Konnie Huq returns to Bangladesh as the country marks 40 years of independence. Over the years Konnie's heard stories of the 1971 conflict, how family and friends were killed and people had to flee for their lives. She's also grown up believing like most Bangladeshi's that more than 3 million people died in the fierce fighting - a figure now disputed as she finds out. In 1971 Sheikh Mujibur Rahman led what was then East Pakistan in a fight for independence. It began with a bitter civil war between East and West Pakistan, then India sided with East Pakistan, which ultimately led to victory for the East and Bangladesh was created. Forty years on, the fighting continues to leave a lasting impression on the country. Konnie visits the War of Liberation Museum in Dhaka and speaks to her uncle Dr Wahib who simply fled Dhaka when the violence started in March 1971. He stayed on the run, fleeing from one village to the next. She meets Meghna at Dhaka University whose father was a lecturer at the time ;now a professor herself she describes how he was shot and killed by the Pakistani army and claims it was simply because he was a Hindu professor. Konnie also hears the tragic story of Ferdousi the first woman in Bangladesh who spoke publicly about being raped during the civil war. She meets and hears the Nationalist songs sung by famous poet Apel Mahmood who was reunited with his mother after the war.
But despite the bloody separation, Bangladeshi's insist their heritage, language and culture was worth fighting for. And now with new research provoking a fierce debate about the numbers killed and the war crimes trials beginning in Dhaka, will Bangladesh finally be able to move on after forty years ?

Presenter Konnie Huq.
Reporter Catrin Nye
Produer Perminder Khatkar.

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30 minutes

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Mon 12 Dec 2011 18:00

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