“In a sense, Sheikh Mujib (Father of the Bengali nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman) is a great leader than George Washington, Mahatma Gandhi and De Valera,” leader of the British humanist movement late Lord Fenner Brockway once remarked. There are many other great personalities, who have also made the similar remarks about Bangladesh’s founding father Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman. One of them is Ved Marwah, former governor of Manipur and Jharkhand, India’s two states.
He wrote in his remark while recounting his memory with Bangabandhu “”I have met many charismatic personalities during my service career, including Jawaharlal Nehru, Indira Gandhi, Rajiv Gandhi and many world leaders, but I must say that among them he (Sheikh Mujib) was the most charismatic personality I had ever met.”
Recalling Bangabandhu’s historic meeting with late Indian Prime Minister Indira Gandhi in New Delhi Airport, Marwah also wrote, “Indian Prime Minister Indira Gandhi by nature was a very reserved person. But this occasion was an exception. I had not seen a bigger smile on her face. She was smiling and prancing like a young girl. One could see an immediate personal rapport had developed between the two.”
Like Fenner and Marwah, many others like these globally renowned personalities became fans of the all time best Bangalee, born on the alluvial soil of this part of the world in 1920. They spoke out words of praises beyond limit about Sheikh Mujib, his charismatic leadership, sky-high personality, indomitable courage and unconditional respect and commitment for the nation. Many of them described Bangabandhu as an institution, a movement, a revolution, an upsurge and above all the main architect of the Bengali nation’s freedom from a long subjugation. His March 7 (1971) historic speech is being regarded as the essence of an epic poem, like a few such speeches delivered by the world leaders of Bangabandhu’s status.
During his first ever meeting with Bangabandhu at the Algiers Non- Aligned Summit in 1973, Cuba’s unparalleled leader Fidel Castro at once hugged Bangladesh’s Father of the Nation and spoke out in an utter emotional expression, “I have not seen the Himalayas. But I have seen Sheikh Mujib. In personality and in courage, this man is the Himalayas. I have thus had the experience of witnessing the Himalayas.”
Upon hearing the news of Bangabandhu’s assassination, former British Prime Minister Harold Wilson wrote to a Bengali journalist, “This is surely a supreme national tragedy for you. For me, it is a personal tragedy of immense dimensions.”
Journalist Cyril Dunn once said of him, “In the thousand- year history of Bangladesh, Sheikh Mujib is the only leader who has, in terms of blood, race, language, culture and birth, been a full-blooded Bengali. His physical stature was immense. His voice was redolent of thunder. His charisma worked magic on people. The courage and charm that flowed from him made him a unique superman in these times.
Famous British journalist Sir Mark Tully, who had the opportunity to meet Bangabandhu from a point blank, discovered the greatest charisma of a human being in the good person of a Bangalee. “I attended several public meetings addressed by Sheikh Saheb. He had a wonderful voice that could mesmerize the crowd. I could feel that from the reaction of the people, when Sheikh Saheb used to address public meetings.” The greatest journalist of New Egypt, Hasnein Heikal (former Editor of The Al Ahram and a close associate of late President Nasser) said, “Nasser is not simply of Egypt and the Arab world. His Arab nationalism is the message of freedom for the Arab people. In similar fashion, Sheikh Mujibur Rahman does not belong to Bangladesh alone. He is the harbinger of freedom for all
Bangalis. His Bengali nationalism is the new emergence of the Bengali civilization and culture. Mujib is the hero of the Bengalis, in the past and in the times that are.”
Father of the Nation’ is an honorific bestowed on individuals, considered the most important in the process of establishment of a country instrumental in liberating a nation from colonial or other occupation. George Washington of United States, Peter I of Russia, Sun Yat-sen of China, Sir Henry Parkes of Australia, Miguel Hidalgo of Mexico, Sam Nujoma of Namibia, William the Silent of the Netherlands, Einar Gerhardsm of Norway, Julius Nyerere of Tanzania, Jomo Kenyatta of Kenya, Carlos Mannel of Cuba, Mustafa Kemal Ataturk of Turkey, Dr Ahmed Sukarno of Indonesia, Tunku Abdul Rahman of Malaysia, Mahatma Gandhi of India and Don Stephen Senanayake of Sri Lanka are the Father of the Nations. So is Bangabandhu, Father of the Nation of Bangladesh.
An Article By Asraful Huq and Mahmudul Hasan Raju.