Two women around the same age; their fathers laid the foundations of two countries and gave away their lives for their respective country. Both the women struggled and fought hard for the democracy. Both are the unanimous leaders of their country. Both are mothers to two children. Despite having so many similarities, they are poles apart.
When it comes to the love for the countrymen, firmness in establishing democracy and humanity, Aung San Suu Kyi have a lot to learn from Sheikh Hasina.
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina and Myanmar’s Leader of National League for Democracy Aung San Suu Kyi are the most discussed about names in the world right now because of their stances on Rohingya Issue. In this plot of the refugee crisis, Hasina is the “protagonist” and Suu Kyi is the ‘’villain”.
Aung San Suu Kyi was born on June 19, 1945, while Sheikh Hasina was born on September 28, 1947. Suu Kyi`s father Aung San was the founder of Modern Burma. He was the leader of the revolution of the Burmese people against the British Monarchy.
This great hero Aung San was killed in 1947 by his own fellow army officers. Suu Kyi was the youngest daughter of her parents.
Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, Father of Sheikh Hasina was the architect of the historic Bengali awakening against the oppression of the then military autocracy. Bangladesh was able to achieve independence and the right to their own motherland because of the shrewd leadership of the Father of the Nation.
He saw the dream of an independent nation and fulfilled it. But only three and a half years later of independence, 71`s reactionary defeated forces brutally assassinated the Father of the Nation.
Suu Kyi was lucky that she only lost her father. But Sheikh Hasina did not just lose her father, but the whole family. Nobody in the family survived except the two sisters who were both abroad when the massacre happened.
Suu Kyi and Sheikh Hasina started their fight against the military junta in the year 1975. Both started the movement from abroad. Sheikh Hasina also defeated the autocratic military junta through an unprecedented mass upsurge.
In the 88’s election, Suu Kyi was unable to go to power even after winning. The military junta refused to hand over the country. In the 90`s, Sheikh Hasina did not get the power even after leading the movement against autocracy in Bangladesh.
So far, the leaders of the two countries are almost parallel. Suu Kyi was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for peaceful democracy in 1991. Although her peace prize was appreciated all over the world, many people believed that her husband and friend from Oxford played had great influence behind it.
The later stories of Suu Kyi consisted of only compromises, adjustments, and settlements while Sheikh Hasina fought for democracy, for the empowerment of the common people and dedicating her life for achieving what her father dreamt of.
Suu Kyi compromised with and accepted the dictatorial and unacceptable constitutional amendment with the military junta government in compliance with her house arrest. Suu Kyi even complied with the outrageous section where a person will be disqualified for the position of the head of the state if he/she marry/married to a foreigner.
But despite all, in the western world, she was known as `Rajkanya`. But such contemplation and attention were devoid of ``poor girl`` Sheikh Hasina.
After 1991, Sheikh Hasina forwarded the struggle for peaceful democracy to establish people`s right to vote and food. By eliminating hunger and poverty Sheikh Hasina accomplished great success for the countrymen. She not only brought an end to militarism and dictatorship but also permanently stopped the path of dictatorial resurrection.
While in Myanmar`s new constitution it is compulsory to keep one-fourth of the members of the army; any attempt of a military coup in the constitution of Bangladesh is regarded as treason against the state.
The parallelism between Suu Kyi and Sheikh Hasina is like the story of the rabbit and turtle. While Suu Kyi was celebrating the home arrest with all the western patronization, Sheikh Hasina was gradually establishing a democratic Bangladesh through `People`s Empowerment`.
Nelson Mandela once said, "Politics is not a Wizard`s magic, finished by the flick of a wand. Politics is a long journey which can be rough and patchy at times or life-threatening and perilous, or a disappointment. After actualizing this long fatigue journey, the ideological victory is achieved. A visible example of Mandela`s statement is Sheikh Hasina.
Suu Kyi the caressed "princess" became exhausted and surrendered much before the journey ended. As a result, she has to endure the atrocities and barbarities of the military junta.
Unlike Sheikh Hasina who developed and polished herself in the most querulous and belittling situations sacrificing every bit of her to prove herself what she is now; a compassionate, considerate and valiant leader. She never compromised with adversaries, never bowed her head for transgressions, never bent her knee to infringements.
In such a critical situation while one of them is letting her own people die, the other one is welcoming them with open arms and motherly compassion. While one of them is tired of her own selfishness and brutishness to her people, the other one is acclaimed and applauded for her humanity and benevolence.
But Sheikh Hasina was never used to such adulation and compliments. She did and does what she thinks is best for her own people and for greater humanity.
That is how her father lived, that is how she lived, and that is how she will live.
Translated By MA
Bangla Insider/ ZA