Bangabandhu had no illusions about Pakistanis

#bangabandhu : Even in the early days of Pakistan, Bangabandhu had understood that there was no alternative to attaining independence. Consequently all his activities were directed at attaining independence for the country. After independence, the establishment of BKSAL was also aimed at the welfare of the nation. Many of his policies were later adopted by Zia and Ershad.
M Nazrul Islam’s “Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman Souvenir 3” compiles articles by educationists, journalists, judges and other intellectuals who elaborately explain Bangabandhu’s times and his political philosophy. Justice Golam Rabbani in his article says: On May 8, 1947 Sharat Bose and Abul Hashim had made a move for an independent Bengal but it could not be realized because of the hindrance of Mahatma Gandhi, Jawaharlal Nehru and Mohammad Ali Jinnah.
Soon after the creation of Pakistan in 1948, the Bengalis of East Bengal, which is now Bangladesh, opposed the Pakistan government’s proposal of making Urdu the only official language of Pakistan. Bangabandhu was part of the protests against imposing Urdu. “Soon, unknowingly he was the center of activities,” Justice Rabbani writes about Bangabandhu in the early days of Pakistan.
Rabbani further writes: “During the Liberation War, Bangabandhu was imprisoned but he remained in the hearts of all Bengalis. He was the inspiration for the Freedom Fighters.”
The deceased editor of the Bengali daily, Dainik Sangbad, Bazlur Rahman, in his article writes about a meeting between Bangabandhu and Communist Party leaders Moni Singh and Khoka Roy in 1962. During the meeting, Singh and Roy raised the issues of democracy, autonomy and the rights of workers and peasants. Bangabandhu told them that the Pakistanis were not going to accept any demand, peacefully. Everything would have to be fought for.
Despite disparaging remarks about BAKSAL, both Zia and Ershad incorporated four issues from BKSAL’s programme. They are: National unity, routing corruption, family planning and increasing production. These were to form part of Zia’s 19-point programme and Ershad’s agenda, too.

Bangabandhu crying like a child on that day to see off his daughters


“Bangabandhu cried like a child on that day. Those who heard him crying from close range they could hardly check their tears witnessing that Father of the Nation drenched deep in tears for his wards (offspring). Only exception was Bangamata as she was tearless then. She had an inherent quality to bury deep in her heart unlimited pains although her face was badly pain-stricken for loosing anything big.”

Bangabandhu’s private secretary Dr Mohammad Farashuddin said this in an exclusive interview with BSS recalling the fond memories of the incident relating to seeing off both of their daughters by Sheikh Mujib and Begum Mujib at Kurmitola Airport on July 30, 1975, a fortnight before their gruesome assassination, on August 15 the same year. With tears the seasoned bureaucrat went back to his memoirs of 1975.
“The day was 30th July, 1975. Bangabandhu and Bangamata came at Kurmitola Airport to see off their eldest daughter and incumbent Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, both of her kids Putul and Sajeeb and youngest daughter Sheikh Rehana. I was with them then. Bangabandhu cried like a child bidding farewell to them and Bangamata was motionless in speechless pains,” he added.
Sheikh Hasina’s nuclear scientist husband Dr M Wazed Miah was then engaged in research work in nuclear reactor science in a nuclear research centre in Karlsruhe city in West Germany then. That day Sheikh Hasina along with both of her kids and younger sister Sheikh Rehana went to Germany to live with her husband there.
There was no ward to console Bangabandhu then as the signs of deep pain reflected on his face after he bid farewell to both of his daughters, said Dr Farasuddin asking him as to why he has broken down in such a manner to an incident of happiness when his daughter was going to her hubby’s place of work and her kids getting an opportunity to have their father’s warm lap.
Dr Farashuddin quoted Bangabandhu as replying, “My son (Babare), you won’t understand what has been going on in my heart right now as I am turning blue in pain inside.”
Terming the incident of both the daughters of Bangabandhu going abroad a fortnight before the August 15 carnage as a miracle, Dr Farashuddin who was like a son to Bangabandhu couple, said, “They (both the Bangabandhu’s daughters) would have been the victims of the brutality had they not been gone abroad on that day and we would not have gained today’s independent and sovereign Bangladesh.”

He (Bangabandhu) was more of father figure than a legislator: Indira

Prime Minister Indira Gandhi with Sheikh Mujibur Rahman
Former Indian prime minister Indira Gandhi saw Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman closely and made some candid remarks about him from political and personal points of view. In one of the remarks Gandhi made in her biographical book, “My Truth”, reflected that she was also overwhelmed in seeing the caring father figure of Bangabandhu, which overshadowed all other amazing characteristics of the Father of the Nation.
“He was a very sentimental, warm-hearted person, more of a father figure than a legislator,” Gandhi wrote in the book, in which she also noted some historical truths while talking about her unequivocal support to the people of this country during the War of Independence in 1971. Gandhi was aware about the deteriorating political situation in the erstwhile East Pakistan, but did not have the updated information in detail about the fast changing situation in Dhaka.
“At first, the only thing we knew was that the Pakistanis were fighting instead of accepting Mujib (Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman) as the elected Prime Minister,” she wrote. However, as days passed by and updated information started to come up, the world came to know that people of the then East Pakistan began war for independence in the name of Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman. Referring to this history, the former Indian premier wrote in her book, “Whatever they (people of Bangladesh) did, they did in his name and for him.”
Gandhi realized that something extraordinary was going to happen in the then East Pakistan as she described in her book that the war in 71 was not an ordinary war and it was a political matter rather than a religious one.
However, she wrote, “We kept out of it as long as we possibly could” though “there was a persistent demand for action and some people felt that we should have moved our troops there.”
Gandhi recalled in the book that she was elected the leader of the Congress Parliamentary Party and the prime minister of India for the third time in succession merely a week before the black night of March 25. In September 1971, Gandhi visited Moscow followed by a three-week official tour in October to European countries “to tell people there that if they had any influence on the Pakistanis, they should try and get them to act more reasonably.”
From the very beginning of the war, Gandhi was confident about the independence of Bangladesh: “I had no doubt in my mind that the Bangladeshis would win their freedom. Not the slightest doubt.”
The political and personal role of Indira Gandhi in the War of Liberation in 1971 has been highly appreciated by the people of this country. But her role was officially recognised by the government of Sheikh Hasina when the country celebrated its 40th independence anniversary in 2012. The government conferred the Bangladesh Swadhinata Sammanona on Indira Gandhi posthumously for her “outstanding contribution” to the country’s independence from Pakistan. Gandhi was, in fact, the first foreigner who was given the highest state honour.

‘Bangabandhu’s killers plotting to turn Bangladesh a failed state’

The killers of Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman are still hatching conspiracy to turn Bangladesh a failed state, freedom fighters, academics and civil society members in Rangpur said. Rangpur City Mayor and valiant freedom fighter Alhaj Sarfuddin Ahmed Jhantu said the anti-liberation forces and the killers of Bangabandhu are still hatching conspiracies to turn Bangladesh into a failed state.
As part of the new conspiracy, they carried out the recent militant  attacks, killing innocent foreign and local citizens to destabilise the country, he said. Vice-chancellor of Begum Rokeya University Professor Dr AKM Nurun Nabi said Bangabandhu was assassinated at such a crucial time when he had engaged himself in restructuring the war-torn nation with the spirit of the War of Liberation.
“We would never get independence without Bangabandhu,” he said and asked all to become united for resisting the anti-liberation forces who assassinated Bangabandhu to reverse our hardly-earned independence. Legendary freedom fighter Taramon Bibi, Bir Pratik, said the pro-Pakistani perpetrators assassinated Bangabandhu as part of a deep-rooted conspiracy to reverse the spirit of the War of Liberation and destroy dream of independence.
“I cannot believe even today that Bangabandhu might be killed on the just-liberated soil where the great leader sacrificed and spent every moment of his whole life for serving the purpose of the Bengali nation,” she said. President of Rangpur unit of Ghatok-Dalal Nirmul Committee Dr Mofizul Islam Mantu said the pro-Pakistani killers took control of state power after assassinating Bangabandhu, frightened the people and putting many of the freedom fighters and politicians into jail.
“Bangladesh has already achieved the status of low middle income state on its way to become a middle income country by 2021 and a developed nation by 2041, taking proper revenge of Bangabandhu’s assassination,” he added.
Assistant Professor of Begum Rokeya University Dr Tuhin Wadud said the deep-rooted conspiracy to reverse independence and spirit of War of Liberation through assassination of Bangabandhu finally failed.
“The nation has already completed the trial of Bangabandhu’s killers and executed most of them while the process for bringing back the fugitive killers is going on,” he said.
Rangpur district Commander of Bangladesh Muktijoddha Sangshad Mosaddek Hossain Bablu said the conspirators assassinated Bangabandhu, the most popular world leader of the time, stunning the nation and the whole world community. Chilmari upazila chairman Shawkat Ali Sarker, Bir Bikram, said the perpetrators wanted to bury spirit of the War of Liberation in a bid to revive Pakistan through killing the architect of Independence Bangabandhu and his family members.
“The common people remained indoors as military, paramilitary and police forces were patrolling the cities and towns, imposing indefinite curfew and arresting many during the post August 15 assassinations,” he said.
Amidst the most insecure situation people tried to bring out processions at many places to protest the killing of Bangabandhu, Panchagarh District Muktijoddha Commander Mirja Abul Kalam Dulal said. Former Treasurer of Begum Rokeya University Professor Mozammel Haque said the perpetrators created a reign of terror then through arresting Bangabandhu lovers, freedom fighters and were spreading propaganda to create panic in the society.
Valiant freedom fighter and cultural personality Akbar Hossain said Bangladesh is successfully moving fast to become Sonar Bangla as dreamt by Bangabandhu under dynamic leadership of his daughter Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina.
By Mamun Islam

Kissinger, Bhutto visit Dhaka before Bangabandhu’s assassination

The US secretary of state Henry Kissinger made a whirlwind visit to Bangladesh before the assassination of the Father of the Nation, Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman.
He came to Dhaka on October 30, 1974 while met with Bangabandhu for a couple of hours at the Gonobhaban and later appeared at a three-minute press conference in which he refused to say why he had sent the USS Enterprise into the Bay of Bengal in 1971.
Notably, Kissinger visited Dhaka only after four months of the visit of the Pakistani Premier Zulfikar Ali Bhutto who came here on June 24 in 1974 and stayed for three days. His huge entourage included 107 persons. On the day of his arrival, local newspapers were full of file-photos of the barbarity of the Pakistan army in 1971.
About the Kissinger’s visit, renowned US journalist Lawrence Lifschultz in his “Bangladesh: The Unfinished Revolution” writes: Within a month of Kissinger’s visit the US Embassy in Dhaka had become a bee-hive of activity.
After his meeting with Bangabandhu, Kissinger told journalists that he would not have realised that it is possible for human being to reach that height if he would not see Bangabandhu.
Lifschultz in his book further writes: “Those who were aware of Kissinger’s plans felt that the US diplomat’s comments were kind of satirical.
The different attitude of the then US authorities to Bangabandhu was also evident at that time. For instance, when a foreign head of government goes to the United Nations on a maiden tour, he is usually honored with an invitation to the White House. But despite repeated queries from the Bangladesh foreign ministry there was no clear response from the White House, in this case.
Later, when it was clear that, whatever the circumstances, Bangabandhu would visit Washington D.C., anyway, to visit old friends, the State Department hurriedly arranged a 15-minute meeting with the US president.
But the entire ambience of the meeting was cold. Kissinger did not even have the courtesy to meet Bangabandhu while he was in Washington. But it is true that Kissinger met Bangabandhu at the United Nations’ headquarters, a few days back.
Therefore, Lifschultz says, Kissinger’s effusive remarks about Bangabandhu were all verbiage. Referring to the role of Kissinger during the War of Liberation in 1971, Finance Minister Abul Maal Abdul Muhith told a recent discussion meeting held in Dhaka that the US diplomat should be tried for war crime.