5931Published on March 18, 2019
Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, the father of the nation of Bangladesh, was born on 17 March, 1920. This day is a red letter day in the history of Bangladesh. The significance of Bangabandhu's birthday is immense in our history, as without his birth the emergence of Bangladesh as an independent state would not have been possible, at least in 1971. Thus, he has become an inseparable part of our history. It was his strong, dedicated and visionary leadership that guided the whole nation to fight for the emancipation of our country.
A person is bestowed with the honour of the "Father of the Nation" only when his contribution is recognised as extraordinary in the process of the formation of a nation. Their role is seen as instrumental in the birth of their nations for their outstanding contribution in the process of liberation war of any country. Like other 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 have received the recognition of the father of the nation, Bangabandhu has been awarded with the honorific "Father of the Nation" of Bangladesh for his lifelong struggle and leadership for the freedom of the country.
Bangabandhu was the real architect of the country as he had a great contribution in the whole journey of liberation that started in 1952 through language movement and followed through the democratic movement of 1962, the Six-point Movement of 1966, the Mass Movement of 1969, the enviable victor of the election of 1970 and more importantly the Liberation War of 1971. For his dedicated leadership in these movements, he will remain in the heart of millions of Bengali.
To be honest, many of us dreamt of a citizenship of an independent country thousand years ago. Even, there were many politicians who had spoken about our independence during the first forty years of the last century. But, those hopes were nipped in the bud through the partition of India. Until then, none of the politicians could provide us with a complete strategy to attain our independence. Bangabandhu, through his 7 March speech of 1971, provided a guideline of independence and inspired the whole nation to put a fight against the Pakistani oppressions. Thus, whenever we talk about Bangladesh, his name comes first as an iconic figure whose name has embedded in the history of Bangladesh. The leader of the British humanist movement, the late Lord Fenner Brockway rightly stated, considering the gravity of his contribution to the birth of an independent state, that "In a sense, Sheikh Mujib is a greater leader than George Washington, Mahatma Gandhi and De Valera." Thus, the belongings of Sheikh Mujib have crossed the boundaries of Bangladesh and extended over the herald of freedom for all Bengalis.
There is group in the country, which tries to claim that many people dreamt of having an independent Bangladesh. It might be true as Maulana Bhashani had also spoken about Bangladesh in open forums. But, they failed to provide a sketch of independence which Bangabandhu did. As a leader, he had an extra quality that related to the motivation of the people. Crossing all the boundaries he came out as an uncompromising leader in the country. While commenting on the leadership role of Bangabandhu, Cuba's Fidel Castro once noted in 1973 that "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." Thus, through his achievements, he has become a real political hero whose contribution cannot be compared with other political leaders.
Mujib as an individual was greater than what he had created. Thus, we should not put an endeavour to confine his greatness within a certain frame of picture. Thus, we should invest our energy and efforts for the preservation of his heritage that will be inspiring the future generation. Although he was compelled to accept death, we will continue receiving our inspirations from memories he left for us.
Writer: Professor, Department of Public Administration, University of Rajshahi.
Source: Daily Observer