When the country has started to celebrate the Silver Jubilee i.e., the 50 years of independence and the birth centenary of the Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman with joy and specific commitment to be a developed country by 2041, anti-liberation and fundamentalist forces who opposed our war of liberation have raised their fangs to strike the secular democratic forces of the country.
The governments of Sheikh Hasina just like her father Bangabandhu firmly believes in Bengali nationalism and secularism in which the four major sections of the populations i.e., the Muslim, Hindu, Buddha and Christian would live in peace in independent Bangladesh.
The great leader who created independent Bangladesh did believe in secularism. Thousands years history of Bengal impelled him to believe in secularism with right to religious independence and there should be no interference of the state in religious performance. He did evaluate his own religion in that way. He had no hatred for other religions. He had respect for all other religions equally. He firmly believed that there is one god for all population of the globe. Hindus, Muslims, Buddhists and Christians all have equal rights to practice their own religion.
It is time to uproot the enemies of our independence.
All the pro-liberation forces must come forward and
work unitedly to resist their nefarious activities
Sheikh Mujib practiced secularism throughout his entire life. Before partition of India in 1947 a severe riots occurred in Kolkata. The young Mujib went to rescue both Muslims and Hindus from the riot-torn areas. He along with Huseyn Shahid Suhurawardy went to support the Mahatma Gandhi’s protest against the Hindu-Muslim communal riots.
The seeds of communalism were permanently planted by Lord Mountbatten who gave a formula for dividing India based on two-nation theory. It was Muslim League and Congress which accepted the formula. But the leaders of Bengal including the young student leader Sheikh Mujib could not accept it.
Within less than one year after the division of India in 1947 the communal attitude of the Pakistani ruler exposed to all. They started conspiracy against Bengali language, the mother tongue of the Bengalis playing anti-India card. In early 1948 Jinnah declared that Urdu shall be the only state language of Pakistan. The young leader Sheikh Mujib and others vehemently protested the declaration and started fighting against it. He played a vital role to deduct the word `Muslim’ from Awami Muslim League in 1955 that paved ways for other communities to join Awami League.
During the 23 years movement against Pakistani rulers Sheikh Mujib had to face communalism along with other issues. As a result Muslims, Hindus, Budhists and Christian unitedly took part in the War of Liberation. After independence Bangabandhu made the constitution a secular one that gave equal rights to all religions- the Muslims, Hindus, Buddhists and Christians. The followers of each religion enjoy the equal rights in the country. But all the religious fundamentalists of East Pakistan took side of Pakistan which could not accept their defeat in 1971.
They started hatching conspiracy to destabilize the independent Bangladesh. The anti-liberation fundamentalist forces joined hands with the underground political parties and so-called believers’ scientific socialism who formed Gano Bahini. They declared `war’ against the democratic rule of Bangabandhu. As part of their evil design to oust the government of Bangabandhu, they were involved in rape, looting, arson, killing of parliament members and attacking the house of home minister. Bangabandhu took stringent measures against them and brought the country under complete control.
He then declared his second revolution to expedite the task of reconstruction of the country. When the country was heading towards stability the counter-revolutionary forces in connivance with anti-liberation forces killed Bangabandhu. After coming to power General Zia changed the constitution and made it pro-religious one. He inserted Bismillah in the constitution to please the fundamentalist forces not for establishing Islam but for creating a congenial atmosphere for his governance.
He allowed the anti-liberation Jamaat to do politics and brought back Ghulam Azam. It was actually a design to rehabilitate the anti-liberation forces and the criminals of the country in politics. The subsequent governments of General Ershad and Begum Zia followed the same path of ruling the country making a partnership with anti-liberation forces with a view to cling to power. The anti-liberation forces consolidated their strength during the 21 years rule of Zia, Ershad and Begum Zia.
After 21 years struggle Sheikh Hasina, the daughter of the Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman took over power in 1996. In 2008 national election she won the election with absolute majority and since then she has been ruling the country for over 12 years from 2009 to 2021. She has been efficiently carrying on unprecedented pace of development that she conducted throughout the whole period of her governance leading the country to the highest position of glory. Magnificent development has been achieved in every field.
Power generation increases to 25000-megawatt, per capita income is now $2000. Before pandemic the GDP was 8.2 percent and now over 5.2 percent amidst pandemic situations. There has been a lot of progress in the communication sector. The inflation was two digits and it’s now below 5.2. Bangladesh is now in second position in garment exports, 4th in fish production, 5th in vegetables production. It has launched its own satellite in space. Bangladesh is far advanced in health, education, poverty alleviation and women empowerment.
The global survey conducted by HSBC revealed that the position of Bangladesh in the global economy would be 26th from the present 42nd.
When the country has reached to the said stage of development the anti-liberation fundamentalist forces have again raised their heads high. They have committed mayhem in Brahamanbaria, Narayanganj, Sylhet and other places of the country. BNP-Jamaat has also been patronizing them to continue. These notorious enemies of independence want to reverse the country’s development. They had earlier repeatedly tried to kill Sheikh Hasina. She narrowly escaped. But they are not sitting idle. It is time to uproot these enemies of our independence. All the pro-liberation forces must come forward and work unitedly to resist their nefarious activities.
Dr SA Malek is former political adviser to the Prime Minister and Member of Parliament, general secretary of Bangabandhu
Parishad and columnist.