Commemorating the 93rd Birth Anniversary of Sheikh Mujibur Rahman founding father of Bangladesh
By Srimal Fernando, Global Editor
One of the towering figures of the twentieth century and a strident campaigner for Bangladeshi Independence was the founder of Bangladesh, Sheikh Mujibur Rahman. His dream of the Bangladeshi independence and self rule was realized on 26th March 1971. He was often called ‘Bangabandhu’ which means ‘Friend of Bengal’ and was one of the great men of the Indian sub-continent. The people will commemorate the 93rd Birth Anniversary of the architect of Bangladesh and the Father of the Nation, late Sheikh Mujibur Rahman on 17th March 2013.
On this day; in 1920 one of the greatest sons of Bangladesh was born to a respectable Muslim family of Bangladesh who lived in Tungipara village in the Gopalganj constituency. His political career started to take shape when he was a student at Gopalganj missionary school in 1939. Ten years later in 1949 Mujibur was elected as the Sectary General of Islamia College students Union. In 1952 Mujibur condemn the killings of five students by police who campaigned for Bengali language to be made an official language.
As a protest Mujibur went on a hunger strike for 13 days when he was in prison. In 1953 Mujibur was elected as the General Sectary of Awami League. In 1954 Mujibur Rahman contested and won Gopalganj constituency. In the same year he took oaths as Minister of Agriculture and Forest in the new Provincial government.
The year 1966 was a turning point in his political carrier. He placed a historic six point program before a select committee at a National conference of the opposition. In the same year ‘Bangabandhu’ was elected as the President of the Awami League. In the general election of 1970 the Awami League won 167 seats out of 169 seats in the then East Pakistan. In the following year in 1971 Sheikh Mujibur Rahman declared Independence at 12:30AM on 26th March.
The road to independence was a long and difficult one. Too many mothers’ sons and daughters never came home from the bloody Bangladesh liberation war that lasted for nine months. In the early 1970's it was an extremely sobering experience which caused so much suffering for the Bangladeshi people. Following Indian intervention in December 1971, the joint forces of Bengali Mukti Bahini, the Indian army and the League leadership created a government in Dhaka. Bangladesh was finally established. The national flag of Bangladesh was raised and the Bangladeshi flag fluttered proudly. Sheikh Mujibur Rahman was able to assume office as the first president of Bangladesh.
In an interview with Sir David Frost on BBC, in 1972 Mujibur Rahman articulates “My greatest strength is the love for my people; my greatest weakness is that I love them too much.”
In the pre dawn hours of August 15th in 1975 the greatest son of Bangladesh was assassinated with his family by a handful of treacherous military officers in Dhaka. Too much time has been wasted, too many chances missed, too much blood spilled during the pre and post Independence period of Bangladesh. Bangladeshis of today could proudly hold their heads up high, because of the late leaders struggle for independence as a representative of the people of Bangladesh. Sheikh Mujibur will always be remembered fondly as the founding father of Bangladesh.