Birth Anniversary- Bangabandhu
Today, Sunday –March 17 is the 99th birth anniversary of the Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman. The greatest Bangalee and also the best son of this soil was born on this day in 1920 in the remote hamlet Tungipara under the then Gopalganj subdivision. His father was Sheikh Lutfar Rahman and mother Saera Khatun. Sheikh Lutfar Rahman was a bench clerk in the court who served in Goplaganj and Madaripur subdivisions. Bangabandhu’s nick name was ‘Khoka’ and had ophthalmic problems from childhood.
Sheikh Mujib is not a name only but a history of struggle, protests, success and tragic end of a father from his creations. His politics was not only bounded in a geographical boundary rather it influenced the whole sub-continent as well as the whole third world inhibited by the millions of oppressed and suppressed.
Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujib was known for his courage and determination from the juvenile age. He came in touch with eminent politicians like Sher –e- Bangla A.K. Fazlul Haque and Hossain Shahid Shuwardi when he was a school student. On one occasion these two leaders went to a Gopalganj school where Sheikh Mujib was a student. While visiting school Sheikh Mujib placed some demands including the repairing of the school building roof. The two leaders were charmed by the courage and spontaneity of Mujib and committed to fulfill his demands.
While in his school life Sheikh Mujib was arrested for his anti-British role and suffered imprisonment for a week. That was first imprisonment. Gradually Sheikh Mujib got involved in the British Indian politics and came very close to A. K. Fazlul Haque and H.S. Shuhwardi.
After partition of Indian subcontinent making India and Pakistan , Sheikh Mujib’s career took a new turn. Pakistan was divided into two wings--- East Pakistan and West Pakistan. East Pakistan –now Bangladesh was homogeneous in nature because almost cent percent people speak Bengali language while in West Pakistan people still speak in various languages. Despite the fact, the Pakistani ruler wanted to make our language Urdu. Young Sheikh Mujib along with thousands roared against this decision. Sheikh Mujib was taken to jail. Finally through 1952 language movement Bangalee got back their mother tongue. Pakistani ruler accepted Bengali and Urdu as languages.
Sheikh Mujib had to fight the Pakistani ruler for 23 years against the disparity, oppression, suppression and deprivation. In 1966 Sheikh Mujib announced his famous six-point demand to end the deprivation of erstwhile East Pakistan which enraged the Pakistani rulers. They arrested Sheikh Mujib, some civilians, bureaucrats and some naval officers in the Agartala Conspiracy Case to prove Sheikh Mujib, a secessionist. It was a deep conspiracy against Sheikh Mujib and the Bangalees who wanted a rightful share of the state earnings.
But the mass upsurge of 1969 by the Bangalees foiled all the conspiracy against Mujib hatched by the Pakistani ruler. Sheikh Mujib was freed and given a rousing reception at the Race Course ground now Shuwardi ground. Sheikh Mujib was accorded the title Bangabandhu. It saw the exit of Pakistani ruler Ayub Khan and entry of new military ruler General Yahiya Khan at the helm of Pakistani ruling clique.
Then came the general election of 1970 which saw Bangabandhu’s Awami League a sweeping victory in the erstwhile East Pakistan. But the military ruler of Pakistan at the instigation of Zulfiquar Ali Bhutto who won the majority seats in West Pakistan did not hand over power to Bangabandhu who was the leader of the majority in the national parliament.
Protesting the decision Awami League led by Sheikh Mujib started movement resulting the biggest ever meeting at Shuwardi Udyan on March 7 of 1971. Sheikh Mujib made his historical declaration where he said’ this struggle is for liberation, get ready with your available weapons to drive out the Pakistanis ’. General Yahiya came to Dhaka and sat with Bangabandhu resulting no fruit. Actually Pakistani junta was passing time to bring more armed personnel from West wing to take punitive action against the Bangalees.
On the night of March 25, 1971 Pakistan army in a body dangerous weapons came out on the street from Dhaka cantonment and started indiscriminate killing of the people, student, pedestrians and women. They took Bangabandhu into custody and flown him to Pakistani jail in Layalpur. However, before arrest Bangabandhu declared the independence through a wireless message to Awami League leader Zahur Ahmed Chowdhury in Chittagong.
However the Bangalees with the help of friendly countries fought out the occupation forces and finally freed the country on December 16, 1971.
Bangabandhu came back and started building the war ravaged country and bring economic order. But the conspirators did not allow it. Bangabandhu while president of the country was brutally killed along with his family members in the small hours of August 15, 1975. Present Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina and her younger sister Sheikh Rehana survived who were in abroad.
We mourn his untimely brutal death and get renewed zeal from his teachings to take Bangladesh march ahead. So long Bangladesh will last Bangabandhu will remain undisputed leader of very high grade who never compromised the interest of his people. He will be in our heart.