The month of August is a month of mourning for not only the people of Bangladesh but also for all Bangalis of the globe who believe in secular democratic ideals.
The most disgraceful, nefarious, dreadful and burning fire of grief engulfed on 15 August in the history of Bangali nation. On this darkest day, Bangali lost an epic statesman, the architect of independence of Bangladesh, the greatest-ever Bangali of all the time and to me who highly glorified him as a great ‘SAINT of Politics’, a gifted to epoch-making divine incarnation. He is Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman.
A group of brute rogue army men brutally murdered Sheikh Mujib along with 26 others who included his all family members (except his two daughters who were abroad on this darkest day) and close relatives. The blood-thirsty treacherous hyenas did not even spare the nine-year-old boy of Bangabandhu. The bullet finished the life of the Father of the Nation and a great history maker. There is no precedence in the history of the world of such a brutal cruelest political assassination. Bangabandhu never thought and believed that the Bangalis would kill him as he had a biogenetic love for his people and soil. His love for his people was totally blind and it was his biggest weakness. The famous British media personality David Frost interviewed Bangabandhu in 1972 and asked him ‘what is your greatest strength?” Bangabandhu replied “the love for my people”, Mr. Frost then quipped what his greatest weakness is and Bangabandhu replied, “I love my people too much”. Sadly, what the barbaric Pakistanis did not dare to do, some bastard sons of the soil did it. The brutality was a rare occurrence in the history of the Bangali nation and also in the history of the world.
After the gruesome killings, the traitor appeared on the stage and the traitor was none but the then Deputy Chief of Army General Ziaur Rahman who orchestrated the carnage from behind. The killers were given majestic shelter at President House – Bangabhaban. Later on, Gen Zia rehabilitated all the killers in Foreign Service and posted and promoted each of them as a reward. No military coup is possible unless the coup-makers get support from outside; here the killers and conspirators were profusely helped by Pakistan who could not digest the creation of Bangladesh.
Like Goebbels theory, the military junta in Pakistani started propaganda and distortion of history after the August massacre. The hate campaign was launched and among the generation born after the historic Liberation War, Sheikh Mujib was branded as an irreplaceable man. These forces wanted to erase the ideals and philosophy of Mujib and the non-communal Bangali national consciousness by introducing a new nationalist theory and Pakistan-style military rule and its supremacy in all spheres of public and private places.
Bangabandhu was a prudent far-sighted wise politician, a very loving human being. His political wisdom and patriotism cannot be measured and it made him a true statesman. His personality and broadness of mind went beyond the height of the Himalayas. So, Cuban leader Fidel Castro justifiably remarked “I have not seen the Himalayas but I have seen Sheikh Mujib”. After being released from Pakistan’s captivity, Bangabandhu arrived in Dhaka on 10 January, 1972 and on stepping on the soil of Bangladesh, his emotional remark was, “My Bangladesh has become independent today, my life has been fulfilled today and the people of Bengal have been liberated today”. He took oath on 12 January 1972 as the Prime Minister and immediately started the work of rebuilding the war-ravaged country. He survived only three and half years and within this short span of time performed great tasks. He was able to send back Indian troops within just two and half months, a rare achievement. The nation got a fine constitution in nine months and another big achievement was securing membership of the United Nations despite the objections of two powerful permanent members of the Security Council. Bangabandhu had a tremendous personal image and diplomatic prudence. He addressed in various international and regional organisations and everywhere he drew the attention of world communities to his strong bold position in establishing the civil and political rights, and freeing world’s poor and marginalised people from poverty. He categorically opined that “the world is divided into two – the oppressed and the oppressors. I am with the oppressed”.
True history can never be shadowed by lies and history may be distorted but it cannot be denied. History is cruel and it gives the right persons the right places. Bangabandhu shall remain in history as the greatest Bangali of the millennium. There was doubt whether the Bangali nation could have achieved independence, had Sheikh Mujib not been born.
- Deepak Roy is a freelance journalist based in Kolkata, India