Bangladesh marching forward recalling Bangabandhu


Bangladesh has already achieved the status of lower middle income on its way to become a middle income country by 2021 and developed nation by 2041 recalling Bangabandhu’s dream.

The deep-rooted conspiracy of anti-liberation elements to reverse independence and spirit of the War of Liberation through assassination of Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman has failed in fact. The nation has already completed the trial of Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman assassination, executed most of the killers and the process of bringing back other absconding killers home for execution has been continuing to free the country from the enemies.

The nation has been recalling incomparable contribution and sacrifice of Bangabandhu with due respect through observing the 40th anniversary of martyrdom of Father of the Nation as National Mourning Month started yesterday. Like the whole nation, the people of Rangpur region, were then stunned after listening the unbelievable radio broadcast over the assassination of the most popular leader of Bengali Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman by a group of unruly army men on August 15 in 1975.

Talking to BSS, academicians, freedom fighters, politicians, professionals, teachers, students, civil society members, workers and farmers remembered their unbearable memories while expressing reactions over Bangabandhu’s assassination. Vice-chancellor of Begum Rokeya University Professor Dr A.K.M. Nurun Nabi said the anti-liberation forces wanted to reverse the hardly-earned independence through killing Bangabandhu.

He said Bangabandhu was assassinated at such a crucial time when he had engaged himself in restructuring the war-torn nation in spirit of the War of Liberation to fulfill his dream building Sonar Bangla.

Rangpur district Commander of Bangladesh Muktijoddha Sangshad and FBCCI Director Mosaddek Hossain Bablu said the assassination of Bangabandhu stunning the nation and the whole world community.

He termed assassination of Bangabandhu is an irreparable loss for the nation and said the vested quarters, however, completely failed to realise their deep-rooted conspiracy and devil design of turning the just-liberated Bangladesh again into Pakistan.

Chilmari upazila chairman Shawkat Ali Sarker, Bir Bikram, said the perpetrators wanted to bury spirit of the War of Liberation once for all in a bid to revive Pakistan through killing the architect of independence Bangabandhu and his family members.

Recalling memories, he said common people remained indoors in silence as military, paramilitary and police forces were patrolling the cities and town’s streets; they imposed indefinite curfew and arrested many people during the post August 15 assassinations.

Legendary freedom fighter Taramon Bibi, Bir Pratik, said the pro-Pakistani perpetrators with anti-liberation forces assassinated Bangabandhu as part of their deep-rooted conspiracy to reverse spirit of the War of Liberation and destroy our Independence.

She said that it is still very hard for her to believe that Bangabandhu might be killed on the just-liberated soil where the great leader spent every moment of his life for serving the nation.

However, she thanked Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina for making Bangabandhu’s dream successful through defeating culprits of the 1975.

“Bangladesh is moving fast successfully to become the developed Sonar Bangla as dreamt by Bangabandhu, under the dynamic leadership of his daughter Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina,” she added.

Social worker Dr Mofizul Islam Mantu and Assistant Professor of Begum Rokeya University Dr Tuhin Wadud said the pro-Pakistani assassins took control the state power, frightened people and put many freedom fighters and politicians into jail killing Bangabandhu. The perpetrators launched a reign of terrorism through arresting followers of Bangabandhu , freedom fighters and were spreading propaganda against Bangabandhu to mislead the common people to create negative attitudes towards him, they added. Elderly citizens, Aminur Rahman, Kochhim Uddin and Abul Hossain said the common people became wordless and traumatized hearing the unbelievable news of the assassination of Bangabandhu on August 15 in 1975.

By Mamun Islam – BSS

“Sheikh Mujib stands higher than George Washington, Mahatma Gandhi”


“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.

US to help repatriation of Bangabandhu murder convict


United States Secretary of State John F Kerry pledged Bangladesh to help in repatriation of the most-wanted fugitive Rashed Chowdhury, one of the convicted killers of Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, who is living in the USA illegally. The information came from the report on Foreign Minister Abul Hassan Mahmood Ali’s visit to the US in last December.

Cabinet secretary Mosharraf Hossain Bhuiyan after the cabinet meeting on Monday briefed media about the report. Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina presided over the meeting. The report said the US secretary of state is impressed at the steps has been taken by Bangladesh government to contain terrorism.

The cabinet approved the draft of International Finance Corporation Act (amended)-2015 and Bangladesh Palli Unnayan Board Act 2015 (amended)-2015. The secretary said both the acts are already in practice. After incorporating some additions and deletions, both the acts will be translated in Bangla, the secretary added.

Road to independence: Bangabandhu refused to escape arrest


Although it was not for the first time that he refused to save his own life in the harm’s way, Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman once again had chosen to face the danger himself as Pakistani armies were looking to arrest him in the wee hours of 26 March 1971.

According to an article published in the London-based Daily Telegraph titled ‘Tanks Crush Revolt in Pakistan’ on 30 March 1971, Bangabandhu received a phone call on the fateful night of 25 March from an aide, who asked him (Bangabandhu) to go into hiding as an estimated three battalions— one armoured, one infantry and one artillery— of troops were ravaging then Dacca from at about 10pm.

‘Sheikh Mujib was telephoned and warned that something was happening, but he refused to leave his house. ‘If I go into hiding, they will burn the whole of Dacca to find me,’ he told an aide, who escaped arrest,’ the article said.

Led by American-supplied M24 World War II tanks, Pakistani troops ran havoc across the city, including in Dhaka University and Rajarbagh Police Lines. In the university area, the troops took over the then British Council library and used it as a firebase to shell nearby dormitory areas.

At almost the same time, columns of troops moved in on Rajarbagh. Tanks opened fire first, followed by boots on the ground, who fired incendiary rounds into the buildings. According to the article, written by Simon Dring, as these were going on, other units (Pakistan army) surrounded the house of Bangabandhu.

‘When contacted shortly before 1:00am, he (Bangabandhu) was expecting an attack any minute and that he had sent everyone except his servants and a bodyguard away to safety,’ the article said. Quoting a neighbour, the article said that at 1:10am, one tank, an armoured car and trucks loaded with troops drove down the street firing over the house.

‘Sheikh you should come down,’ an officer called out in English as they (army) stopped outside. ‘Sheikh Mujibur Rahman replied by stepping out on to his balcony and saying yes, I am ready but there is no need to fire; all you need to have done was call me on the telephone and I would have come,’ the article said.

The officer then walked into the garden of the house and told the Sheikh (Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman), ‘You are arrested.’ ‘He (Bangabandhu) was taken away, along with three servants, an aide and his bodyguard…’ the article said.



The reactionary forces who captured the state power immediately after Bangabandhu’s demise rightly understood that the deceased Mujib is more powerful as the deep rooted image of Bangabandhu cannot be wiped out from the heart of the Bengali unless an ill-designed anti-thesis against Mujib’s ideology could be introduced. So, they initiated the process of history distortion with a view to demeaning Mujib’s image.

The irony is that the major beneficiary of Bangabandhu’s killing was the valiant freedom fighter General Ziaur Rahman. In spite of being a freedom fighter, Zia did not hesitate to be a part of the blueprint of the evil forces. The reactionary forces speculated that if the new generations, who had not witnessed the war of independence, could be kept in the dark concerning the history of our liberation and the contribution of Bangabandhu, they would be successful one day. To serve this purpose, keeping Zia in front they started to distort and fabricate our war history. Not only this, the process of tarnishing the image of Bangabandhu had also begun during Zia’s regime.

Reactionary forces have brought many baseless accusations against Bangabandhu. The following paragraphs attempt to counter some of these allegations.

BAKSAL formation: Many have claimed that it was none but Bangabandhu who killed democracy and established authoritarian rule by introducing BAKSAL. On the surface, this seems to be true. But this becomes half-true if we objectively analyse the rationale behind introduction of BAKSAL. In fact, it could be argued that democracy loving Bangabandhu was bound to embrace authoritarian rule in accordance with the demand of the time. The very objective of BAKSAL was to establish socialism following Soviet model. At that time, socialism had a special appeal to the common people. If we analyse the Russian experience then it can be claimed that Soviet model was a proven model for economic emancipation. Within a short span of time the backward feudalist country Russia became one of the superpowers providing the poor with all sorts of basic needs. Besides, BAKSAL was formed in a democratic way through proper discussion in the parliament, and many people of the country, including leading intellectuals, journalists and other professional, welcomed it. However, right now, no conclusive remark on BAKSAL is possible as it died at its infantile stage.

Question of Secularism: Ideally a secular state should be indifferent to religion-religion should be the private domain of a citizen. But to Bangabandhu, secularism meant restricting the communal politics and giving equal emphasis to all religions. For this, 1972 Constitution banned religion based politics. Religion based communal politics leads to extremism and anarchism disturbing communal harmony. Analysing the consequences of activities of religion based parties worldwide we can claim that banning such politics was a pragmatic spirit of our Constitution. However, Bangabandhu defined secularism is no way anti-Islamic. We can observe that during his time, as the leader of a major Muslim country by dint of population, he was very eager to build good relationships with other Muslim countries and Bangladesh became a prominent member of OIC. Even before Bangladesh received recognition from Pakistan, he invited and received Z A Bhutto in Bangladesh just to improve the bilateral relation with the major Muslim country in the sub-continent. In this context, J. N. Dixit, who was stationed as Deputy High Commissioner of India after our independence has stated that Mujib believed Bangladesh should give priority, not just to its Bengali linguistic and cultural identity, but also, to its Muslim identity. So defining Bangabandhu’s secularism as atheism is mere propaganda.

Declaration of independence: This debate was initiated during Zia’s regime. The context of our liberation had not been created in a day. Rather it had a long history starting from the Language Movement in 1952. It was not that one fine morning in March 1971, an unknown major (Zia was then a mere major in the East Bengal Regiment!) declared independence and people started the war. The fact is, prior to our liberation war, for about half a decade under the magical leadership of Bangabandhu, people were fully motivated to be emancipated from Pakistani colonial regime.

Historical evidences suggest that Zia did not announce it first. On March 27, 1971 Major Zia transmitted a declaration of war on behalf of Sheikh Mujib. But prior to this, shortly after midnight, on March 26, Bangabandhu reportedly sent this message to East Pakistan Radio:”This may be my last message. From today, Bangladesh is independent. I call upon the people of Bangladesh wherever you might be and with whatever you have, to resist the army of occupation to the last. Your fight must go on until the last soldier of the Pakistan occupation army is expelled from the soil of Bangladesh and final victory is achieved.”

Moreover, the proclamation of independence of the provisional government also confirmed Bangabandhu’s declaration.

The historic March 7 address of Bangabandhu can also be treated as a declaration of independence. However, the recent historical verdict of the apex court, perhaps has resolved the issue.

Rakkhi Bahini issue: The objective of formation of Rakkhi Bahini was to support both the army and police forces to maintain some semblance of law and order in the war-ravaged country. After independence, some leftist extremists inspired by the Naxalite movement were engaged in various underground activities including killing, which, in turn led to total collapse of law and order of the country. Besides, the defeated “Islamic political fanatics” went underground and started their destructive politics by joining other extremist groups. The law and order situation became so bad that even in broad day light these groups dared to kill their political rivals. In this context, killing of four sitting members of parliament at that time can be cited. In this critical context, Bangabandhu decided to form Rakkhi Bahini, a paramilitary force. Perhaps Bangabandhu wanted to promote freedom fighters and so most of the members of Rakkhi Bahini were recruited from freedom fighters. In addition to police forces, creation of additional forces was not unprecedented in anyway. In this context, existence of National Guard in USA and RAB in Bangladesh can be mentioned. The Rakkhi Bahini worked successfully to control the political anarchism as initiated by the extremist groups. In 1974, it successfully carried out an operation against hoarders and smugglers. However, in some cases Rakkhi Bahini committed excesses and these should have been prevented.

Submissive foreign policy: The reactionary forces recreated the anti-Indian sentiment in the mindset of the citizen and tried to portray Mujib’s foreign policy as submissive towards India. But the fact is, Bangabandhu wanted to maintain friendly relationship with India along with Russia in the context of bi-polar international political setup of that time. It may be mentioned that both Russia and India supported our war of Independence while USA supported Pakistan. So, after independence, it was nothing wrong to keep close tie with these two friendly countries. But Mujib’s government in anyway, was not submissive towards India. In support of this assertion we may point out the fact that within the shortest time of Mujib’s return from Pakistan jail, he could successfully compel the Indian government to take back their armed forces who fought side by side with our freedom fighters. On the bilateral relationship between India and Bangladesh, the observation of Dixit was, “… even though Sheikh Mujib knew that during those early days of Bangladesh’s existence the country needed India’s assistance, he did not wish Bangladesh to become dependant on its large neighbouring giant, India, who could unduly influence its politics. For this reason Sheikh Mujib wanted the Indian “connection and influence’ to lessen over time.”

In conclusion, it may be stated that, although Sheikh Mujib was a great leader, he was not by any stretch of the imagination a prophet, or superhuman. As a politician too, no doubt he had some limitations. Researchers in future will hopefully unveil this using authentic history and considering the socio-economic and political context of that time, both nationally and internationally. But distortion of history with a view to tarnishing the great leader cannot be acceptable at any cost.