Special Supplement

Bangladesh would not emerge without Bangabandhu

Published : 16 Mar 2021 10:32 PM | Updated : 17 Mar 2021 10:35 AM

Today is March 17. On this day in 1920 Sheikh Mujib was born at Tungipara of Gopalgonj. The day coincides with the 101st birth anniversary of Bangabandhu being celebrated not only in Bangladesh, but also throughout the world. The great leader was born at a time when the cold war spread all over the world. The Vietnamese had been fighting for freedom. The tiny and large incidents in Vietnam bull-dozing several thousands in the operation by the US soldiers that Vietnam is not only free but also an ally of their archrival. The Palestinian war was going on. Yeasir Arafat was the leader. He was proud to be a brother of Sheikh Mujib. 

Khoka as his name was known to all as a boy who had all feeling for the people around him especially the classmates who shared all that he could afford. Khoka loved the poor people and shared books and clothes with them. The poor people also met him when they needed food. The boy Khoka was very soft to the poor but very harsh to the wrong doers. He could not continue his study for the time being as he had been suffering from beriberi. Getting well he got admitted into the Gopalgonj Mission School at class seven in 1937.  

Khoka was the captain of the school and drew attention of the then Labour Minister Hussain Shaheed Suhurawardy who along with Chief Minister of undivided Bengal Sher-e-Bangla A K Fazlul Huq visited Gopalgonj in the year 1938.  He organized reception in honour of the two ministers defying ban of the Congress. After inauguration of the exhibition Huq Shaheb went to visit Public hall and Suhurwardy to Gopalgonj Mission School. 

On behalf of the students school captain Khoka brought sipping of rain water from the rooftop of the school building to the notice of Suhurwardy and demanded of its repair. The labour minister became surprise at the courage and deliberations of Khoka and collected his address. After some days Suhurwardy wrote a letter to Sheikh Mujib. Accordingly Mujib replied to his letter. And this way the relation grew between Suhurwardy and Mujib. 

While in Kolkata Islamia College, Mujib proved his worth by being a student leader of the college. He had easy access to Suhurawardy, Sher-e-Bangla and Deshbandhu Chitta Ranjan. In fact Suhurwardy was his ideological leader. He had great respect for him and he was with him till his death.

Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujib, the liberator of Bangladesh was the symbol of great humanity. He was taller than almost all leaders when he stood with them. He was really better in his art of talking. He used to raise his index finger when necessary. Another beauty of Sheikh Mujib, is his always loving face. He could laugh even in crisis. He was courageous and never did compromise with injustice. Mujib was honest absolutely. He feared none except God. He could develop friendship with any person or country. There was none against him. He was a Bengali by birth. 

He was a true Muslim with secular character. He incorporated secularism in the constitution giving the state a secular character.  He demonstrated all the qualities of a great man. Mujib was nearly 6 feet high with a shock of graying hair, a bushy mustache and alert black eyes. He could be easily identified in a meeting. He can attract a crowd of tens of thousands of people and hold them spell-bound with great rolling waves of emotional rhetoric. Mujib was eloquent in Bengali, English and English. I have seen many meetings. But he was never angry. He used always to call the political association by me.  His memory was extraordinary. One must be astonished that Mujib could recall a person to see him even after 20 years. 

Sheikh Mujib had a loud voice. He had no need of loud speaker during a meeting of hundreds of people. He was a very good communicator. His way of talking impressed the people. Sheikh Mujib motivated the people and created public opinion over two decades against exploitation and despotic rule of Pakistan.   Even when someone talks alone with him, he talks like he is addressing thousands people. His had a god gifted voice and he was different than any other leaders in the contemporary world.          

Sheikh Mujib was the undisputed leader of Bengalis and architect of War of Liberation. When India got divided and Pakistan was for the Muslim, Sheikh Mujib could not be happy as Purbo Bangla did not get independence as demanded by Suhurwardy, Sher-e-Bangla and Desbandhu. He came to Dhaka in 1948 and formed Muslim Chhatra League on 4th January 1948. Mujib started education at the Department Law of Dhaka University and became leader of the fourth class employees of the university for extending support to their demands. Mujib was arrested on 26th March on charges of leading the movement of the employees. The Dhaka University authority expelled him from the university. He left the university till he was to arrive at it when he became the Prime Minister of independent Bangladesh in 1972 and as Chancellor of the Universities as per the rules. The expectation got shattered with the assassination of Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujib on August 15, 1975.        

No leader in Bangladesh did suffer so long for his people. The cause of suffering was his commitment for them. His only aim was to free the people from clutches of Pakistani colonial rule and emancipate them from economic subjugation. He fought for Bangla language, regional autonomy and democracy of the suppressed and oppressed. He categorically told that he was in favor of exploited. His desire for independence of Bangladesh was designed for exploitation free Bangladesh. He was a democrat and his life long struggle was democratic in nature. 

But he did not hesitate to turn into a revolutionary as and when required. He fought election as a means to realize the people’s right. The 1970 election was a challenge to him on his six-point demand. He got 167 seats out of 169 for the parliament establishing that he was the mouth piece of the people of East Pakistan. He led the language movement of 1952, he fought Jukta Front election in 1954 and six-point movement in 1966, the mass movement in1969 and the election in 1970 absolutely. He made it clear to the rulers of Pakistan that he could make no compromise on six-points and the consequence was the conflict and confrontation that followed subsequently. 

The Pakistani ruler suspended the national assembly session on March 3.  The people of East Bengal revolted under his dynamic leadership. The non-cooperation movement began at his direction. Virtually he made the Pakistan defunct and it was at his order that the administration acted. He became the vital force for governance. Nowhere did happen such an event that political leader ruled his people ignoring the governance of the incumbent. 

The administration was being run at the directives of Bangabandhu until March 25 when the occupation army attacked the unarmed civilians at Dhaka and many other places killing thousands of innocent citizens including university teachers, students, police, BDR and the working labors. Immediately after the attack Bangabandhu declared independence of Bangladesh in the early hour of 26th March calling upon the country men to fight against the occupation army until the last one was annihilated from the soil of Bangladesh. 

Dr S A Malek is the former political adviser to the Prime Minister and Member of Parliament, general secretary of Bangabandhu Parishad and columnist