Birth of a protagonist of historical transformation

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Published on March 18, 2020
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Pranab Kumar Panday:

17th of March 1920 is a red-letter day in the history of Bangladesh as Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman was born in a respectable Muslim family at Tungipara village in Gopalganj district. Considering the significance of his birth in the context of the state formation, we can consider this day as one of the greatest moment. Honestly speaking, had Bangabandhu not born the emergence of Bangladesh in the world map would have been delayed for years.

The people of our country would remain indebted to this great leader and remember him as long as Bangladesh would remain as an independent state. His matured and diplomatic leadership made the independence of Bangladesh from Pakistan a reality. Therefore, any attempt to discrete Bangabandhu from Banglee and Bangladesh would not have been possible as he has become an inseparable part of our history.

One may wonder how Bangabandhu was transformed into the "Father of the Nation" from "Khoka" of Tungipara. We all know that the "Father of the Nation" is conferred to someone only when his contribution is perceived as extraordinary in the struggle of the state formation.

The role of such leaders is pondered as persuasive in the birth of their nation for their contribution to the war of liberation of a country. Therefore, making an effort to explore the role of Bangabandhu in the formation in the Bangladeshi state is very tough as he is incomparable to any other.

Bangabandhu through his majestic leadership stimulated the whole nation to sacrifice their life for the independence of the country. His unparalleled contribution and sacrifice for the sake of the independence of Bangladesh beholden people to award him the honourific "Father of the Nation" like other world leaders (Peter I of Russia, Sun Yat-sen of China, Sir Henry Parkes of Australia, Mahatma Gandhi of India, and Mustafa Kamal of Turkey) who also forewent their whole life for the freedom of their country.

The war of independence was steered by his talented and diplomatic leadership. He was the real architect who remained active in the process of the whole journey of our struggle for independence that started through the language movement in 1952 and travelled through the democratic movement of 1962, the Six-point Movement of 1966, the Mass Movement of 1969, the desirable victory of the election of 1970 and most importantly the Liberation War of 1971.

He coxswained the boat of the freedom of the nation foregoing his contentment. His sacrifice made millions of Bangladeshis enthusedto carry his ideologies at the core of our hearts.

The dreamof becoming a citizen of an independent country might have been dreamt of by many political leaders before Bangabandhu. Even many leaders might have talked about the importance of having an independent country during the early years of the last century. Unfortunately, those leaders could not make their dream into a reality by proclaiming independence and encouraging people to fight for it.

They were not successful in portraying an all-inclusive tactic of attainment of independence in front of the people of East Pakistan. On the contrary, Bangabandhu through his historic 7th March speech provided a comprehensive guideline of independence that inspired the countrymen to unitedly fight the war of liberation.

That is why the name of Bangabandhu comes first in any discussion on Bangladesh and Bangalees as his name has embedded in the history of the state formation.

Because of his life long struggle for the independence and state formation, the late Lord Fenner Brockway who was the leader of the British humanist movement stated that "In a sense, Sheikh Mujib is a greater leader than George Washington, Mahatma Gandhi and De Valera." Therefore, the contribution of Bangabandhu has made him a world leader crossing the boundaries of Bangladesh.

During the absence of the AL government in power, many governments had tried to obliterate the name of Bangabandhu in the process of emergence of Bangladesh. Regrettably, they could not attain success in their endeavour as Bangladesh and Bangabandhu have been inseparable. That is why, one of the sturdiest critics of Awami League and Sheikh Mujib- Barrister Moudud Ahmed in one of his writing had mentioned that "The appearance of Sheikh Mujib was the biggest event in the national history of Bangladesh.

His burial did not take place through his death. More pragmatic, efficient, capable and dynamic political personalities than Sheikh Mujib might have emerged or may emerge, but it will be very difficult to find someone who has contributed more to the independence movement of Bangladesh and the shaping of its national identity" (Translation from the author's writing).

Such recognition from arch-rival helps us conclude that Bangabandhu instead of compromising with anybody had tried to uphold the welfares of the Bangalis throughout his life until he could attain the ultimate objectives. That is why, he is the 'Banbagandhu' and 'Father of the Nations' of all the Bangladeshis.

We should appreciate the AL government under the leadership of Sheikh Hasina for their efforts to highlight the contribution of Bangabandhu at different levels of our lives. This would help our younger generation to learn about the role of Bangabandhu.

They also deserve appreciation for declaring his birthday as the National Children's Day. The main objective of the celebration of this day is to stimulate the future generation of the country so that they follow his ideology. If our younger generation could learn something from his ideology they would grow up as good human beings with a strong intention to serve the country.

All progressive and open-minded citizens of the country should learn good lessons from the life-long sacrifice of our father of the nation. If someone reads the Unfinished Memoirs of Bangabandhu one can image his passionate love for the people of Bangladesh. Having loved people even better than his own life he had spent one-third of his life under imprisonment. If we could have found some political leaders with strong motivation like him, Bangladesh would have transformed into a "Sonar Bangla" by this time.

Whatever improvements have been made in the last 11 years it is only because of the contribution of his daughter Sheikh Hasina who is very committed to fulfilling unfinished agenda of her father which was to build a "Sonar Bangla". The way she is taking Bangladesh ahead we can state that the days are not quite far when we would be able to claim that we are the inhabitants of a developed "Sonar Bangla". Sheikh Mujibur Rahman has become an institution in Bangladesh.

Therefore, we should not make any effort to confine his greatness within a certain frame of the picture and for a certain group of people. Instead of confining him with a certain frame, we all should work hard to preserve his heritage which will inspire our future generation. His physical death would not restrict us from getting inspirationfromthe memories he left for us.

Writer: Professor of Dept. of Public Administration and Additional Director of the Institutional Quality Assurance Cell (IQAC) at the University of Rajshahi, Bangladesh

Source: Daily Asian Age