Today marks the 99th birth anniversary of the architect of the independent Bangladesh, Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman. This unanimous leader was born on this day in 1920 in Tungipara, a village in Gopalganj District in the province of Bengal in British India, to Sheikh Lutfur Rahman and Sheikh Sahara Khatun. Officially the day is celebrated as `National Children`s Day.
Bangladesh`s undisputed leader Sheikh Mujibur Rahman has had a glorious political life. He spent his childhood in Tungipara village. Sheikh Mujib was the third among four sisters and two brothers. During his studies at the secondary level, Mujib withdrew from school to undergo eye surgery, and returned to school only after four years, owing to the severity of the surgery and slow recovery. Since childhood, Sheikh Mujib was humane, courageous and charitable. When he studied at Gopalganj Missionary School, Sher-e-Bangla AK Fazlul Huq visited his School. The teenager Sheikh Mujib went on his way and asked, "How long will it take to renovate the school building and student hostel?"
He was involved in politics from his school life. He was imprisoned for the first time because of joining the anti-British movement when he was in class eight at Gopalganj Mission School. While studying at Calcutta Islamia College, he came in contact with the then top-ranked political leaders like Huseyn Shaheed Suhrawardy and Sher-e-Bangla A K Fazlul Huq. From that time, he established himself as a youth leader in politics.
Bangabandhu played an outstanding role in every movement and struggle against Pakistani military rule including the Language Movement of 1952, Ayub Khan`s anti-martial movement of 1958 and the education movement of 1962. Because of these movements he was imprisoned repeatedly.
He was included in the cabinet of the United Front government in 1954. On 5 February 1966, as the head of the Awami League, he announced the historic six-point movement. Pakistan`s dictator General Ayub Khan filed the Agartala conspiracy case against Bangabandhu and other leading people and sent them to jail. Through the historical mass upsurge of 1969, Bengalis were able to release Sheikh Mujibur Rahman from prison and anointed him with the honor of `Bangabandhu`.
In the 1970 election, Bengalees gave unanimous support to Bangabandhu and Awami league. Awami League got the mandate of Pakistan`s majority political parties, but Pakistani rulers did not accept the victory of Bengalees under the leadership of Bangabandhu. In the continuation of that movement, Bangabandhu started the unprecedented non-cooperation movement in March 1971. On March 7, in the historic speech of the Race Course Maidan (now Suhrawardy Udyan), he declared in a thunderous voice that "Having mastered the lesson of sacrifice, we shall give more blood. God willing [Inshallah], we shall free the people of this land,” He announced, "every house to turn into a fortress, resist the enemy with all you have. The struggle this time is our struggle for freedom; the struggle this time is the struggle of freedom."
On the dark night of March 25, 1971, when the Pakistani military started attacking the unarmed Bengalees, Bangabandhu declared independence from the residence of Road No. 32 of Dhanmondi at wireless in the first hour of March 26. Then Bangabandhu was arrested from his residence and taken to a prison in West Pakistan. In exchange for the self-sacrifice and honor of 3 million martyrs and 4 lac women, the valiant Bengalees snatched the victory on December 16th after 9-month bloodied Liberation War. The emergence of independent-sovereign Bangladesh was occurred.
On 10 January 1972, Bangabandhu returned home from the prison in Pakistan. He devoted himself to the reconstruction and rehabilitation of the newly independent country. In 1975 he announced the National Program for the economic-development of the nation. Shortly afterwards, he was killed with his family in his own residence by some misguided soldiers on August 15th on 1975. The greatest child of the nation is lying in his birth place Tungipara in Gopalganj.
Awami League, its various organs and various social and cultural organizations will arrange several day-long programs on the occasion of Bangabandhu`s birthday.
Bangla Insider/ SM