Bangabandhu’s leadership qualities, supreme dedication, aspiration and sacrifice made him not only an iconic leader of his country but also turned him into a political personality adored by international political leaders.Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman was multitalented and multidimensional. So if we are to know our Father of the Nation, we have to learn a lot from history.Since colonial times, the world has witnessed a number of revolutions and movements that brought enormous change in the social and political dynamics of the world, and above all, in the life of the common people. These revolutions were a response to the particular realities of their time. Bangladesh's independence struggle was a revolution that had been in the making for roughly 25 years, starting after the partition of Greater India in 1947 which led to the creation of Pakistan split into two wings (east and west). For 25 years, the people of the east wing suffered, without much hope, until they stood up and fought for their independence in 1971 under the leadership of Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman. Without any doubt, Sheikh Mujibur Rahman is the architect of Bangladesh, the Father of the Nation.This great-hearted man was born in Tungipara village on March 17th 1920.
He was the third among four daughters and two sons of his parents Sheikh Lutfur Rahman and Saira Khatun. His parents used to adorely call him Khoka.Bangabandhu began his schooling at the age of seven at a local primary school. He passed his Matriculation from Gopalganj Missionary School in 1942, Intermediate of Arts from Calcutta Islamia College in 1944. In 1947, he obtained a Bachelor of Arts degree from the same college. Then he took admission to study law at Dhaka University but due to extending his support to a movement for the legitimate demands of the fourth class employees of the university, the authority cancelled his studentship.It is obvious that the birth of the founder of Bangladesh, the greatest Bangali of all times, Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman and the birth of this country have a significant correlation. The March is not simply a month but carries the correlation between Bangabandhu and Bangladesh. In March, we have two great birthdays to celebrate. One is 17 March, the day when Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman was born. The other is 26 March, when Bangabandhu declared the birth of a new state.Again we have 7 March to celebrate, when Bangabandhu declared a historic speech before the nation at Racecourse Ground.
This speech encouraged thousands of people from all walks of life and caused electrifying effects on the nation. Bangabandhu showed us the right way to the final path of independence. For the great sacrifice of Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, we, the Bengalis greatly owe him. His generosity is not confined to our own territory rather he has been recognized as one of the greatest leaders in the world. Many countries in the world are conducting research on our great leader Sheikh Mujib. On top of that, the 7th March speech of Bangabandhu has been recognized as a part of the world’s documentary heritage by UNESCO that has elevated Bangladesh to a height across the globe. The world has already recognized Bangladesh as one of the countries with rising economy. Recently, International Monetary Fund (IMF) has published a report claiming that Bangladesh is set to surpass India in terms of per capita gross domestic product (GDP) in 2020 that makes us feel happy that even in the pandemic we are on track to achieve the sustainable goals within the time frame.It is noteworthy that Sheikh Hasina has led the country to the height of success representing it as an abode of huge possibilities to the global community. Cherishing the dream of Bangabandhu at heart she is working relentlessly for the people of Bangladesh. Bangabandhu lies at the heart of all Bengalis.
On this birth anniversary, our salute is to the greatest leader.The far-sighted leader of the nation could easily realize that the Bengali would never raise their heads unless they became independent. It was his dream to liberate the people of this land throughout his life and to do this, most of the time he had to spend in prison. He never compromised with any injustice that put him into enormous sufferings throughout his life. He loved the countrymen more than his own life. He always fought for the political, economic and cultural emancipation of people.He was a born leader who could inspire his fellow countrymen with a patriotic zeal to pursue the independence of the country. People from all walks of life rose to the response of our great leader and finally, we got our hard-earned freedom in 1971.Bangabandhu never thought of his personal happiness, rather in his life he devoted himself for the well-being of the country people. He would love to lead a very simple life and to him, serving humanity was the best goal. He did not judge people with the boundary of caste and creeds and the weakest point he developed was his profound love towards his people that made him a man of extraordinary sensitivity. With his very young age his passionate love for humanity gave him huge popularity.
To celebrate Mujib Borsho the government of Bangladesh took initiatives with the year-round programmes last year but due to the unprecedented Covid-19 pandemic the government scaled down the inauguration fanfare revising the schedule trying to keep most of the programmes indoors to discard public gatherings.This time on the occasion of Mujib Centenary and Golden Jubilee of independence, the government has taken various initiatives beginning from 17 March, the birth anniversary of the father of the nation to 26 March, the independence day of Bangladesh. Many heads of government and states have been invited to attend the birth centenary of the father of the nation and the celebration of golden jubilee of independence.There are a few leaders in the world who have been endowed with great respect for their unique contribution to their nation. Of them the contribution of the father of the nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman to his country and countrymen is considered supreme in the history of Bangladesh.He was a person with charismatic power and had inborn qualities capable of spreading light in darkness.To the people of Bangladesh, Bangabandhu and Bangladesh have been an entity ingrained inseparably. After the war, Bangabandhu returned to Bangladesh from a Pakistan prison on January 10,1972.
It was painful for him to witness what had transpired in his absence, which he described as the biggest humanitarian disaster in the world. Unfortunately, this genocide has not yet been properly addressed or recognised by the international community. His famously enunciated dictum, that our foreign policy was based on the bedrock of friendship towards all, and malice towards none," therefore, is not merely a catchy phrase inspired by Lincoln; it flows from his convictions as enunciated above. His illustrious daughter, our current Prime Minister who inherited his mantle, has done well to remain unswerving to these tenets, not merely through words but actions as well, reiterating that our relations with foreign countries flow from the demands of our own national interest; that we shall not develop any relationship with any country that is at the cost of our existing friendship and cooperation with others; that we shall progressively deepen and even expand existing cooperation wherever it advances or consolidates our own development and nation-building efforts towards being self-reliant; and that these relationships that we engage in are not tilted towards anyone, but enable us to form a neutral space where all, even contesting and competitive parties in the region, and beyond, can come together amicably.
Everyone around us would do well to try and fathom better where we, as a nation, come from, just as we too shall respect their own visions. The art of arriving at an equilibrium will be dependent on how skillfully we manage these different sets of relationships, hewing to the timeless foundational tenets enunciated by our Father of the Nation. Rayhan Ahmed Topader is a writer and columnist
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