Every thing in this country, ever so small, ever so trivial, was precious to him. Only thing of no consequence, to him, was his own life. His ever expansive figure measured the map of our motherland. Rafiq Azad (The Stairs) [Original in Bangla: `Ei Shiri']
Today is 17th March. This homeland of ours was gifted with a child ninety seven years ago who gave us an independent nation in 1971.Never ever in our history this land of ours has been so lucky to have someone who could become so synonymous with our dreams of an independent homeland called Bangladesh. While we cherish and celebrate this day with immense joy and happiness, we at the same time cannot be oblivious of the tragedy of 15th August 1975.
On this auspicious birthday of Bangabandhu, I would like to pay my deepest respect to this complete `Bengalee' by unfolding some of his thoughts on art and culture. An artist in a traditional sense he was not. But great contemporary political observers did not exaggerate when they called him `an enduring poet of politics.'
An indicator for a successful state is that it never makes its own history and tradition debatable. Specially, history is never presented to future citizens as a dole from political winners. Surely, how prosperous a country will become tomorrow is determined in the class rooms of to-day. If a classroom offers quality teaching, teaches teach history in true perspective, it releases a self confidence in the younger generation which is untamable. Self-confidence infuses resistance to all obstacles which can be an important building block to our national development. Unfortunately, we, at times, failed to offer our children the desired quality education on the one hand and concealed our true history from them. As such we have created a confused generation.
What an irony! We were confusing our impressionable children to realize our narrow political end. We carefully concealed from them the fact that Bangladesh emerged after a blood-bath in the fight for freedom-the foundation of which was laid by countless national heroes. Their farsightedness, diligence and sacrifice shaped a cohort of eminent politicians and civic leaders. Sheikh Mujib absorbed the achievements of all his predecessors to inspire all to a vow for the independence. A loving people honored him with an appellation, `Bangabandhu', much adored 'the friend of Bangladesh'.
This debt of the love and confidence was reposed in him. He repaid this by presenting us an independent country. The people in return discovered in his countenance a replica of the country. For a long time, all their thoughts, all their aspirations were centered on him. Even now he shines refulgent in the heart of his people. Forgotten by the horde of beneficiaries, he lives, will live in the heart of the deprived multitude. His figure grows with time, towering, sky-high.
He is much above other heroes as he could implant in the teeming millions the seeds of dream of a free country, which finally came true. People always felt their country in him. To echo Rabindranath Tagore, `to connect with him was to connect with all.' The common people came to believe that he alone was the symbol of the unity of a larger indigenous society. The message reached every hearth that he can lay down his life for his country. He was our beacon light. He was a constant and courageous representative of the separate entity of the Bengalis. This courage he transmitted to all of us. He reticulated his dream so skillfully that within decades, the realization of an independent Bangladesh became inevitable.
`Submerging all limitations, the name of Sheikh Mujib is an open sesame to history' (B. K. Jahangir). We cross the door again and again to duel with our fate in his name.
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