1514Published on March 17, 2021
Sharif Shahab Uddin:
Bangladesh came into being as the Bangabandhu was born. The birth of Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujib was the demand of the age and the greatest gift for the people of Bangladesh and for the oppressed of the world as well. Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujib was a life-long crusader for the social, political and economic emancipation of the people of Bangladesh. His birth has also been regarded as a gift for mankind as he raised his indomitable voice for world peace.
The thousands of years of history of Bangladesh tell that there had been frequent occurrences of loot and plunder from Bengal by the marauding bands of various countries. Among them, the’ Borgis’ have a special place in history for their brutality while attacking people on the roads and conducting raids on houses. It was so horrific and terrifying that mothers used to send their children to sleep by singing lullaby on those frightening stories of the Borgis. Since then the people of this area, especially the mothers, kept praying for the birth of a saviour. After a hundred years of prayer, God was kind enough to grant their wishes. A baby was born in March 1920 illuminating and brightening up the house of father Sheikh Lutfar Rahman and mother Sayra Khatun of Tungipara village in Gopalganj. Out of affection, the parents used to call the child ‘Khoka’. That Khoka is none other than the Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, who was the gifted son of Bengal in a thousand years and his birth was a need of the time.
Bangladesh, which was once known as Bongodesh, had an abundance of food grains and that is why it was called the granary of the Indian sub-continent. Bangladesh had been a target of foreign invaders and pirates for the last 800 years. Actually, the sufferings of the people of this area were perennial and of varied nature. When the atrocities of Pakistani occupation forces reached the peak and people felt the need for an iron man to fight the outrage to the finish, it was then Bangabandhu emerged as the saviour. He started protesting in a strong voice the atrocities and oppression perpetrated by the Pakistani forces. The Pakistani rulers came down heavily on Bangabandhu and the innocent people of then East Pakistan. With the increase in atrocities the people also increasingly gave support to the leadership of the Bangabandhu. At one stage Bangabandhu became the iconic leader and it was reflected in the general election held in 1970. Bangabandhu and his party Awami League came out victorious with an absolute majority. Having a landslide victory in the 1970 election, Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman alone held the authority to talk on behalf of Bangla and the Bengalees.
The election mandate made him an invincible political force in Pakistan and the only leader of the 75 million people of then East Pakistan. In retrospection, it can be said that immediately after the ouster of President Ayub Khan in the face of the mass movement launched by the supporters of Bangabandhu, the new army chief and president-general Yahiya Khan announced a general election under the Legal Framework Order (LFO), which empowered the president to dissolve the elected parliament any time he pleased.
Stressing on that point Moulana Abdul Hamid Khan Bhashani declared that he would not participate in the election under LFO. But Awami League chief Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman said that he would participate in the election.
A farsighted leader Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujib knew that when he was released from prison in the face of nationwide mass movement and the people of East Pakistan were wholeheartedly behind him with a rock-solid unity, which indicated that he would certainly win a landslide victory, and after the victory, Sheikh Mujib would be the world-recognized leader and the LFO would automatically be ‘thrown into the Bay of Bengal’.
Let us look at the other side of the coin. If Bangabandhu and his Awami League had not taken part in the election under LFO, some minor parties would have taken part and gotten some seats, but in that situation, parliament would have become a hung one. That would have created the opportunity for the military to grab power once again. The military would have invited the elected leaders of those small parties and offered them posts of ministers in the cabinet. And if Sheikh Mujib had challenged that move and tried to resist it, Yahya Khan would have certainly used it against him through an address to the nation blaming Mujib for jeopardizing the democratic process. If all political parties had participated in the election excepting Awami League, and if AL had opted for street agitation, Sheikh Mujib would have been declared the enemy of Pakistan and the military would have taken steps to punish him. In such circumstance, the world community would have had nothing to say. This gives a clear picture of the sagacity of the Bangabandhu.
As a gifted son of the soil, Sheikh Mujib could easily understand the sorrows, pain and basic needs of the people of Bangladesh as he had a bitter experience about the motives of the Pakistani rulers. He did not give them any chance to mislead the international community. He took part in the election and showed the world that he got an unprecedented victory. But, Pakistani military rulers did not allow Sheikh Mujib to form the government in Pakistan. After the election result, Bangabandhu would emerge as the next prime minister of Pakistan. To deny him that chance, trampling the rights of the people under military boots, the military junta started killing of innocent people to instil fear in their minds. They also illegally arrested an elected leader who was to be the prime minister by people’s choice. However, the Pakistani butchers did not dare to touch Bangabandhu when he was captive in the Pakistani jail in Lyallpur. After 16 December 1971, in the face of global pressure, the Pakistani rulers were compelled to release Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman.
Bangladesh has given birth to so many great sons who have contributed their best to the cause of the nation. For long 23 years of struggle, Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman has been making the Bengalese prepared for a final showdown for achieving Independence. In an opportune moment, he gave the clarion call to fight the enemy till the last drop of blood.
Taking his call as a directive, the valiant sons of the soil had fought a bloody battle against the Pakistani Military and only in a nine-month war they compelled the Pakistani army to accept an ignoble surrender on the soil of Bangladesh. The much expected new nation –Bangladesh- appeared on the world map.
So, this can be said clearly that if the Bangabandhu were not born, the creation of an independent Bangladesh would have remained a dream only. Historically, Bangabandhu and Bangladesh are inseparable. So the birth of Sheikh Mujib is a gift from God for the people of Bangladesh and for the people of the world