Sheikh Mujib will live in people’s heart

Sheikh Mujibur Rahman (17 March 1920 – 15 August 1975)

Shahabuddin Ahmad
THE heinous assassination of the Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman was indisputably the worst political tragedy in the history of Bangladesh.  On 15 August 1975, a group of disgruntled junior army officers staged a coup d’état and attacked his residence with tanks and killed Sheikh Mujib.
In the small hours of the morning the nation woke up to hear the most terrible news ––– Sheikh Mujib was killed. The despicable and gruesome bloody coup slaughtered President Sheikh Mujib including most of his family members, except his two daughters, Sheikh Hasina and Sheikh Rehana, who were visiting West Germany at that time. One of the killers, Maj. (Retd) Dalim, had the audacity to announce the incident of murder over the radio.  The nation took it as the severest shock. History cannot cite a similar assassination of a founder of a nation and his family. 
Bangabandhu has been equated with many leaders in Asia and elsewhere who made common cause with his people. This is why when, over the microphone before him, he used to address the audience as ÒfvB‡qiv AvgviÓ (My brethren); and the message used to reverberate across minds and ears of his audience and people would rejoice to hear him and to lend him the support he needed to promote their cause for independence, sovereignty, welfare, and democracy. His electoral victory in 1971 caused trepidation amongst the rulers of Islamabad who hatched a conspiracy to wage a war on Bengalis.  This is why Sheikh Mujib said, “The struggle this time is the struggle for our emancipation. The struggle this time is the struggle for our independence.” He organized valiant opposition in 1971 when General Yahya Khan’s military junta violated human rights in Bangladesh to exterminate the Bengalis.    
The Historic 7th March Speech of Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman was delivered in 1971 at the Suhrawardi Udyan. The Pakistani military rulers refused to transfer power to the Bengali nationalist leader Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, whose party Awami League gained overwhelming majority in the National Assembly of Pakistan in the general election held in 1970. Sheikh Mujib’s speech effectively declared the independence of Bangladesh. The extempore speech lasted about 19 minutes and concluded with the clarion call: “রক্ত যখন দিয়েছি রক্ত আরও দেবো, এ দেশের মানুষকে মুক্ত করে ছাড়ব ইনশাল্লাহ।’’ (Since we have shed blood, we shall shed more blood–––but we will free the people of this country, Insha-Allah). Our struggle, this time, is a struggle for our freedom. Our struggle, this time, is a struggle for our independence. Victory to Bangladesh.” Despite the continuing crisis, ongoing political movement, opposition by the then pro-Pakistani elements who were trying to create various road blocks on way to the struggle for independence of Bangladesh, as was enunciated in 6-point program, Sheikh Mujib’s mind was full of love for his parents. On November 12, 1958 he wrote a letter to his father from jail which not only reveals his anxiety for his aging father and mother but also shows his firm steadfastness to fight falsehood.  The Ayub Khan government incriminated the great leader in a case of bribery and another case of robbery after imposition of Marshal law in 1958. The 20th century saw how three political leaders of this subcontinent were assassinated and all of them had a common cause — liberty and democracy. And they were Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose who was killed in 1945 by the imperialists aided and abetted by the then colonial British rulers of India;  Mahatma Gandhi, who is known as the leader of Ahimsha or nonviolence, was killed in 1948, and Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rohman was killed on August 15, 1975. Outside Asia leaders who wanted emancipation of their people in 20th century were also killed by conspirators. Che Guevara was killed in 1967 and Martin Luther King, Jr was killed in 1968. After Bangladesh was established as a sovereign and independence country on December 16, 1971 Bangabandhu attended a meeting of the Non-Aligned Summit in Algiers. Fidel Castro, the late Cuban revolutionary communist leader, remarked, “I haven’t seen the Himalayas but I have seen Sheikh Mujib.” Socrates said to the Jury, who gave him death penalty for no crime of his, “The hour of departure has arrived and we go our ways — I to die and you to live. Which is better God only knows.” Eminent author Annada Shankar Roy, a former member of the Indian Civil Service, wrote a superb poem on the immortal leader of Bangladesh which is sung by many. The song is as follows: “যতদিন রবে পদ্মা যমুনা গৌরী মেঘনা বহমান,
ততদিন রবে কীর্তি তোমার, শেখ মুজিবুর রহমান !
দিকে দিকে আজও অশ্রুগঙ্গা বহমান, তবু নাই ভয়,
হবে হবে জয়, জয় মুজিবুর রহমান !” [As long as the Padma, the Jamuna, the Gouri, the Meghna Rivers will flow; the saga of the great deeds of Sheikh Mujib will stay alive.
Streams of tears flow everywhere even today. Nothing to be afraid of; victory to Sheikh Mujibur Rahman.]
Charismatic leader Sheikh Mujib’s active political career began with his election to one of the posts of joint secretaries of the East Pakistan Awami Muslim League (June 23, 1949) the President of which was veteran politician Moulana Abdul Hamid Khan Bhashani (1880 –1976). In 1953, Sheikh Mujib was elected general secretary of the East Pakistan Awami Muslim League, a post that he held until 1966 when he became president of the party. To organise the party, he resigned from the Cabinet of Chief Minister Ataur Rahman Khan (1956–58) and devoted himself to the task of taking the party to grassroots level. He had the determination to revive the Awami League in spite of the fact that his political guru, H S Suhrawardy, was in favour of keeping political parties unnecessary and redundant and work under the political amalgamation of the National Democratic Front. Sheikh Mujib entered parliamentary politics first in 1954 through his election as a member of the East Bengal Legislative Assembly on the United Front ticket. He was also a member of the Pakistan Second Constituent Assembly-cum-Legislature (1955 -1958).
Turkish leader Mustafa Kemal Atatürk (1881–1938) was conferred the title of ‘Father of the Turks’ ; so were other nationalist leaders of the world. But though Mahatma Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi (1869 –1948) was the supreme leader of Indian Independence Movement, the Indian Constitution (Art. 18) prohibits the State from conferring any titles. Academic and former governor of West Bengal, Gopalkrishna Gandhi [who happens to be Mahatma Gandhi’s grandson] disclosed to the daily Independent UK on 24 March 2015 that “in India some people contemplate a temple for Mahatma Gandhi’s assassin, Nathuram Godse” who shot Gandhiji in the chest three times at point blank range in New Delhi on 30 January 1948. Godse was an activist of the RSS (R?striya Svayamsevaka Sangha), an Indian right-wing, Hindu nationalist, paramilitary volunteer organisation regarded as the parent organisation of the ruling party of India, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP).
Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujib remains the undisputed builder and Father of the Nation of Bangladesh. Indeed, Sheikh Mujib will live in people’s hearts forever.

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