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Sheikh Kamal: A perennial source of inspiration for youths


Published : 04 Aug 2022 09:54 PM

Imbued with a vision and mission, Sheikh Kamal had been engaged in transforming the country’s young people into a future force to enable them to lead the nation towards the goal set by the Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman. He was striving to inculcate a spirit of outstanding dynamism in the youth of the newborn nation.

Sheikh Kamal, one of the most prominent organisers of the Liberation War of Bangladesh, was a symbol of overwhelming spirit of the youth and he made spectacular contribution to keeping the youth on the right track and getting them engaged in the nation-building work of war-ravaged Bangladesh. That was the crying need for the country immediately after the Liberation War in 1971. Sheikh Kamal, the eldest son of the Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, was a legendary figure in sports and cultural arena of Bangladesh. I have never seen such a simple and amiable young leader like him in my life. He had active presence in the field of sports.

Sheikh Kamal is still an inspiration to the young leaders of the country irrespective of caste and creed and political affiliation. He is a symbol of enthusiasm. He was such a magnetic personality that nobody getting in touch with him could forget or avoid him.

Being a proud son of the Father of the Nation, he took up arms and fought a gallant fight against the Pakistan occupation army during the Liberation War. And he was ADC (aide-de-camp) to MAG Osmani, the Commander-in-Chief of the Mukti Bahini (Freedom Fighters). Sheikh Kamal, the valiant son of the soil, was born on this day, August 5, in 1949.

Coming back from war, he got admitted to the University of Dhaka to complete his study. He was as simple as other boys in the class. Despite being the eldest son of the Father of the Nation Bangabandhu, he was not an egoist, rather he was a modest, amiable young man helpful to all.

Sheikh Kamal’s contribution to the sports and cultural arena of Bangladesh is an  extraordinary one and the sector is still carrying on his legacy. He was the founder president of the country's leading sporting club, Abahani Krira Chakra, and founder member of Dhaka Theatre. Kamal introduced modern football in Bangladesh after the independence. 

Bangladesh Chhatra League, the student wing of the Bangladesh Awami League, was organised by Sheikh Kamal in 1960. He placed Chhatra League on a rock-solid foundation which instilled the spirit of the Liberation War into the philosophy of the students of Bangladesh.

He has hundreds of friends and followers across the country who will never forget him. He could win new friends and influence them easily by getting close with them within seconds.

Sheikh Kamal was a real leader of the general people. Immediately after the liberation of the country, Bangladesh Chhatra League, the forerunner of the Liberation War, got divided. At that crucial moment, Sheikh Kamal started reorganising the student front which he loved more than his life. By working round the clock and reaching the grass-roots level, he made the Chhatra League one of the strongest student fronts in Bangladesh within a month.

Sheikh Kamal lived such a simple life that nobody could identify him as the son of the Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman unless somebody introduced him.

Sheikh Kamal got married to Sultana Kamal, a famous athlete of the country who was the first female recipient of ‘Blue’ of the University of Dhaka.

Bangabandhu was scheduled to visit Dhaka University on the 15th of August, 1975. And accordingly, we were passing a busy hour on the 14th August on the campus to ensure that everything is alright. Some of us, including Ismat Kadir Gama, SM Salam who recently died in Canada, Tayabul Bahar, Shahed Reza, Abdul Motin and me, were working at the Arts Faculty and at around 9 PM Sheikh Kamal came to us. He was inspecting how things were going on. Sheikh Kamal stayed with us for a few minutes and asked about the bomb blast near the University Library on that day.

Passing sometimes with us, he went to attend the marriage ceremony of one of his friends. And that was my last meeting with Kamal Bhai.

We remember Sheikh Kamal with profound regards and respect. In his demise, we lost our leader and the nearest one and the nation lost its future leader who could lead the country to the pinnacle of development.