Saturday, August 14, 2010Metropolitan
This day Bangabandhu looked sadBss, DhakaBangabandhu looked depressed on the last evening of his life on August 14, 1975 as a “black car” that came to carry him home from Ganobhaban, visibly appeared to him
as an ominous sign, a close aide recalled.
“Seeing the car, Bangabandhu murmured several times ‘A black car today!’ – – that was his last comment, which I heard he made. We saw him leaving for home with a very depressed look,” said Dr Muhammad Farashuddin, who was the private secretary to the president.
In an exclusive interview with the news agency ahead of the National Mourning Day tomorrow, he said obviously Bangabandhu did not know that it was the last evening of his life but still he (Farashuddin) wondered if the father of the nation could understand that his last minute had neared.
Farashuddin recalled that three cars were earmarked for presidential duty with one of them being the black one and it was a strange coincidence that the black car was put on duty on that day.
He said as an everyday practice he and some other officials had escorted Bangabandhu up to his car during the departure as usual he said good bye to the officers like any other day, but what appeared a bit unusual that he halted for a second before riding on it for the last time.
Asked what the office schedule was on the last day of the father of the nation, Farashuddin said his last afternoon in office was full of routine activities.
He said Ganobhaban was particularly busy with preparations of Bangabandhu’s attendance at Dhaka University convocation next day and the farewell reception to three senior officials at the presidential office including him while the two others were Joint Secretary M Monwarul Islam and Military Secretary Colonel Jamiluddin Ahmad.
Some were also busy with the development of crash of an Indian helicopter in Bangladesh territory earlier on that day in Noakhali.
He said Bangabandhu was a bit sad over the farewell of the three officials as Farashuddin recalled him saying, “Monowar and Farash are going (abroad) after two days leaving behind a touch of affection. I will miss them. The good news is that Jamil will be staying at home.”
Farashuddin and Monwarul Islam were scheduled to go to the United States on August 17 for higher education while Jamil was set to join as the Director of Forces Intelligence (DFI), now DGFI.
Ahead of leaving the office, Bangabandhu held talks with the then Dhaka University Vice Chancellor M Abdul Matin on the preparations of convocation and the topic of his speech.
A sense of hesitation also gripped his mind that the university that had expelled him earlier was going to confer honorary doctor of law degree.
Bangabandhu got enrolled in the Law Department of Dhaka University in 1948 and was punished with others for joining a movement in favour of the class-iv employees of the university.
The others paid fines and retained their studentship, but Bangabandhu declined to pay the unjust fine and was consequently expelled from the university.
He said Bangabandhu used to walk on the lawn of Ganobhaban and enjoyed the views of leaves on the threes and water and fish in the lake but on that day he did not get the time to spend time with the nature.