Essay : Bangabandh’s Life & Ideology

Bangabandh’s Life & Ideology

Introduction : The story of Bangladesh is the story of a man named Sheikh Mujibur Rahman who loved the masses of East Bengal and sacrificed his life for a country which he had named ‘Bangladesh’. Bangabandhu was a genuine people’s leader. It was his love for his people and empathy for his people’s suffering that made him strive for their freedom. The sacrifice and contribution of Bangabandhu for the independence of Bangladesh is incomparable. He is considered to be the inspiration behind the independence and entitled with Bangabandhu (Friend of Bengal) by the people of Bangladesh. He gradually led his people to a liberation war in 1971 to be freed from the oppressions and deprivations of the Pakistani rulers. Thus, he is regarded ‘Jatir Pita’.

Birth, Childhood and Education : Sheikh Mujibur Rahman was born in the village of Tungipara under Gopalganj District on 17 March 1920. His father was Sheikh Lutfar Rahman and mother was Sheikh Sayera Khatun. They had four daughters and two sons. Sheikh Mujibur Rahman was their third child. His parents adoringly used to call him ‘Khoka’. At the age of seven, Sheikh Mujibur Rahman began his schooling at Gimadanga Primary School. Subsequently, he was admitted to Gopalganj Missionary School. Sheikh Mujibur Rahman spent his adolescent years playing in competitive tournaments. He possessed a special love for football. Sheikh Mujibur Rahman passed Matriculation examination from Gopalganj Missionary School. The same year he got himself admitted into the Islamia College (currently Maulana Azad College), Kolkata. From there he completed his graduation in the year 1947. Then he took admission in the Department of Law at University of Dhaka in 1948.

Married Life : At the age of thirteen Sheikh Mujib married his paternal cousin Begum Fazilatunnesa when she was three, fondly called Renu by the family. Their marriage was actually fixed when Renu’s father died. Sheikh Mujib’s grandparent, Sheikh Abdul Hamid, said his son Sheikh Lutfar Rahman to marry his son Sheikh Mujib to Fazilatunnesa. The pair subsequently became the happy parents of two daughters, Sheikh Hasina and Sheikh Rehana, and three sons, Sheikh Kamal, Sheikh Jamal and Sheikh Russel.

Political Life of Bangabandhu : Sheikh Mujib showed his leadership potentially since school life. AK Fazlul Huq, the then Chief Minister of Bengal, visited the school in 1938, then young Mujib stroke the attention of the leader. In politics, he was an ardent follower of Huseyn Shaheed Suhrawardy, a legendary leader in the Indian subcontinent. Having admitted in law at Dhaka University, he worked for the formation of the East Pakistan Muslim Students League in 1948. In that year, the university authority expelled him on the charge of making incitement of the fourth-class employees. In June 1949 Sheikh Mujibur Rahman also worked for the formation of Awami Muslim League. In 1953, Sheikh Mujib was elected general secretary of the East Pakistan Awami Muslim League. In the United front election held between 7-12 March 1954, the Awami League alone obtained 143 seats. Sheikh Mujib won the election from the Gopalganj constituency and took oath on May 15 as Minister for Agriculture, Loan, Co-operative and Rural Development in the new provincial government.

Six-point Programme 1966 : Six-point Programme was enunciated by the Awami League for removing disparity between the two wings of Pakistan and to put an end to the internal colonial rule of West Pakistan in East Bengal. On 5 February 1966, Sheikh Mujibur Rahman presented his historic six-point programme known as the ‘Charter of freedom of the Bengali nation’. It drew the roadmap for the independence of Bangladesh under the garb of greater autonomy. In the Council Meeting held during March 18-20, Sheikh Mujibur Rahman was elected the President of Awami League.

Mass Upsurge 1969 : A case known as ‘Agartala Conspiracy Case’ was filed against Sheikh Mujib and 34 others on January 3, 1968 and he was shown arrested on January 18. As a result, a demand for the withdrawal of the case was broken out through a nationwide student movement and mass upsurge in 1969. With the continuous pressure from public, the Ayub Khan government on 22 February was force to withdraw the case and release Sheikh Mujib and others. Afterwards, Sheikh Mujibur Rahman was awarded with the title ‘Bangabandhu’ at a reception of millions of students and masses at Race Course on February 23. On December 5 at the death anniversary of Shaheed Suhrawardy, Bangabandhu declared that henceforth East Pakistan would be called Bangladesh.

General Election 1970 : Bangabandhu, the Awami League President, urged his countrymen to elect Awami League candidates on the basis of the 6-point demand in the country’s first general elections held on December 7 (National Assembly), and December 17 (Provincial Assembly). When a million people died in a catastrophic cyclone in the coastal areas on November 12, Bangabandhu suspended the election campaign and rushed to the affected areas. Awami League achieved absolute majority in the general elections, winning 167 (including 7 women reserved seats) out of the 169 seats of the National Assembly and 298 seats (including 10 women reserved seats) of the 310 seats of the Provincial Assembly in East Pakistan.

Historic 7 March and Proclamation of Independence : The Bengalis’ aspirations for freedom reached an indomitable height. On March 7, in his historic speech before the millions of people at the Racecourse Maidan, Bangabandhu called his fellow countrymen to take all out preparations for the war of liberation and independence of Bangladesh. On the midnight of March 25, the Pakistan army launched its heinous campaign of genocide against the unarmed Bengalis. Right after the proclamation of independence, he was arrested and taken to a Pakistani prison. After being freed from Pakistani prison, on 10 January 1972, he came home to his people after suffering nine months of illegal incarceration.

Provincial Cabinet
Agriculture, Loan, Co-operative and Rural Development Minister : May 1954
Labour, Anti-corruption, Industry and Trade Minister : September 1956 - May 1957
The Youngest minister in the United Front Cabinet - Sheikh Mujibur Rahman
First appointed minister in - Fazlul Huq Cabinet
President and Prime Minister of Bangladesh
First President : 10 April 1971-12 January 1972
Fifth President : 25 January-15 August 1975
Second Prime Minister : 12 January 1972- 25 January 1975
First Leader of the parliament - Sheikh Mujibur Rahman

Bangabandhu’s Ideology : Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, the Father of the Nation, spent most of his life in politics outside state power. He struggled against Pakistan for 24 years to establish the economic, political and cultural rights of the Bengalis. Bangabandhu had a few specific political ideals and goals, and he worked consistently to achieve them. He declared that he would not import socialism from other countries but he would form a socialist society of our own, keeping democracy, social justice and people’s rights undisturbed. Bangabandhu believed in peace, harmony and equal rights for all people. Though he was involved in the Pakistan movement, he believed that Muslims in India and Hindus in Pakistan should enjoy equal rights as citizens and live together in peace and harmony. He wanted to establish secularism throughout his life.

Bangabandhu not only thought about Bangladesh or regional peace-he also stood for global peace, and against the nuclear arms race and nuclear war. His speech at the 29th UN General Assembly (UNGA) on 25 September 1974 ushered in fresh ideas and policies to build a brave new world free of economic inequalities, social injustice, military aggression and threats of nuclear war. He said, ‘’Peace is absolutely necessary for the protection of the existence of mankind. The hopes and aspirations of all men and women in the world are embodied in this peace. Peace can never be sustainable if not based on justice.’’

Conclution : Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman was assassinated by a handful of army renegades in the predawn hours of 15 August 1975. They murdered in cold blood every member of his family except his daughters Sheikh Hasina and Sheikh Rehana. Bangladesh observes August 15 as the National Mourning Day and remembers the greatest Bengali who ever lived, through his spirit, ideology and courage.

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