What others have said about him...
Poet of politics
In the thousand - year history of Bangladesh, Sheikh Mujib is the only leader who has, in terms of blood, race, language, culture and birth, been a full - blooded Bangali. His physical stature was immense. His voice was redolent of thunder. His charisma worked magic on people. The courage and charm that flowed from him made him a unique superman in these times.
I have not seen the Himalayas. But I have seen Sheikh Mujib. In personality and in courage, this man is the Himalayas. I have thus had the experience of witnessing the Himalayas
The appearence of Sheikh Mujib was the biggest event in the national history of Bangladesh. His burial did not take place through his death. More pragmatic, efficient, capable and dyanmic political personalities than Sheikh Mujibur Rahman might have emerged or may emerge, but it will be very difficult to find someone who has contributed more to the independence movement of Bangladesh and the shaping of its national identity.
A man of vitality and vehemence, Mujib became the political Gandhi of the Bengalis, symbolizing their hopes and voicing their grievances. Not even Pakistan's founder, Mohammed Ali Jinnah, drew the million-strong throngs that Mujib has attracted in Dacca. Nor, for that matter, has any subcontinent politician since Gandhi's day spent so much time behind bars for his political beliefs.
In a sense, Sheikh Mujib is a greater leader than George Washington, Mahatma Gandhi and De Valera.
Sheikh Mujibur Rahman does not belong to Bangladesh alone. He is the harbinger of freedom for all Bengalis. His Bengali nationalism is the new emergence of Bengali civilization and culture. Mujib is the hero of the Bengalis, in the past and in the times that are.
As long as Padma, Meghna, Gouri, Jamuna flows on, Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, your accomplishment will also live on.
Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman led his people in their struggle for liberation through his inspired and courageous leadership. I pay homage to a great visionary and statesman who laid a firm foundation for an independent, strong and proud Bangladesh.
Sheikh Mujib's place in the history of Bangladesh is hotly disputed.
To some extent the debate is split down party lines. His admirers in the Awami League Government - led by his daughter Sheikh Hasina - see him as the country's founding father.
They venerate him as the leading force behind the independence of Bangladesh from Pakistan in 1971.
This view is at odds with the opinions of Sheikh Mujib's detractors - many of them in the opposition Bangladesh Nationalist Party - who see him as an autocrat who paved the way for the country to succumb to military rule.
Despite the conflicting views, there is little doubt that at the height of his power in the early 1970s, he dominated Bangladeshi politics.
... and by his daughter Sheikh Hasina Wajed...
My father Sheikh Mujibur Rahman was involved in politics. He was then imprisoned in jails most of the time. I and my younger brother Kamal used to live with our mother at the village home of our grandparents. My father used to study at Kolkata and simultaneously engage in politics during the time of my birth. He came to see me after getting the news later on.
My father used to come home whenever there was time and opportunity. We never moved from his side during those episodes. By listening to stories while sitting on his lap and eating together, what we got from him during childhood seemed enough to me. One day when papa was brought to Gopalganj police station, I and Kamal went to see him along with our grandfather. Kamal was in fact born when my father was in a Dhaka jail. He therefore had not yet seen father from a close range. He used to listen spellbound to the stories I told him about papa. We were standing beside a pond near the Gopalganj jail to have a glimpse of dad just when he would be taken to the court. Kamal stood by my side and said: Hasu’pa, will you allow me to call your papa ‘papa’? This sentiment of Kamal could never be erased from the depth of my childhood heart. We rarely got our father during our childhood and teenage years. As we were deprived of his affection during childhood, we got much of it from our grandparents, relatives and village‐folks.
My father’s birthplace was also Tungipara. He now sleeps in the soil of that very village in a cool and shady setting. The graves of my grandparents lie by his side.
I used to spend most of my times near my father. I also got the opportunity to take part in discussions on his future plans. I vividly recall one of his utterances. He told us quite often, ‘I shall live in village in the last part of my life. You will take care of me. I shall live near you.’ Those words still resonate in my ears. This back‐pull of my father’s tomb in the secluded atmosphere of a village will bring me back to that village over and over again wherever I may be on earth.
May Allah grant Sheikh Mujibur Rahman jannat (heaven), forgive his sins, and let his positive contribution inspire the rest of us to do good. Ameen.
"Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman Hall" at Dhaka University and Jahangirnagar University
In recognition of his lifelong contribution to Bangladesh, both Dhaka University (DU) and Jahangirnagar University (JU) named one of their male student hall after Sheikh Mujib. The "Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman Hall" in Dhaka University has the capacity to hold 490 http://www.univdhaka.edu/halls_of_residence/hall_details.php?bodyid=HBB students, and constitutes one of the fifteen male residential halls in the university, which also includes a "Muktijoddha Ziaur Rahman Hall" named after Ziaur Rahman and "Amar Ekushey Hall" in honour of the basha andolan activists. Jahangirnagar University also has male halls dedicated to the Bangla Language Movement martyrs - the "Shaheed Salam-Barkat Hall" and "Shaheed Rafiq-Jabbar Hall".
In addition, both universities have female halls of residence named after Sheikh Mujib's wife - "Begum Fazilatun Nesa Mujib Hall" http://www.univdhaka.edu/halls_of_residence/hall_details.php?bodyid=HFM (DU) and "Fazilatunnesa Hall" http://www.juniv.edu/home.php?pg=girls (JU).
|Male halls of residence||Female halls of residence|
|Dhaka University||Jahangir University||Dhaka University||Jahangir University|
|Salimullah Muslim Hall||Al Beruni Hall||Ruqayyah Hall||Nawab Faizunnesa Hall|
|Jagannath Hall||Meer Mosharraf Hossain Hall||Surja Sen Hall||Jahanara Imam Hall|
|Shahidullah Hall||Shaheed Salam-Barkat Hall||Shamsunnahar Hall||Preetilata Hall|
|Fazlul Huq Muslim Hall||A.F.M. Kamaluddin Hall||Shahnewsaz Hostel||Begum Khaleda Zia Hall|
|Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman Hall||Bangabondhu Sheikh Majibur Rahman Hall||Begum Fazilatun Nesa Mujib Hall||Fazilatunnesa Hall|
|Zahurul Haq Hall.||Moulana Bhasani Hall||Bangladesh-Kuwait Maitree Hall|
|Haji Muhammad Mohsin Hall||Shaheed Rafiq-Jabbar Hall||IBA Hostel|
|Kabi Jasimuddin Hall||Nabab Foyzunnessa Chowdhurani Hostel|
|Sir P.J. Hartog International Hall|
|Muktijoddha Ziaur Rahman Hall|
|Sir A.F. (Ahmed Fazlur) Rahman Hall.|
|Amar Ekushey Hall|
Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujib Medical University
Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujib Medical University (BSMMU) www.bsmmu.org/ is the first and only medical university http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bangabandhu_Sheikh_Mujib_Medical_University in Bangladesh. It is a public university, established in 1999. The university is an upgrade of the Institute of Postgraduate Medicine and Research (IPGMR), popularly referred to as PG. IPGMR was established in the then East Pakistan by the Government of Pakistan in December 1965, as a Government-controlled postgraduate institute for medical research and studies.
The university is now autonomous body governed by a 24-member http://www.bsmmu.org/syndicate.html syndicate. BSMMU comprises 43 Departments http://www.bsmmu.org/faculty.html under 6 faculties: Faculty of Medicine, Surgery, Basic Medical Sciences, Dentistry, Nursing, and Medical Technology.
The BSMMU building was previously the Hotel Shahbag, once the biggest hotel http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bangabandhu_Sheikh_Mujib_Medical_University in Dhaka, and from which the neighbourhood (Shahbag) gets it name.
The BSMMU complex has five main multistoried buildings that are identified as Block-A,Block-B,Block-C, Block-D and Cabin block respectively.
BSMMU contact details
Address: Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujib Medical University, Shahbag, Dhaka-1000, Bangladesh
Telephone (operator): +88 02 9661051-56, +88 02 9661058-60, +88 02 8614545-49, +88 02 8612550-54, +88 02 8618652-56, +88 02 8614001-05, +88 02 8611737-41
Opening hours (admin office): 8.00am to 2.30pm everyday except Fridays and holidays.
Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman Agricultural University (BSMRAU) in Salna, Gazipur district
Covering 187 acres http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bangabandhu_Sheikh_Mujibur_Rahman_Agricultural_University of land, the Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman Agricultural University (BSMRAU) is a government-financed 13th http://history.pages.bsmrau.edu.bd/ public university of Bangladesh and third biggest agricultural university after Bangladesh Agricultural University and Sher-e-Bangla Agricultural University.
It was established on 22 November 1998, and is located approximately 40km http://location.pages.bsmrau.edu.bd/ north of Dhaka. Originally it was the Institute of Post Graduate Studies in Agriculture (IPSA), the academic wing of Bangladesh Agricultural Research Institute (BARI) which was affiliated with Bangladesh Agricultural University until 1991. It was then transformed into an autonomous institution, providing credit-based masters and post-graduate programs. The graduate program of IPSA was developed a team of IPSA teachers led by Prof. L. M. Eisgruver of the Oregon State University (OSU), USA, under the tripartite cooperation of the Governments of Bangladesh, Japan, and USA (JAICA-USAID-GOB)
The university has 6 faculties: Graduate Studies, Agriculture, Fisheries, Veterinary Medicine & Animal Science, Forest & Environment, Agricultural Economics and Rural Development
In 2005, BSMRAU started providing undergraduate program of Bachelor of Science degree in Agriculture in their Faculty of Agriculture on a similar credit-based systems as its graduate program.
The chancellor of the university is Mohammad Zillur Rahman, current president of Bangladesh.
BSMRAU contact details
Address: Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman Agricultural University (BSMRAU)
Opening hours (admin office):
Another university named after Sheikh Mujib is the "Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman Science and Technology University (BSMRSTU)"
Bangabandhu International Conference Centre (BICC)
http://bicc.com.bd/ previously Bangladesh-China Friendship Conference Centre
Bangabandhu Smriti Jadughar (Bangabandhu Memorial Museum)
In 1997, Sheikh Mujib's family home in Dhanmondi, Dhaka, was preserved as a reminder of the 1975 tragedy by being converted into a museum, Bangabandhu Sriti Jadughar (Bongobondhu Memorial Museum).
Bangabandhu Jatiyo (National) Stadium, Dhaka
Also known as the Dhaka Stadium, the Bangabandhu Jatiyo Stadium is the national stadium of Bangladesh which is located in the Motijheel area in the heart of the city.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bangabandhu_National_Stadium Established in 1954 End names: Pavilion End, and Paltan End only venue in the world http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bangabandhu_National_Stadium to have hosted an inaugural home fixture for two Test nations. India were the visitors on both occasions: in 1954–55, when Dacca was the capital of East Pakistan, and 46 years later, when Bangladesh became the tenth nation to attain Test status. With a purpose-built cricket stadium being constructed on the outskirts of the city, the ground was taken out of commission at the end of the 2004–05 season, and handed over for the sole use of the Bangladesh national football team. Currently, the stadium is used for football ( Brothers Union, Mohammedan SC, Dhaka Abahani) and athletics. Total seating capacity is about 36,000. It was also home to the Bangladeshi cricket team until 1 March 2005. On the 6th of September, 2011 Bangabandhu National Stadium hosted a historical match between Argentina and Nigeria, a milestone for football in the country. The stadium is located next to National Hockey Stadium. Bangladesh registered its first win at home at Bangabandhu National Stadium against India on 26 December 2004. The stadium was used for competitions of the 2010 South Asian Games, including football and athletics. hosted a colorful opening ceremony on 17 February 2011 of the 2011 Cricket World Cup co-hosted by Bangladesh, Sri Lanka and India. The stadium was exclusively modernized and renovated into a world class stadium to host the grand opening ceremony. The capacity of the stadium has been increased to 36,000, a large LED screen has been installed, a modern roof has also been attached over the press box. The entrances and VIP box have also been upgraded to host the grand gala inaugural ceremony. http://www.tigercricket.com/venues/testnodi/bangabandhu-national-stadium.html also known as Number-1 National Stadium, Dhaka Stadium etc Debute ODI : Pakistan v Sri Lanka - Oct 27, 1988 Debute Test : Pakistan v India - Jan 1-4, 1955 Last Test : Bangladesh v Zimbabwe - Jan 14-18, 2005 Last ODI : Bangladesh v Zimbabwe - Jan 31, 2005 Total Matches Played : 75 ODI Matches Played : 58 Test Matches Played : 17 http://www.espncricinfo.com/ci/content/ground/56661.html Capacity 36000 Floodlights Since 1998 Note Dhaka's cricket headquarters have now shifted to the purpose-built Sher-e-Bangla stadium in Mirpur. only venue in the world to have hosted an inaugural home fixture for two Test nations. India were the visitors on both occasions: in 1954-55, when Dacca (sic) was the capital of East Pakistan, and 46 years later, when Bangladesh became the tenth nation to attain Test status. "Situated in the throbbing heart of Dhaka, the Bangabandhu and the nearby National Hockey Stadium are so incorporated into the daily hustle and bustle of Bangladeshi life that it is hard to tell from the outside that they are in fact sporting venues, especially given the plethora of electrical goods stalls that have sprung up all around the concourse." Andrew Miller, Journalist http://www.espncricinfo.com/ci/content/ground/56661.html http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_ihHiBsv1H8 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D6oCfcKin1M&feature=results_main&playnext=1&list=PLC74D4ED33BA6ECA3 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o4ILrYX2l6Y http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TsFwI8CxtpA http://news.sky.com/home/world-news/article/16063587 http://sportscorner-pak.blogspot.co.uk/2011/09/argentina-vs-nigeria-match-at-dhaka.html http://www.11sagdhaka2010.com.bd/ The 2010 South Asian Games is a major multi-sport event, scheduled to take place from January 29 to February 9, 2010 in Dhaka, Bangladesh. This will be the third time that the Bangladeshi capital hosts the Games, thus becoming the 4th city to host the Games multiple times (after Colombo, Kathmandu and Islamabad). It is also expected to be the largest sporting event ever in the history of Bangladesh. Bd won 18 golds http://www.11sagdhaka2010.com.bd/Pages/Medals/Default.aspx http://www.ocasia.org/Game/GameParticular.aspx?9QoyD9QEWPdraegUEzeUfA== http://www.worldstadiums.com/stadium_pictures/asia/bangladesh/dhaka_bangabandhu.shtml http://bangladeshcricket.com/news/bangabandhu-national-stadium-bns-for-world-cup-2011-cricket-matches-176.html http://www.thedailystar.net/newDesign/latest_news.php?nid=28465 Bangabandhu National Stadium (BNS) has been renovated and modernised at a cost of nearly Tk 35.08 crore. The renovation and modernisation works includes ICC hospitality box, BCB hospitality box, expansion and improvement of VIP lounge, renovation of floodlight, expansion and improvement of media center with air cooler and gallery shades. The renovation also includes installation of about 26,000 chairs in the gallery, three decorated entry gates to the stadium, VIP car parking area, installation of World Cup replica at the main gate of Baitul Mukarram National Mosque and installation of CCTV, and 82’ giant TV screen. The ceremony marking the formal inauguration of the renovated Bangabandu National Stadium was presided over by State Minister for Youth and Sports Ahad Ali Sarkar. Finance Minister AMA Muhith also spoke on the occasion. The prime minister in her speech said the present government is very much sincere about the successful holding of the Cricket World Cup matches in Bangladesh. For this reason, she said, the government allotted Tk 35.08 crore for the BNS, Tk 78.50 crore for Mirpur Sher-e-Bangla National Stadium, Tk 62.82 crore for Khan Saheb Osman Ali Stadium in Fatullah, Tk 71.28 crore for Zahur Ahmed Stadium in Chittagong and Tk 56.47 crore for Sheikh Abu Naser Stadium in Khulna to carry out necessary modifications.
Did Sheikh Mujib and the Awami League 'engineer' a new nation?
During the Pakistani war of 1971, the leadership in the west wing projected Sheikh Mujibur Rahman as a secessionist who was keen to divide the country with the help of radical leftist. Indian support for the Mukti Bahini further dented his and the Awami League's credibility in the eye of these observers. The governments of Saudi Arabia and China criticised Mujib and recognized Bangladesh's independence only after his death.
They claim that the Awami League hatched a conspiracy with India and worked out "operational plan in meticulous detail" to take East Bengal out of Pakistan, and that Operation Searchlight was carried out in order to prevent this armed uprising before the “zero hour” of Friday 26 March 1971. They further claim that referring the Pakistani war as "Muktijuddho" (Bangladesh Liberation War) and "Shadinota Juddho" (Bangladesh Independence War) rather than as a civil war were typical of the linguistic ploys these secessionist deployed to stir up the passion of the East Pakistanis, and that the economic disparities between the two wings were exaggerated by Sheikh Mujib.
This accusation that Sheikh Mujib’s Awami League engineered a separate nation is further strengthened by claim of some of the party’s supporters that it was the "dream" http://www.mukto-mona.com/Articles/KhurshidAlam/Father_of_Nation.pdf of Sheikh Mujib to create an independent country.
Of course, Bangabandhu was not the only dreamer of independent Bangladesh. Many other leaders such as Maulana Bhasani used to talk about (in public meetings only) independent Bangladesh, without any plan or follow-up. But no other leaders except Sheikh Mujib had any systematic plan to achieve independence. Had there been no Bangabandhu, there could be no Bangladesh today, period. From the inception of Pakistan, i.e., right from 1949, Sheikh Mujibur Rahman did almost anything and everything which simply was seen and considered by every Pakistani Presidents/Prime ministers as the anti-Pakistani acts.
He was the only Pakistani leader who spent more than 14 years in the jail during the period of 24 years of Pakistani era. He was a political headache for every Pakistani Presidents/Governors during the entire period of 24 years. Almost every ruler of Pakistan immediately after coming to power put Sheikh Mujib in jail for his so called anti-state activities.
However, there were a large number of foreign correspondents present in Dhaka before the war began to cover the talks between Sheikh Mujib and President Yahya. The general consensus amongst this group was that the Awami League could not have made any serious plans for insurrection and secession.
As the army was fanning out over the city of Dhaka to strike in the early evening of March 25, the Sheikh himself was in the process of issuing directives to get the jute exports moving again after the administrative paralysis of early March. When he learned that the army was shooting up the city and hunting down all Awami League members, he waited calmly at his home to be arrested. There seem to have been no contingency plans at all in case Yahya decided to crush Bangla Desh by force, and resistance to the West Pakistan troops in those early days of March and April was almost non-existent.
The “Six Points” program – which the critics say laid the seed for a divisive nation – was in fact designed to halt the net transfer of resources http://books.google.co.uk/books?id=yFu2Y2XHNWAC&pg=PA128&lpg=PA128&dq=sheikh+mujibur+secessionist&source=bl&ots=Az11cC48zf&sig=w8Sj_gsvMWLvzSHit2ceoahTvL4&hl=en&sa=X&ei=qLVQT8rHAaWm0QXW48CADA&ved=0CDgQ6AEwAw#v=onepage&q=sheikh%20mujibur%20secessionist&f=false from East to West Pakistan which was calculated to be between $2.6 and $3 billion http://books.google.co.uk/books?id=yFu2Y2XHNWAC&pg=PA128&lpg=PA128&dq=sheikh+mujibur+secessionist&source=bl&ots=Az11cC48zf&sig=w8Sj_gsvMWLvzSHit2ceoahTvL4&hl=en&sa=X&ei=qLVQT8rHAaWm0QXW48CADA&ved=0CDgQ6AEwAw#v=onepage&q=sheikh%20mujibur%20secessionist&f=false over period from 1948 to 1969. It was not created to threaten the territorial integrity of the country but rather seek the redistribution of domestic power according to democratic principles as the Bengali leadership were committed to finding a peaceful political change. It was only after the rejection of the democratic process by West Pakistan elites – specially in 1970 when the Awami League was denied its rightful place in government – and the subsequent mass violence against its people, that the Bengalis abandon such initiatives in favour of secession.
Sheikh Mujib’s reluctance to use violence during the Pakistani period and rely on protest plan which revolved around starting a mass, non-cooperation movement, or hartal similar to those deployed by Mahatma Gandhi on the subcontinent, is further proof of the peaceful tactic which they deployed to counter the ‘sabotage’ http://books.google.co.uk/books?id=yFu2Y2XHNWAC&pg=PA128&lpg=PA128&dq=sheikh+mujibur+secessionist&source=bl&ots=Az11cC48zf&sig=w8Sj_gsvMWLvzSHit2ceoahTvL4&hl=en&sa=X&ei=qLVQT8rHAaWm0QXW48CADA&ved=0CDgQ6AEwAw#v=onepage&q=sheikh%20mujibur%20secessionist&f=false attempts of President Yahya and opposition leader Zulfikar Ali Bhutto.
Ami Pradhan Montrytta Chai na, Ami ai’desh-er manusher Mukti chai (I don’t want to be Prime Minister – I only want the freedom of my country’s people).
I sincerely believe that the two wings of Pakistan are really two eyes, two ears, two nostrils, two rows of teeth, two hands, and two legs of the body-politic of Pakistan.
Sheikh Mujib’s alleged remark in his pamphlet "The Six Point Formula"
Did Sheikh Mujib abandon his people in their hour of need and flee from the atrocities of 1971?
Sheikh Mujib was a lion-hearted Bangalee who never knew how to hide himself from anybody, he never got out of his home through the back door, not even at the crucial moment when assassins armed with Stan-guns entered (August 1975) his home to annihilate not only him but his entire family members who were with him on that fateful night. During his 24-year long political ordeal throughout East Pakistani days, he never fled/hid for his life.
It was Bhutto, not Mujib, who broke Pakistan. Bhutto's stance in 1971 and his stubbornness harmed Pakistan's solidarity much more than Sheikh Mujib's six-point demand. It was his high ambitions and rigid stance that led to rebellion in East Pakistan. He riled up the Bengalis and brought an end to Pakistan's solidarity. East Pakistan broke away
Yahya Khan allegedly stated in a secret government affidavit released in 2005 - 27 years after his death
The controversial BAKSAL system
Out of sheer desperation he abandoned the parliamentary democracy he had championed for decades in favor of a model that he probably had felt was working in Nasser’s Egypt and Tito’s Yugoslavia. No doubt so many noble and otherwise perfect heroes come to a tragic end because of one tragic flaw. Was this his?
Indian journalist Anthony Mascarenhas (1986) writes that Mujib had become “the most haded man in Bangladesh within three short years of its founding...
Several historians regard Mujib as a rabble-rousing, charismatic leader who galvanised the nationalist struggle but proved inept in governing the country. During his tenure as Bangladesh's leader, Muslim religious leaders and politicians intensely criticized Mujib's adoption of state secularism. He alienated some segments of nationalists and the military, who feared Bangladesh would come to depend upon India and become a satellite state by taking extensive aid from the Indian government and allying Bangladesh with India on many foreign and regional affairs. Mujib's imposition of one-party rule and suppression of political opposition alienated large segments of the population and derailed Bangladesh's experiment with democracy for many decades.
Following his death, succeeding governments offered low-key commemorations of Mujib, and his public image was restored only with the election of an Awami League government led by his daughter Sheikh Hasina in 1996. August 15 is commemorated as "National Mourning Day," mainly by Awami League supporters. He remains the paramount icon of the Awami League, which continues to profess Mujib's ideals of socialism. Mujib is widely admired by scholars and in Bengali communities in India and across the world for denouncing the military rule and that what he maintained was 'ethnic discrimination in Pakistan', and for leading the Bengali struggle for rights and liberty.
-------------- http://www.humanrightsinbangladesh.com/85.php During the height of famine in 1974/75, Kamal and Jamal had royal-style weddings at Gonobhaban and Sheikh Mujib celebrated his birthday or something at his Dhanmondi residence. Reportedly, show cause notices went to businesses and organizations that missed those functions and failed to send gifts. I recall, at the 32 Dhanmodi function on a torrential rainy day, watery processions passed by the road down below one after another. The sari-clad women drenched in rainwater presented an embarrassing sight on the TV screen. Life of Sheikh Mujibur Rahman was depicted in large scale, everything from his birth, family, education, life, politics, jail, struggles etc. Anyone with a little knowledge of our political history would find that the narration often did not match the visuals and videos shown. March 7, 1971 speech was heavily edited. So was his speech on January 10, 1972. But one part of his life became conspicuous by omission. It was his ‘Golden Period of Sonar Bangla’ from 1972 to 1975. How come his achievements during that time left totally untouched? What happened to Shiekh Mujib’s one of the greatest creations--- the Rakkhi Bahini? People still shriek out at the thought of it. Some 40 thousand political opponents and innocents died in the hands of this draconian force that was under Mujib’s personal command. There were many Fazilatun Nesas and Russels among those victims. Half a million people died in the man-made (according to Nobel laureate Amartya Sen and others) famine during Sheikh Mujib’s time. It was man-made because there was no dearth of relief materials (Please see New York Times, Washington Post and many other international print media of November and December 1974). Why nobody talked of Sheikh Mujib’s 4th Amendment that slaughtered the constitution and implemented a presidential dictatorship within minutes and without any debate? How about the Emergency of 1974 that gagged the press, banned all but four newspapers and suspended fundamental rights? Awami leaders still brag and pride that BAKSAL (Bangladesh Awami Krishak Sramik Awami League) was Mujib’s Second Revolution. Why nobody touched on this great achievement? It is sad that Sheikh Mujibur Rahman and 21 others lost lives on August 15, 1975. But what was the objective of those who masterminded the act: to kill Mujib or to bring about a regime change? To kill, what could be the motive? Personal rivalry? Political clash? Power grab? Subsequent ground situations do not support those assumptions. There was no apparent personal or political equation between the two sides. Elected representatives of the Awami League formed the post-Mujib cabinet and none of the coup leaders was within miles of power. Foreign hands? No conclusive proof to that. Defeated forces of 1971? Not likely, almost all officers were decorated freedom fighters. Sheikh Mujib had great contributions towards the awakening of East Pakistanis who won Bangladesh for themselves in 1971. But, history would not absolve him for the series of blunders he committed during his 3 and a half-year rule. ---------------
Voted "greatest Bengali of all time" in BBC poll
In a 2004 poll conducted on the worldwide listeners of BBC's Bengali radio service – which has nearly 12 million listeners in Bangladesh and eastern India – Sheikh Mujib was voted the "Greatest Bengali of All Time" http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/south_asia/3623345.stm beating out Rabindranath Tagore and others.
- 1. Sheikh Mujibur Rahman ()
- 2. Robindronath Thakur ()
- 3. Kazi Nozrul Islam ()
- 4. Abul Kashem Fazlul Huq (Sher-e-Bangla) ()
- 5. Subhash Chandra Bose ()
- 6. Rokeya Sakhawat Hossain (Begum Rokeya) ()
- 7. Jagadish Chandra Bose ()
- 8. Ishwar Chandra Vidyasagar ()
- 9. Moulana Abdul Hamid Khan Bhashani ()
- 10. Raja Ram Mohon Ray ()
- 11. Mir Nisar Ali Titumeer ()
- 12. Lalon Shah ()
- 13. Satyajit Ray ()
- 14. Amartya Sen ()
- 15. Martyrs of Language Movement ()
- 16. Dr. Muhammad Shahidullah ()
- 17. Swami Vivekananda ()
- 18. Atish Dipankar ()
- 19. Ziaur Rahman ()
- 20. Huseyn Shaheed Suhrawardy ()
The result of the survey proved controversial with many critics pointing out that it was unfair to compare the contribution of such high calibre individuals across multiple discipline.
What has astonished a number of critics in Kolkata as well as Dhaka, is that Sheikh Mujibur Rahman has edged out people like Rabindranath Tagore, the Nobel Prize winner, Kazi Nazrul Islam, the rebel poet, Subhas Chandra Bose, who led an army of Indian nationalists against the British Raj, Jagadish Chandra Basu, the great scientist, Maulana Abdul Hamid Khan Bhashani, who was always a thorn in the side of the West Pakistan establishment, and Huseyn Shaheed Suhrawardy, the brilliant lawyer, who went on to become prime minister of Pakistan.
Others questioned the validity and intelligence behind such comparison and pointed to Bengal’s long and rich history which was filled with countless heroes – both recorded and unrecorded.
The only ancient name I see on the list is that of Atish Dipankar, the Buddhist monk and preacher who lived a thousand years ago. Thus, it seems, at least a thousand years were included in the survey.
It is a source of pride for Bangladesh, and Bengal in general, that its rich history blossoms with such talent. Though such comparisons of ‘greatness’ are inevitable – specially by external sources who’s motive can be questionable – we should not let it deter us from the good that each has made and avoid such futile debate.
For us Muslim, who constitute over 90% of Bangladesh’s population, It is also worth reminding ourself that qualities of xxx e.g. ‘Greatest’, ‘Best’, ‘Strongest’ etc is reserved for Allah (Subhanatawallah) alone, who is the Creator of all things.
Nevertheless, let’s use the positive contribution of such individuals and others (both known and unknown) – including family, friends and strangers in our daily life – and inspire us to give back to society, because in giving we receive.
"Jatiyo Shuwk Dibosh" (aka Bongobondhu Hoitta Dibosh), and "Jail Hoitta Dibosh"
The shocking events of 15 August 1975 and 3 November 1975 are remembered and commemorated annually both in Bangladesh and abroad, usually by Awami League affiliation and supporters, as "Jatiyo Shuwk Dibosh" (National Mourning Day) - sometime also referred to as "Bongobondhu Hoitta Dibosh" (Bongobondhu Killing Day) - and "Jail Hoitta Dibosh" (Jail Killing Day), respectively.