Since Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman and nearly all of his family members were brutally assassinated on August 15, 1975, the eighth month of the Gregorian calendar has always held special significance for Bangladeshis as one for mourning and reflection.
A thoroughbred politician who led a life of constant struggle and sacrifice for a cause, Bangabandhu’s place in history was assured when he led the people of what was once East Pakistan to freedom in 1971, establishing the newly-independent state of Bangladesh.
Bangabandhu’s tireless contributions to improving the lot of his people, today’s Bangladeshis, mark him out as one of the 20th century’s tallest leaders. A natural born leader of men, he was also a man of culture - and he proved that from time to time, by always supporting and patronising Bangladeshi arts and culture, as well as the artists.
As the visionary behind all the necessary transformations that Bangladesh needed after its independence, Bangabandhu left an indelible mark in the hearts of all who knew him, and on the fabric of the nation, till he was gunned down along with almost his entire family in a maon on the fabric of the nation remembered with befitting tribute and respect.
Echoing this motto, Gallery Cosmos has been organising its highly acclaimed tribute events observing the National Mourning Day in August since 2015 - and continuing the journey, this year Gallery Cosmos is hosting an exclusive group-art, photography and installation exhibition titled ‘BRAVEHEART’ from 12 to 31st August at Cosmos Centre in the capital.
Mofidul Hoque, a founding Trustee of the Liberation War Museum Bangladesh, virtually inaugurated the exhibition on Friday as the chief guest, while eminent artist and freedom fighter Biren Shome, renowned sculptor Bhaskar Rasha and Heru Hartanto Subolo, ambassador of the Republic of Indonesia, joined the inauguration ceremony as the special guests. Supported by the Cosmos Foundation, the exhibition's inauguration ceremony was also joined by Tehmina Enayet, Director of Gallery Cosmos and Masud Jamil Khan, Deputy Managing Director of Cosmos Group.
"August is the mourning month for our nation, as we observe the National Mourning Day this month. However, this is the month that motivates us at the same time, to be unified as a nation - which Bangabandhu taught us throughout his eventful life. His ideology behind building a secular, democratic nation for all was truly empowering, which led us to remember his sacrifice with the utmost respect - and Gallery Cosmos has been remembering Bangabandhu with this great cultural initiative titled BRAVEHEART since 2015.
Artworks from diversified mediums including artworks, sculpture installations and photographs have reflected befitting tributes towards Bangabandhu by the participating artists, and I wholeheartedly wish all the success to this exhibition," Mofidul Haque said in a video message while inaugurating the exhibition.
Apart from the Bangabandhu family, a true hero also sacrificed his life on that day as the only one who acted on their leader's call to try and save him. The only one, who despite impossible odds, answered the call of duty. The one man whose story, on a day for jackals, offers the nation some redemption. He is of course none other than Shaheed Brigadier General (posthumous) Jamil Uddin Ahmad, 'Bir Uttam', or as he is immortalised in the hearts and minds of Bangladeshis, Colonel Jamil.
Reminiscing those brutal periods from her memory lane, Colonel Jamil’s elder daughter and Gallery Cosmos Director Tehmina Enayet said, “In the dawn of 15 August 1975, Bangabandhu called our father and informed him that he and his family members had been attacked. He asked him to come and save him straight away. Our father responded quickly and before he got into the car, our mother, Anjuman Ara Jamil, asked him one last time - "Do you really have to go?" He went because Bangabandhu and his family were in danger. I never really imagined that it would be the last time I would see him - however, we do not have any regret because he dedicated his life during his valiant effort to save our Father of the Nation and his family. ``
“During that tragic night, the assassinators did not show mercy to anyone, not even Bangabandhu’s youngest child Sheikh Russel. Through this commemorative exhibition, we are not only mourning our Father of the Nation and his family but also honouring them with the utmost respect which they deserve,” Tehmina Enayet said at the event.
Tehmina Enayet thanked UNB and Dhaka Courier for being the knowledge partner of this exhibition.