Ajit Kumar Sarkar
The assassination of Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman on August 15 in 1975 is a tragedy of colossal proportion that will remain etched in blood in the books of history. The most painful incident for the nation which took away our great leader from us on that fateful night was a result of a long-standing national and international conspiracy which began in 1947.
If we want to unearth the real reason behind the ominous murder of Bangabandhu then we have to know about two important chapters of his life. One chapter contains his long 25 years political struggle and movement against the Pakistani exploitation and repression, while the other chapter is his rule as the leader of a new born nation for three and a half years.
He ensured birth of a free and sovereign Bangladesh in 1971 uniting people against Pakistani conspiracy through his courageous, strategic, far-fetching leadership and organising skill.
On the dark night of August 15, 1975, the perpetrators killed him along with his family members and the whole world was horrified at this brutal incident. It is an unanswered question, why they killed a popular leader who became the idol of the freedom-seekers of the world, whose main aim was political, social and economical freedom of the people.
Sheikh Mujibur Rahman can only be compared with Lelin, Rozalinburgh, Gandhi, Nakruma, Lumumba, Castro and Alende.
Of the leaders, Cuba Renaissance leader Fidel Castro in 1973 said “I have not seen the Himalayas, but I have seen Sheikh Mujibur Rahman.”
World famous “Newsweek” has termed Bangabandhu as the “Poet of Politics” in their 1971 volume.
Sheikh Mujib started sowing the dream of freedom in every Bengali heart and involved himself in different political movements to give a shape to his dream.
The forerunners of the Indian freedom movement Deshbandhu Chittaranjan Das, M K Gandhi, Netaji Subhashchandra Bose, Abul Kalam Azad, Hussain Shaheed Suhrawardy, Sher-e-Bangla A K Fazlul Haque, Maulana Abdul Hamid Khan Bhashani, including Sheikh Mujibur Rahman could not accept the plan of dividing India. When Jinnah in connivance with the British made it unavoidable, only then Gandhi accepted the division of India under duress.
After the separation of India and creation of Pakistan, Bangabandhu’s prediction about Pakistan’s dirty politics came true. Pakistan started hatching conspiracy right from the beginning. In 1948, after six months of the creation of Pakistan, they tried to make Urdu the state language. With this, the plot of demolishing Bangla language and culture unveiled before everyone. At one stage of the language movement in 1948, he was arrested. After release from jail, he intensified the movement against the Pakistani dictators. He transformed the 23 years movement as the movement of freedom. He spent long 13 years in jail. They tried to hang him in Agartola conspiracy case fabricated in 1969. The united power of the students and mass upsurge put tremendous pressure on the Pakistani Military Junta to withdraw the case. Under pressure Pakistanis released him and they were bound to release him unconditionally.
The Pak Government arrested and brought him to Faisalabad on March 26, 1971.
Later, they arranged a camera trial against Bangabandhu when he was in Minwali Jail of Punjab on charge of declaring Independence, which was tantamount to sedition.
Meanwhile Bangladesh was freed on 16 December, 1971 with the surrender of the Pakistani army to Indian military. They could not accept the defeat in 1971. Pakistanis could not accept such a humiliating defeat to the joint Bangladesh and Indian forces. They continued to hatch one conspiracy after another to harm the newly independent Bangladesh. Pakistanis received all sorts of assistance from American to make Bangladesh a new Pakistan. They instigated and financed the defeated anti-liberation forces inside the country. Before launching the big attack, they killed five parliament members and caused substantial deterioration of the law and order of the country. The anti-Bangladesh group took the final decision and assassinated Bangabandhu on August 15 in 1971. The group of killers included some anti-liberation people, politicians, civilian bureaucrats and some ambitious army officials. There is an allegation that General Ziaur Rahman was behind the whole mission. US Journalist and Writer Lawrence Lifschultz report got much appreciation in this connection. He researched about the military coup of South Asia. In an interview with the State-run news agency Bangladesh Sangbad Sangtha (BSS) on August 15, 2011, said if General Zia was not involved in the military coup, then why he did not resist it? His interview hinted at the involvement of General Zia with the military killing mission.
Ajit Kumar Sarkar is a senior journalist.