August is a month of deepest mourning in the diary of abhorrent Bengal. Throughout this month, the Bengali mind became burdened with sorrow, grief and unbearable pain. The body of the Father of Nation – Bangabandhu was lying on stairs in his home like a map of wounded Bangladesh. Like every year this year too the cursed August came around again.
The manner in which Bangabandhu and most of his family members and some close relatives were assassinated on 15 August 1975 by the Zia – Mustaque clique is unprecedented in the history of the world. Analyzing the nature of this most brutal political assassination of the twentieth century, it was easy to see that the one and only goal of the killers was to annihilate the Bangabandhu family forever, but the mission remained incomplete as Bangabandhu’s two daughters escaped from the hyenas since they were in abroad. The assassinators and their associates continued their attempts to kill them in one conspiracy after another.
One of the ways to identify the conspirators behind any crime is to identify its beneficiaries, The main beneficiaries of the 15 August 1975 gruesome massacre were Khondakar Mustaque and General Ziaur Rahman, their names placed on the history great traitors. One became president on the same day, the other took power nine days after the assassination, from deputy army chief became chief of the army and Zia became Martial Law Administrator on 7 November 1975. Gen. Zia took full power on 23 April 1977 and illegally violated all the provisions of the constitution and hatred for the crime he had committed. After hearing the killing news of Bangabandhu Gen. Zia very coldly said “ so what, if the president is killed, the vice-president is there”. When Zia was in power, there were 16 military coups and Zia executed 1,143 freedom fighters and army personnel by hanging in just two months until 9 October 1977. These execution orders were passed by the military court which proceedings of the court took few minutes to declare capital punishment and whole trials by military courts were a total mockery, the court pronounced the death penalty and same day evening execution by hanging was performed. The British ruled the Indian subcontinent for 190 years and history could not find that the freedom fighters of over a thousand were hanged in 190 years of rule. Well, the British sentenced hundreds of freedom fighters and sent them exiled in Andaman. History is so cruel and it never pardons anybody, history places the ruler in its attainable place. It was the irony of fate that Gen. Zia was also brutally assassinated by his military personnel. After Zia’s murder new military ruler Gen Ershad emerged and through a mass upsurge, he was ousted from power and a civil government were established. Gen Zia-formed political party – BNP – came to power and his wife Begum Khaleda Zia became the country’s Prime Minister. Conspiracies did not desist and the conspirators’ main target was to eliminate Sheikh Hasina not from the political arena but from this world. On 21 August 2004, a vicious grenade attack was planned with the direct patronage of the ruling BNP-Jamaat coalition government and targeted to assassinate the then leader of the opposition Sheikh Hasina. The events of this infernal attack constitute a scandalous chapter in the political history of the world. The main protagonist behind the grenade attack was none but the eldest son of Gen. Zia and the then Prime Minister Begum Khaleda Zia. Pakistan-backed HUJI militant group which established a reign of terror in Bangladesh under the patronage of the then BNP-Jamaat coalition government worked on the surface to implement the conspiracy. The August 21 grenade attack was a huge blow to humanity, the scattered dead bodies on the street of Dhaka city were a memorial to the loss of humanity. The then BNP-Jamaat government engaged by celebrating this gruesome killing as a festival and tried to divert the blame to the then leader of the opposition Sheikh Hasina by pointing that she carried those grenades in her handbag.
The 15 August was declared the National Mourning Day. People were taken aback to see that Khaleda Zia and her party BNP suddenly started the celebration of her birthday on 15 August. Her fake birthday celebration on the country’s National Mourning Day is the cruellest fun. She was not at all aware which her actual birthday was. The three-time Prime Minister uses six days as her birthday. According to her matriculation certificate, she was born on 4 August 1945, in election documents, it was 9 August 1947, the marriage certificate suggests she was born on 5 September 1945 and on the passport, his birthday is 19 August 1945. She and her party BNP started the celebration of her birthday on the National Mourning Day of 15 August only to blunt the eternal consciousness of Bangalis. Her another birthday has recently emerged in her Covid -19 vaccine card, according to which her birthday is 8 May 1946.
Bangladesh is fortunate to have Sheikh Hasina, the worthy daughter of Bangabandhu. She is the worthy daughter of the worthy father. Her name has already been written in golden letters like her great father. The truth cannot be hidden forever. History never forgives anyone. In the infallible law of history, the truth is revealed.
- The writer is a freelancer based in Kolkata, India