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Munaz Ahmed Noor: The month August is etched in blood in our annals. Marked by sadness and sorrow, this month sparks raw emotion for us as a nation because it brings forth the memory of the saddest episode in our national life. Moreover, ever since the assassination of Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman along with most of his family members on 15 August, 1975, one after another dreadful incidents have been befalling on us in this month.
For example, it was in this month in 2004 that a horrendous grenade attack was launched targeting the current Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina. In this same August in 2005 a countrywide wave of simultaneous bomb explosions was carried out. So, in this month of mourning I begin this article paying tribute to Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman and his martyred family members.
Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman is our founding father and the Greatest Bengali of all time. He is very close to our hearts because he fought for the emancipation of the Bengalis throughout his life. In his every word and every action he exhibited pure love for the country and the people. Political and economic emancipation of the Bengali nation was his mission and vision – which is the cornerstone of Bangabandhu’s ideals.
Many say that we are followers of Bangabandhu’s ideology. But do we actually know what constitutes Bangabandhu’s ideology and go by those principles in our day to day life? The answer is in the negative for many. I want to believe that every citizen of the country possesses the spirit of the liberation war.
Father of the Nation left behind his ideals for us both in written and unwritten forms. In this write up I would like to present Bangabandhu’s ideals in three parts. Firstly, we can derive a treasure trove of ideals from his actions throughout his life which are not written; secondly, his written works hold valuable lessons for us; thirdly, he passed on some important policymatters through his second revolution.
We can get the unwritten ideals of Father of the Nation from the way he prepared himself amid various political circumstances, and the way he fought for political, economic and social emancipation of Bengalis, for achieving self-sovereignty and for establishing the rights of the Bengalis. He started all of these from his student life. Throughout his life, it was sheer love for the people which motivated him. He felt the anguish of others through his heart.
Bangabandhu said, “As a man, what concerns mankind concerns me. As a Bengalee, I am deeply involved in all that concerns Bengalees. This abiding involvement is born of and nourished by love, enduring love, which gives meaning to my politics and my very being.” Throughout his life, he never forgot his father’s advice of remaining sincere which inspired him to launch successful protest movements against all kinds of injustice and oppression.
The Pakistani army arrested Bangabandhu in the early hours of March 26 after the declaration of independence. After that the war of liberation began. After a long and bloody war of nine months, the much-cherished victory was achieved on 16 December 1971 after the defeat of Pakistan army. An independent Bengali nationhood was born in the worldmap under the leadership of Awami League – the supreme leader of which is the father of our nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman.
After achieving this landmark achievement, he put forward his ideologies in written form through the constitution of 1972. In order to ensure the socio-economic prosperity of Bangladesh, Bangabandhu has given priority to the four principles of secularism, democracy, strong nationalism and social equality in his 1972 constitution.
When Bangabandhu took over state power, there was no adequate food stock, no crops in the fields and no reserve in the central bank. In fact, no bank was functional. Roads and railways were cut off, and seaports and seaports were destroyed. Schools and colleges were reduced to abandoned barracks. Against all these odds, Bangabandhu managed to roll out a national budget worth Tk. 786 crore to Tk. 1084.37 crore.
Local and foreign conspirators started hatching conspiracies against Bangabandhu by destabilizing the country and creating artificial famine. Taking these issues into account Bangabandhu realized that if such an unhealthy atmosphere persists his desired outcome for the country cannot be fulfilled, or it will take a long time. So, at that point in time on 25 January 1975 Bangabandhu declared his second revolution for his countrymen. Bangabandhu passed on some of his ideals among us through this second revolution.
The primary objective of Bangabandhu’s daughter is to establish a pro-people and corruption-free system of governance. Although this seems to be an uphill task, we are inching towards that goal. To her credit, the premier has made the war against corruption, drug and militancy a continuous process. Thanks to her all out efforts, Bangladesh has been able to manage the covid-19 pandemic better than many other developed countries, maintaining GDP growth rate above 5 percent where the economies of many other countries of the world are collapsing.
The anti-liberation elements and their cohorts both inside and outside the country always feared Bangabandhu’s ideology. When this group of people realized that Bangladesh was moving forward holding aloft Bangabandhu’s ideology and Father of the Nation Sheikh Mujibur Rahman was becoming an internationally acclaimed leader, they became desperate to annihilate him. Thus, the gruesome assassination was carried out on August 15, 1975.
But, by God’s grace Bangabandhu’s two worthy daughters Sheikh Hasina and Sheikh Rehena survived the massacre as they were abroad at that time, and subsequently appeared before the nation as the torchbearers of Bangabandhu’s ideals. And the people, especially those who loved Bangabandhu have kept his ideals alive by clinging to them even after his demise. In the end I would like to say we have achieved independence with the slogan Joy Bangla, Joy Bangabandhu.
The only purpose of my writing today is to inspire the young generation who are interested in politics or are doing politics or want to be involved in the politics of the Awami League so that they do not fall prey to the lust for power and greed. They must dedicate themselves to the service of people by holding Bangabandhu’s ideals in heart. Through them the ideals of Bangabandhu will remain eternally afloat in this land of Bengal. Joy Bangla, Joy Bangabandhu.
The writer is the
vice-chancellor of Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman Digital University, Bangladesh