Dr. Sinha MA Sayeed
Concentrations on the father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman cannot be treated as repetitions rather logically and historically such queries, searches and researches remain sine die for reasons, known or unknown. From historical standpoints, he cannot but be regarded as Bangabandhu before the birth of Bangladesh that culminated on 16 December 1971 and as Bangabandhu in independent Bangladesh started from his coming back to free and sovereign Bangladesh on 10 January 1972 as the father of the nation and subsequently Prime Minister on 12 January 1972. His landmark speeches on 7 March 1971 at the Race Course Maidan (now Suhrawardy Uddyan) just before break-up of Pakistan (https://www.7thmarch.com/the-speech-text/) and on 10 January 1972 at the same venue (http://www.dhakacourier.com.bd/news/Column/bangabandhus-10-january-1972-speech-in-translation/2039) and 11 January 1975 at Bangladesh Military Academy, Chittagong in truncated Pakistan called Bangladesh (http://www.dhakacourier.com.bd/news/Column/bangabandhus-10-january-1972-speech-in-translation/2039) shall remain as great politico-historical documents. The first one deserves to be matched with Abraham Lincoln’s Gettysburg address on 19 November 1863 (https://www.thoughtco.com/abraham-lincolns-gettysburg-address-1773574) and Winston Churchill’s address on 8 May 1945 to the nation after the German air attack in London during the Second World war (https://inews.co.uk/news/uk/winston-churchill-ve-day-speech-ww2-famous-address-full-text-transcript-when-time-watch-424981) and the second and third ones with the speech by the great Athenian statesman Pericles, 495-429 BC, known as Pericles’ Funeral Oration(http://hrlibrary.umn.edu/education/thucydides.html).
Importantly enough, UNESCO has recognized the historic 7th March Speech of Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman as part of the world’s documentary heritage on 30 October 2017.
Bangabandhu administration from 12 January 1972 to 14 August 1975 remains mostly undug, either suffering from not appropriate evaluations or from hyperboles for reasons, known or not. His visionary shift from multi-party democratic model to one party model through introduction of BAKSAL (Bangladesh Krishak Sramil Awami League in Bangla and in English, Bangladesh Worker-Peasant’s People’s League) on 25 February 1975 also falls into such queries, inquisitiveness and enquiries. Its politico-historical explanations cannot be sidetracked or suppressed with overemotional expressions and superficial tactics. Alas! it is very much amazing to note that almost ninety five percent activists, ranks and files of present day Awami League are not well-briefed and well-equipped with such explanations and responsiveness. Painstaking and conscience-pricking further it is that to be in touch with print media (dailies, weeklies, books and studies) and electronic media meaningfully has meanwhile become a kind of taboo for activists, ranks and files of our political parties of the day. Frustratingly enough, even they have made widely watched talk shows on satellite channels almost soured and disgusting in texts and contents.
Neither scholars within the folds of AL nor critics within opposite domains are in formidable standing to dig and accomplish what was Bangabandhu exactly? Interestingly enough, not even scholars, think-tanks and academics standing in-between these two diametrically opposed platforms feel free to exercise their intellectual capabilities to touch upon such ground realities under the ongoing political sceneries. Why is his importance so high at present? why should generations, present and future, know him more and more? A comprehensive, all encompassing concentration on Bangabandhu is yet to come, to speak in the superlative but needs to come soon for the sake of creating golden Bangladesh.
Nonetheless, let’s all irrespective of castes, creeds, colors, beliefs, religions, inclinations, parties and affiliations feel unrestricted to honour the Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman and pray for the departed souls of all those engulfing members of the family, save Sheikh Hasina and Sheikh Rehana who were then visiting foreign countries, and close relatives assassinated in this very month of 15 August 1975.
Let BNP and its allies and in particular former Prime Minister Begum Khaleda Zia, also Chairperson of BNP, give thoughts on their perceived confrontational conclusion about Bangabandhu under the continuing political landscapes so as to put an end to the confrontational politics also related to the killing of Bangabandhu along with members of the family, save Sheikh Hasina and Sheikh Rehana, including introduction of 15 August as her (Begum Khaleda Zia) date of birth, which reached at the supreme court also. This is third time she, now at home instead of jail because of informal agreement between her family and government, did not celebrate her birth anniversary cutting a big cake in splendid moods and modes but this may not be a signal to her changing mind in the end.
Matter needs to be settled politically and historically on all counts for the sake of creating golden Bangladesh.
Let growing and coming generations have ample opportunities to get involved in politics not confrontational enough rather conducive to build a Bangladesh free from all anomalies and unwanted contradictions. Let political leaders in Bangladesh set examples in reality that politics and political portfolios in parties and in administration are in the hands of good leaders and activists, not sacrificed at the altar of bad, worse and worst ones for the sake of creating golden Bangladesh.
Let Awami League and Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina show excellence in proving that dream of golden Bangladesh is not merely a rhetoric rather a realistic concept and initiative in its entirety. Let AL and Sheikh Hasina be accommodative and pragmatic setting aside parochialism of the highest water to consider and capitalize Bangabandhu as only for AL, not for the nation as a whole. Even the 14-party alliance led by Sheikh Hasina is not sincere enough from their respective political stands to view and judge Bangabandhu in right fashions and manifestations. Why does remain such contradictions within? Does not it go against the spirit of creating golden Bangladesh? Let it be settled for the sake of creating golden Bangladesh.
Let democracy, democratic rule, rule of law, free, fair and creditable elections to national and local bodies be rejuvenated in proper moods and modes not in mouth and statements off and often for the sake of creating a golden Bangladesh.
Let Foreign interference and ugly play by foreign powers, directly or indirectly, mainly by India and China intensely before and after following elections to the 11th parliament be minimized to a tolerable state of standing in line with cooperation and development predominantly. Let a national consensual foreign policy be our common approach under all the circumstances, supportive or not, for the sake of creating golden Bangladesh.
Let rise and escalation of so- called present-day bureaucratic-politico model be scraped hoisting the flag of political supremacy over administration and let corruptions in multi- various manifestations be brought under tight control, let there be free, fair and merit- based civil administration, appointments, postings and promotions without much delay for the sake of creating a golden Bangladesh.
All these are inseparably linked to the building of Sonar Bangla, Golden Bangladesh, dreamt by Bangabandhu. Mere observance of the day without real infusion of ideals and spirits cannot be called pragmatic approach and initiative to honor Bangabandhu in its entirety for the sake of creating a golden Bangladesh.
One should never forget that a Bangabandhu cannot be created overnight, not even a century or centuries. A leader grows through odds, obstacles, sacrifices, conspiracies, betrayals, harassment, tortures, challenges and dilemmas digging opportunities therein in the contexts of time, space and dimension that has duly been reflected in the Bangabandhu’s ‘Autobiography of Unfinished Works” in a very lucid and attention- grabbing styles and manners. All these should be made known in explicit terms and expressions for the sake of creating golden Bangladesh.
Therefore, leaders and statesmen may/shall come and go but Bangabandhu stands high, remains as well above all going beyond ultra plus since he is the Founder of Bangladesh with a plenty of poitico-historitical personalities with and around him such as Syed Nazrul Islam, Tajuddin Ahmed, Monsur Ali and Kamaruzzaman markedly. It is on records that no great hero is born without matching comrades and generals with and around him or her and, hence, attention to them is deservingly expected of. More commendable is to take notes of those predecessors without whom successors could or can hardly came or come out befittingly and from such standpoints, revisits to HM Shaheed Suhrawardy, Maulana Bhasani, AK Fazlul Haque, Targobagish and others need to be weighed necessarily. And so, let all come to light at the hour of birth centenary of Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman for the sake of, for the sake of creating golden Bangladesh.
(Dr. Sinha MA Sayeed (titled Global voice)Writer, columnist, public speaker, member of International Political Science Association and Chairman of Leadership Studies Foundation, LSF, Dhaka, Bangladesh) [This is an extension of the article published in CGS under the caption‘Bangabandhu: A Politico-Historical Understanding.]
Dr. Sinha MA Sayeed