity.
Foundation President Suranjan Som said: "This screening stands as a testament to our mission of fostering cultural understanding. It is a powerful reminder that shared history can unite communities and build bridges of understanding.”
Foundation Trustee Sourav Niyogi added: "This screening not only reflects our commitment to preserving historical narratives but also emphasises the importance of collective remembrance. It's heartening to witness the unity that stems from acknowledging our shared history."
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The foundation, registered with the Charity Commission in England, was established with a commitment to preserve and promote the heritage of Bengal. Through various initiatives, it aims to highlight the shared history, language, and traditions that bind the Bangla-speaking communities in India and Bangladesh.
*Info: Bengal Heritage Foundation