Bangabandhu stands tall like the Himalayas

Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman was not born with a silver spoon in his mouth. He struggled hard and made great sacrifices to rise to fame and become the Father of the Nation of the newly created state of Bangladesh in 1971. The story of his life, the triumphs and the tragedies thus intermingle with that of the creation of Bangladesh.

As he grew up from childhood, he saw the tribulations of the poor in rural Bengal, the horror of World War II, the dying faces of millions of Bengalis during the famine of 1943, the sectarian riots in Kolkata and the creation of Pakistan in 1947 with its two parts, East Pakistan (formerly East Bengal) and West Pakistan, 1,200 miles apart and having nothing in common except religion. These events greatly influenced his thoughts and ideas in his early life and inspired him to champion the causes of the ordinary people.

Sheikh Mujib got involved in politics while studying at Islamia College (now Maulana Azad College) in Kolkata. After the partition of India, he came to Dhaka and enrolled as a student of law at the University of Dhaka. He could not complete the course as he was expelled for his support for the strike of class IV employees of the university in 1949. Interestingly enough, the order of expulsion was withdrawn last June, more than six decades later, by the University of Dhaka.

In 1948, Sheikh Mujib founded the Students’ League that gave him his first political platform. When the Awami League (AL) was formed by Maulana Abdul Hamid Khan Bhashani in 1949, he became its joint secretary. Sheikh Mujib took a leading role in the historic language movement. He was put behind the bar several times for his involvement in the language movement and other political activities.

Sheikh Mujib soon came to limelight for his superb oratory and charismatic leadership. In 1953, he became the general secretary of the Awami League. A year later, he was elected a member of the East Bengal Legislative Assembly. He served as a minister of the provincial government of East Bengal twice for brief periods. He was a member of the Constituent Assembly of Pakistan from 1955 till 1958 when Ayub Khan imposed martial law and installed himself as the president of Pakistan. Sheikh Mujib was arrested for his opposition to the military rule. After his release, he supported Fatima Jinnah against Ayub Khan in the presidential election of 1964.

Sheikh Mujib became the president of the Awami League in 1966. Being inspired by Bengali nationalism, he realised that time had come to fight for the political rights and economic emancipation of East Bengal. He put forward his historic 6-point demands in 1966 to make East Bengal a fully autonomous province. His six-point movement was, in reality, the first step in a political process to achieve the independence of East Bengal. Ayub Khan realised this and put him and other AL leaders behind the bar.

Ayub Khan brought charges of sedition against Sheikh Mujib and others in what is known as the Agartala Conspiracy case. During the trial, there was a huge uprising by the people of East Bengal in favour of Sheikh Mujib. Ultimately, he was freed from prison. The people of East Bengal bestowed on him the title of Bangabandhu, the friend of Bengal.

The political upheaval soon engulfed the whole of Pakistan. Ayub Khan was subsequently toppled and replaced by Yahya Khan, another West Pakistani military dictator. Yahya Khan held a general election in 1970 but was shocked by the result. Bangabandhu’s Awami League obtained an absolute majority in the Pakistan National Assembly.

Yahya Khan refused to transfer power to Bangabandhu and postponed the first scheduled session of the National Assembly on March 1, 1971. The Bengalis revolted against this postponement. Many Bengalis were killed when Yahya Khan tried to suppress the agitation by force.

Bangabandhu called a public meeting at the Ramna Race Course (now Suhrawardy Uddyan) on March 7, 1971 and declared: “The struggle this time is for our freedom; the struggle this time is for independence. Joy Bangla (Victory to Bangladesh).” Implicitly, it was a declaration of independence. His speech of March 7 was a rare example of superb oratory that transformed a sleeping nation into a fighting force. He called for a peaceful non-cooperation movement. All civilian government offices in Bangladesh started to operate under his instructions. Bangabandhu thus became the de facto ruler of Bangladesh.

Yahya Khan came to Dhaka apparently to negotiate with Bangabandhu. He cooperated with Yahya Khan in order to find a political solution to the crisis. Yahya Khan deceived him and secretly left Dhaka on March 25, allowing the army to crack down on the Bengalis. The Pakistan army soon started to kill unarmed Bengalis indiscriminately. The Bengalis in the armed forces, police and para-military forces together with civilian volunteers revolted against the Pakistan army.

Bangabandhu was left with only one option. During the early hours of March 26, 1971, he declared the independence of Bangladesh. He was immediately arrested and flown to Pakistan.

The rest of the leaders of the Awami League, including the elected members of the National Assembly and the provincial Legislative Assembly, fled to India and formed the Government of Bangladesh in exile on April 10, 1971. The new government with Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman as president, Syed Nazrul Islam as acting president in absence of Bangabandhu and Tajuddin Ahmed as prime minister took oath on April 17, 1971 at Mujibnagar in Bangladesh.

Tajuddin Ahmed formed the armed wing of the government in exile, known as the Mukti Bahini (Freedom Fighters). With assistance from the Indian army, they fought a guerilla type war, in the name of Bangabandhu, against the Pakistan army. During the war, three million Bengalis were martyred, two hundred thousand women lost their honour and ten million Bengalis took shelter in India as refugees.

Finally on Decenber 16, 1971, the Pakistan army surrendered to the joint command of the Mukti Bahini and the Indian army. Bangladesh thus emerged as an independent state in less than nine months after the declaration of independence. The government in exile returned to Dhaka and took over the administration of Bangladesh.

Under international pressure, Bangabandhu was released from Pakistani custody. He returned to Bangladesh triumphantly on January 10, 1972. He formed a new government with himself as the prime minister on January 12. He successfully rehabilitated ten million refugees who returned to Bangladesh and re-built the infrastructures damaged during the war.

On Bangabandhu’s request, Indira Gandhi withdrew all her armed forces from Bangladesh by March, 1972. The withdrawal of the Indian forces soon after the surrender of the Pakistan army was a triumph for Bangabandhu’s diplomacy and a display of great statesmanship on the part of Indira Gandhi. Bangladesh adopted a new constitution, based on the British parliamentary system of democracy. It came into effect on December 16, 1972, the first anniversary of the Victory Day.

It is the greatest tragedy in our history that Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, to whom we owe so much for the independence of Bangladesh, was brutally killed along with other members of his family on August 15, 1975. Some misguided army personnel were involved in the gruesome killings.

Bangabandhu had a heart large enough to love and shower affection on all whom he knew. I had the honour of personally knowing Bangabandhu through my brother Abdul Momin, a former minister in Bangabandhu’s cabinet. Bangabandhu treated me with extreme kindness and affection every time I met him.

Bangabandhu had great respect for men of letters. I recall with pleasure his visit to my house in Karachi in August, 1969 along with other Awami League leaders. Prof. Abdul Matin Chowdhury, who later became the vice-chancellor of the University of Dhaka, and a few of my friends were present on the occasion. Bangabandhu sat beside Prof. Chowdhury, addressed him as “Sir” and treated him with great respect and courtesy, even though Prof. Chowdhury was not his teacher.

At one stage Bangabandhu came to my bedroom to see my five-month old daughter, Usha. He spent quite some time with her, fondling her and pushing her swing. This is just one example of Bangabandhu’s love for children. No wonder Bangabandhu’s birthday is celebrated as the National Children’s Day in Bangladesh.

The best compliment to Bangabandhu was perhaps paid by Fidel Castro of Cuba at the Non-Aligned Summit in Algiers in 1973. Embracing Bangabandhu he remarked: “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.”

Alive or not, Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman indeed stands tall like the Himalayas along with other great world leaders who created history.

Author : Abdul Matin, The writer is a former chief engineer of Bangladesh Atomic Energy Commission.

Historic March 7 today

The nation will observe the historic March 7 on Monday in a befitting manner, commemorating the fiery and soulful address of Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman on this day in 1971 when he made a clarion call to the people to fight against the Pakistani occupation forces to achieve the long-cherished independence.

Before a mammoth rally at the then Race Course Maidan (now Suhrawardy Udyan) on March 7 in 1971, Bangabandhu in a virtual announcement of independence declared, “— ebarer sangram amader muktir sangram, ebarer sangram swadhinatar sangram (our struggle this time is the struggle for independence, our struggle this time is the struggle for liberation)”.

Bangabandhu, who became the undisputed leader of the then Pakistan following the massive victory of his party Awami League in the 1970 general elections, had to call upon his people to prepare for a fight when the Pakistani centrists were dilly- dallying to hand over power to the then majority party.

In the meantime, the Islamabad authorities were amassing modern arms and weapons in the then East Pakistan in a bid to resist the Bangalees who were fighting for their rightful causes since the creation of Pakistan in 1947.

Bangabandhu’s historic address on March 7 in fact mobilized the whole nation to wage an allout non-cooperation movement in the then East Pakistan, preparing for a bloody war against the Pakistani Army to achieve the independence. The whole nation, except a few pro-Pakistani elements, fought the Pakistani army for long nine months from March 25 in 1971 till achieving the ultimate victory on December 16 the same year.

Bangabandhu formally declared the independence of Bangladesh at 00-30 hours on March 26 (the night following March 25) in 1971 at his historic 32, Dhanmondi residence here. He was immediately arrested by the Pakistani authorities after declaration of the independence. Later, Bangabandhu was taken to the then West Pakistan where he had to spend long nine months in a dark condemned cell of a Pakistani jail.

President M Zillur Rahman and Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina in their separate messages on the occasion stressed the need for upholding the true spirit of the country’s hard-earned independence and sovereignty being imbued with the spirit of the Father of the Nation’s historic March 7 address.

The address of Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman at Race Course Maidan (now Suhrawardy Udyan) on March 7, 1971, motivated the people highly and inspired them to the War of Liberation, they said.

The President and the Prime Minister said Bangabandhu’s proclamation of independence of the country on March 26, 1971, the Charter of Emancipation of the Bengali nation, was continuation of his March 7 address.

The day is historic and memorable and it would ever be remembered by the Bengali nation, they said. They also expressed firm belief that Bangabandhu’s March 7 address would remain as a source of inspiration for the nation for ever.

Bangladesh Awami League has drawn up elaborate programmes to observe the day in a befitting manner. The day’s progarmmes will begin with hoisting of national and party flags at Bangabandhu Bhaban and central office of the party at 6.30 am. It will be followed by placing wreaths at the portrait of the Father of the Nation in front of Bangabandhu Bhaban at 7 am.

Prime Minister and Awami League President Sheikh Hasina will address as the chief guest a discussion organized by her party at Bangabandhu International Conference Centre at 3 pm.

Different associate organizations of the party including Mohila Awami League, Awami Jubo League, Jubo Mohila League, Krishak League, Chhatra League, Sramik League, Sechchhasebak League and Bangabandhu Sangskritik Jote and different socio- cultural organizations have also chalked out elaborate programmes on the occasion.

Bangladesh Betar, Bangladesh Television and private TV and radio stations will air special programmes, while national dailies will publish articles highlighting the significance of the day. Besides, Bangabandhu’s March 7 address and the inspirational patriotic songs of the War of Liberation will be played across the country.

News Source: BNN

‘March 7 speech one of the best in world’

DHAKA, March 7 (BSS) – Mass communication experts and psychologists said a perfect match of people’s desire and incredible manifestation of modern communication concepts made Bangabandhu’s March 7, 1971 speech one of the world’s most notable addresses.

“A lucid and detailed explanation about the events unfolding at the time made this speech withstand the test of logic for all times to come . . .(it) was not only the greatest speech in Bengali language, it is one of the best in the entire world,” Dhaka University vice chancellor Professor Arefin Siddiqui said as the nation recalled the address delivered on this day 41 years ago.

He said Bangabandhu completed his timeless speech in 19 minutes by uttering between 58 and 60 words per minute while in broadcasting theory, 60 words per minute is considered to be an ideal.
“There were no annoying repetitions in the speech of 1,107  words. There were no unnecessary articulations – only the gist or  core points. However, repetition at one or two places had reinforced the inner meaning of the speech . . . this was an amazing event in the context of theoretical application of communication science,” he said.

His comments came as BSS sought to analyse the address from the perspective of mass communication science and psychology coinciding with the 40th anniversary of the event.

Siddiqui said the Bangabandhu quite adeptly adopted a conversational style while delivering this speech in order to attract the audience and he raised questions at different stages of the speech and the ‘speech idioms’ appropriate for mass communication were correctly applied in this address.

“The fluent and extempore speech delivered in a lucid language and style was the principal document of our liberty . . . It was a dialogue between the people of Bangladesh and their undisputed leader on the eve of Bangladesh’s birth,” said the professor of mass communication of Dhaka University.

He said according to communication theorists the audience orientation and recent happenings should be highlighted in the opening words and “this reference to the audience found marvelous  expression in his epoch- making speech”.

“It was possible for Bangabandhu alone to deliver such an  ostentatious, direction giving, poetic speech without any break  and without taking any help from notes while standing in the middle of a sea of people. That is why, the international periodical ‘Newsweek’ termed Bangabandhu as a ‘Poet of Politics’ in the cover story of its 5 April 1971 issue,” Siddiqui recalled.

Professor of psychology Dr Azizur Rahman of Dhaka University said the political events since 1952 had largely set the people’s mind while the nationalist movement under Bangabandhu’s leadership largely set the stage for the historic speech.

“The language of the speech was easy and lucid . . . it was  well thought-out, organized and logical . . . this was an incomparable speech in the world history,” he said.

Professor of contemporary history Dr Anwar Hossain said the  colloquial words Bangabandhu used in his speech created a bridge  between him and his audience

He used body language raising his forefinger, colloquial words evading the pure accent to be connected with the people . . . The speech of only 19 minutes was a superb specimen of his statesmanship,” Hossain said.

Bangabandhu’s finest hour

It is this writer’s view that the March 7th speech was Bangabandhu’s finest hour. He stood far taller than ever before and with him we too stood taller. He was always known for being a powerful speaker. But that day, 26 years ago, he outperformed himself a thousand times over, and a thousand times more empowered we felt that day. During that crucial March afternoon, and especially through the electrifying moments of the speech he stood towering above the nation, singly shouldering the burden of leading an unprepared people towards sell assertion.

However bravely we may talk today about those events so long ago, at that time we really did not know how things were to unfold. Yes, we all wanted our rights, and we wanted them right away. But how they were to come? Was freedom to come through negotiations or would it require us to wage an armed struggle? And what did we understand by armed struggle? We romanticised about it, but knew nothing of it.

Things were becoming increasingly obvious that to realise our legitimate demands we may have to seek independence. But how is one to start an independence movement? What would be the consequence of making a declaration for it? Though we all talked about it, and some may have even said so in public, yet it was for our elected leader to take us through that uncharted path. The man who should be the Prime Minister of whole of Pakistan by dint of his electoral victory had to take the right step at the right time. The critical question was when would the right time strike.

And this is where the specialty of the March 7th speech lies. It says everything without the elements that could be used to hold responsible for breaking up the legal Pakistan. For by then, the country had actually broken up in all other sense. To really appreciate the magnificence of this speech one has to understand the context in which it was delivered. Awami League had fought an election and won the majority of seats of the parliament of Pakistan. Following the results, Gen Yahya had declared that Sheikh Mujib would be the Prime Minister of Pakistan. It was Zulfikar Ali Bhutto and some conniving army generals who did not want to transfer power to someone whose electoral programme was to realise the legitimate rights of the Bengali people enshrined in the now famous six points. There were lots of indications about the impending betrayal of the verdict of the December ’70 elections, yet it was not till the postponement of the session of the newly elected parliament that Bangabandhu could really give a call for an all out movement.

When the session of the parliament was postponed on March 1st, ’71, the fatal shot to the existence of united Pakistan was fired right into its chest. And it was on the night of March 25th, when Pakistani military cracked down on the civilian population of what was till then one country, that Pakistan was killed and buried. It was in the midst of this highly charged transition period — from the 1st to the 25th — when events were unfolding at a break-neck speed that Bangabandhu had to give this speech.

And here lies the beauty and the craftsmanship of this speech, which transforms it as a classic in political oratory.

The speech had to live up to the high expectation of the people who wanted their independence and yet there should be nothing in it that could give an outright excuse to the Pakistan army to start military action against the unarmed Bengali people. In fact, Tikka Khan’s band of killers would want nothing better than to be given a publicly announced excuse for a genocidal action. So Bangabandhu had to say everything, and yet not give the excuse that Pakistan military was looking for. He had to stand steadfast and yet keep open the doors for negotiations. Under no circumstances could he appear to be the one responsible for the breakdown of the talks. And yet he had to take his people forward and give them the right directions, maintain the militancy, ask them to take all the necessary preparatory steps, and clear people’s minds about the final goal. It was a political and intellectual challenge of the highest kind, and it could be tackled only by a speech of the type that Bangabandhu delivered that day.

Take for example the content of the speech. In it he gradually builds up the whole rationale for the movement that has been going on. He argues, cajoles, pleads, demands and finally warns, not to take lightly the demand of a people who have realised their strength through struggle. He talks of peace and yet gives clear signals that peace cannot come at the cost of capitulation. He talks of sacrifice, but not in terms of a helpless people who are suffering because they are weak, but in terms of a courageous and bold people who have knowingly taking upon a task which they know to be a arduous, and for which they are ready to face any consequence. There was superb cleverness in the construction of the speech by which he said all that he needed to and yet the enemy could not hold him responsible for having said anything which was illegal.

The voice in the speech is one of its most magnificent aspects. It was so bold that the whole nation could and in fact did, take strength from it. There was an unhesitant enunciation of everything that needed to be said. There was such appropriate modulation of voice that every word uttered seemed irreplaceable. Throughout it all the strength of the man came out and touched all those who heard him, drawing all close to him and making all trust and repose faith in him.

If ever a speech united, strengthened, enthused, inspired a people, and gave courage to them to become bolder and more determined than they usually are, it was Bangabandhu’s speech of March 7th, 1971. If ever one single speech became the most effective motivational weapon for a nation at war then this was it. If ever a speech of a leader became the constant companion for young freedom fighters facing an enemy known for their proficiency and ferocity and which acted to link us all in a spellbinding string of words and sounds, then this speech was so for all of us, the freedom fighters, spread throughout the nook and corner of what was then our enslaved motherland.

Author : Mahfuz Anam is Editor and Publisher, The Daily Star.

Historic 7th March and Parents of our Nation:

Today is 7th march, 2004. Exactly 33 years ago, on 7th March, 1971, the then President of Awami League, honoured with title of Bangabandhu, named Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, addressed a mammoth rally of the people of Bangladesh at Sahrawardy Uddyan in Dhaka, where he delivered the historic speech, popularly known as `Mujib’s speech of 7th March’.

I was a physical participant in that rally. Although 33 years of dust has spread on my memories, despite the bitter debate of expectations, frustrations, significance, message or contents of that speech those are being placed to the younger generation of today; for me and many more, the significant value of that speech will indeed remain, as one of the most memorable moments, till death.

To elaborate a little on the perspective and the background of the historic speech of `Bangabandhu’ delivered on 7th March of 1971, which gave the Nation the definite direction to prepare for an armed struggle against the then ruling Pak Military Junta, is undeniable. The words of the greatest orator, whom I heard on my own live being present at Sahrawardy Uddyan, shall stay in my life ringing in my years. “Build fortresses in every of your homesteads”, “Whatever whom possesses take up those to face the enemy”, because, “Henceforth the struggle is our struggle for liberation, and henceforth the struggle is struggle for independence”.

Western journalists present on that day at the historic rally termed the orator as, “The Poet of Politics”. No doubt that was poetry, and the poetry that evolved through long and bitter struggle of the orator and the people of our motherland from 1952 to 1971, long 19 years, in which the orator of that day had always been one of the most remarkable protagonist.

To make that long history of 19 years short. All that started in 1952, the historic Language Movement marking at present the accredited `International Mother Language day’, the 21st February, the pride of our Nation which we presented to the Peoples’ of the World earned by ourselves through the movement and the sacrifice of blood of proud sons of our soil. That movement to establish the right of the Mother Tongue, evolved further-on through the cultural movement of the National self identity, the movement against the autocratic education policy in 1962, the six point demand of Mujibur against economic disparity in 1966 that put him and a host of national leaders to prison; the 11 point movement against the national repression of autocratic rule of Field Marshall Ayub Khan achieving through mass upsurge, release of Sheikh Mujibur Rahman and others from prison, fall of the dictator, the acknowledgment of the demand of adult franchise by the new dictator Yahya Khan, then the victory of Awami League securing majority of the seats in the Parliament of Pakistan in 1970, and then came the historic moment in March 1971 bringing the people of erstwhile East Pakistan face to face with the Military Junta of Pakistan those denied to handover power to the elected representatives of the people.

So, in March 1971, the leader of the nation declared all out non- violent, non –cooperation movement against the Pak Military Junta, and that was the perspective in which the speech of the 7th March was delivered.

Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, was elected leader of the People of the country, emerged through the national election in Pakistan held under adult franchise, the right given through the Legal Frame-work Order promulgated by General Yahya Khan the then Military dictator of Pakistan. Therefore, side by side while giving the clarion call to the people to prepare for armed struggle, in his speech he also pressed the demands in re-enforced language to hand over power to the elected representatives of the people of Pakistan to form a civilian Government with army returned to the barracks.

This very later part of Mujib’s speech of that day became the root of all controversies, raised by the eager aspirators for launching the armed struggle following declaration of independence in advance; similarly, the anti-independence and anti-liberation elements in disguise with the end to undermine the role of Mujibur, even cursed him as traitor, because of the killing and suffering that fell upon the nation when Pak Army cracked down upon the unarmed civilians, Bengali members of Police & Army while they were totally unprepared for waging the fight for resistance and hence the one sided onslaught and genocide continued for few months till the resistance started to take shape.

However, on the same fateful night of 25th March, 1971, Pak Army captured Sheikh Mujibur Rahman from his residence and shifted him to a prison in the then West Pakistan, where he faced the trial against charges of treason brought against him by the then rulers of Pakistan.

Though it was initially delayed but in a month or so, armed resistance got organised and built up with strength of a forceful guerilla warfare by the freedom fighters constituting the members of the Army, Police, Para Military Forces, students, youths, members of intelligentsia, peasants, workers, professionals, from almost all walks of the nation. Nine months guerilla warfare followed by face to face battle waged by the joint liberation forces, as a result of sacrifice of three million martyrs, the Pak army surrendered in the afternoon of 16th December, 1971, giving the first taste of victory to the Bengalee Nation after centuries of foreign dominations.

Shahajahan Siraj M. P.; in 1971 who was leader of Students League the student wing of Awami League, but at present member of BNP and Minister for Environment of the current ruling alliance of Bangladesh, while talking in a discussion telecast of Channel-I titled `Third Dimension’ informed that, the underground movement led by Serajul Alam Khan organized under the name of `Bangladesh Liberation Force’ was already preparing for declaration and subsequent armed struggle for independence much ahead of 1971 or much ahead of Mujib’s, in his word, the `obscure’ call for preparation of armed struggle for independence made on 7th March 1971, which had been then already exposed and demonstrated at Paltan Maidan on 3rd March, 1971 staging militant march past, presentation of the new flag of independent Bangladesh as well as declaration of Manifesto of independent Bangladesh read out by him at the Bot-tala of Dhaka University.

The leadership of BNP goes further in claiming that the declaration of independence was made by Major Ziaur Rahman in Chittagong on 27th March, 1971, at a time when there was no sense of direction available from the National leaders, and when already the Pak Army had cracked down on 25th March, 1971 undertaking the operation of crushing down the movement, which was the definite chromosome of armed resistance against the Pak Army for the liberation and independence of Bangladesh.

Notwithstanding, all those claims and counter claims, the fact remains that, in 1967 the Pak Government of Ayub Khan arrested Sheikh Mujibur Rahman including few of the then officers of civil, army and navy services, framing charges against them for treason and hatching conspiracy to bring about independent Bangladesh alleged to have been masterminded by Sheikh Mujibur Rahman meeting at Agartala, which was widely known later as the alleged, `Agartala Conspiracy Case’. But the case lost its ground with the fall of Ayub Khan in the wake of mass upsurge in 1969, which was led by united front of the students of Dhaka University that claimed sacrifices of many martyrs including that of Sergeant Jahurul Haque, the names of those innumerous martyrs which the nation will always remember, including the unforgettable fiery speeches of Maulana Bhashani, those aroused the nation to challenge the dictatorial regime against the alleged charges of treason brought against Sheikh Mujibur Rahman and others.

Notwithstanding all those claims and counter claims, the fact remains that, Awami League under the leadership of Sheikh Mujibur Rahman earned the confidence of the people expressed through the results of the national election held in Pakistan under the rule of Yahya Khan in 1970, which gave Sheikh Mujibur Rahman the legitimacy to lead the nation to preserve political democracy and to earn economic parity for the people of the then East Pakistan, and which shocked the seat of the power of the military junta of Pakistan, because they knew that, this was the same Sheikh whom they wanted to try for treason in 1969 but failed, so how they could dream to hand over Prime Ministership of Pakistan and handover power to him peacefully.

Notwithstanding all those claims and counter claims, the fact remains that, the pragmatism of the words so chosen and delivered by Sheikh Mujibur Rahman in his speech on 7th March, 1971, and then the crackdown of the Pak army on the civilian population on 25th March, 1971, established beyond any doubt the legitimacy of the people of Bangladesh to declare and wage the war of independence, and hence could earn support and acknowledgment in favour of that from the international community, while the attempt to try the national leaders for treason and to justify the crackdown on the civilians by the Pak Military Junta could get no ground at all.

The pragmatism mixed with uncompromising characteristics of the leadership which brought Sheikh Mujibur Rahman at the centre of the genesis of the independence of Bangladesh, when other national leaders like Maulana Bhashani or Professor Muzaffar Ahmed were also very much present and active in the movement for independent Bangladesh, could not be ignored just because of other centers of efforts not to be undermined even, because those had been the essential features and components which normally constitutes the unity of the people’s war, albeit the centre of political leadership could not be shifted but from him upon whom the ultimate confidence of the people was vested.

The role of Sheikh Mujibur Rahman before 10th January 1972 the date on which he returned to independent Bangladesh from the prisons of Pakistan, and the role of Sheikh Mujibur Rahman that was witnessed after the date of 10th January 1972, should be evaluated separately in the premises of two different perspectives. The attempt of taking over the results of one by the evaluation of the other part is disastrous for our nation, because in the former part lies the perception and spirit of the liberation and independence of Bangladesh, and in the later rests the perception of effort of reconstituting the unity of independent Bangladeshis divided due to their diverse background of socio-cultural-political-economical perceptions and interest from which his own party could not even become an exception.

Hence the effort to put to measure the failure, lapses and successes in the balance of the weighing machine, the legacy of Sheikh Mujibur Rahman of his 23 years of bravery and sacrifices of enduring the repression of the successive Pakistani rulers and the pragmatic but uncompromising leadership which he gave to the nation for the liberation and independence of Bangladesh; with that of three and half years of Prime Ministership of independent Bangladesh, is an attempt so malicious which can be tried only by them who are either confused or motivated in favour of the enemies of independent Bangladesh. The persons who vie for that, undoubtedly their ultimate objective is to malign the true history, perception and spirit of the liberation and independence of Bangladesh.