The “Children of War: Nine Months to Freedom” Movie Serves as a Timely Reminder of Islamist War Crimes

BRUSSELS, May 20, 2014 /PRNewswire/ –The 1971 War of Liberation in Bangladesh remains the template for many of the conflicts that define the late 20th century. At a time when many defenders of human rights were apprehensive that this template was fast being forgotten, the release of the Indian movie Children of War recalls the horrific massacre and genocide and once again reminds the world of the brutalities committed by the Pakistani army in collusion with the Jamaat-e-Islami and its associated organisation. The movie, whose promos had been available for quite some time on YouTube, depicts the dark times in the nine-month-long Bangladeshi struggle for freedom, and shows how the Pakistani army instigated massacres against millions of people, especially crimes against women.


Planned and calculated killing of intellectuals throughout the nine months of atrocities, the vigilante groups- led by Al-Badr and Al-Shams-who were radical collaborators recruited by the Pakistani Army-played an important role in the genocide. Most of those collaborators belonged to the political parties Jamaat-e-Islami and the Muslim League, who were convinced by the West Pakistanis that as pure Muslims they had a duty to save the integrity of the largest Muslim country (Pakistan) and  destroy those who were enemies of Islam. The movie recalls these horrors in an appealing manner.

The movie touches a subject that has been brushed aside for long because of the vested interests of previous governments in Bangladesh. At a time when vested interests in the West have questioned the very legitimacy of the 1971 War Crimes Tribunal, the events depicted in this movie come as a strong rebuff to such apologists. Not surprising, therefore, that this movie has been banned in Pakistan!

A leading critic has very aptly described this movie as “a true blue epic of mind-numbing intensity, a kind of cinema that David Lean would have attempted were he a witness to the barbarism that went into the formation ofBangladesh… This isn’t really a film. It’s a work of art, tempestuous and terrific. Yes, this is a masterpiece,” meant to shake up the international community that genocide is not only history, but what a country gets when fundamentalist intolerance is encouraged by political vendetta to inflict the rape of a generational civilisation.

As a conscientious Member of European Parliament, I consider it as my responsibility to strongly recommended to the European Parliament and other European institutions – committed to the principles of secularism, democracy and tolerance – to promote this movie in order to witness the realist depiction of events of the 1971 genocide in Bangladesh perpetrated by the Pakistani army and the Jamaat. ‘Children of War’ is not just a movie, it is also a plea for justice, to continue the noble struggle, not between two religions, but between extremists and liberals, of every religio-cultural denominations.