Sheikh Mujibur Rahman
Sheikh Mujibur Rahman was born in a respectable Muslim family on
17 March 1920, in Tungipara village under the then Gopalganj subdivision
(at present district) of Faridpur district. He was the third child
among four daughters and two sons of Sheikh Lutfar Rahman and Siara
Begum. His parents used to call him Khoka out of affection. Bongobondhu
spent his childhood in Tungipara.
the age of seven, Bongobondhu began his schooling at Gimadanga
primary school. At nine, he was admitted to class three at Gopalganj
public school. Subsequently, he was transferred to a local missionary
was forced to go for a break of study when, at the age of fourteen,
one of his eyes had to be operated on.
returned to school after a break of four years caused by the severity
of the eye operation.
eighteen, Mujib married Begum Fazilatnnesa. They subsequently became
the happy parents of two daughters, Sheikh Hasina and Sheikh Rehana,
and three sons, Sheikh Kamal, Sheikh Jamal and Sheikh Russel. All
the sons were to be killed along with their parents on 15 August
political career was effectively inaugurated while he was a student
at Gopalganj missionary school. He led a group of students to demand
that the cracked roof of the school be repaired when Sher-e-Bangla
A. K. Fazlul Huq, Prime Minister of undivided Bengal, came to visit
the school along with Husein Shaheed Suhrawardy, later chief minister
of Bangla and even later prime minister of Pakistan.
Mujib joined the Nikhil Bharat Muslim Chhatra Federation (All India
Muslim Students Federation). He was elected to a one-year term.
Mujibur Rahman passed the Entrance (currently Secondary School
Certificate) Examination. He then took admission as an intermediate
student in the Humanities faculty of Calcutta Islamia College,
where he had lodgings at Baker Hostel. That same year Bangabandhu
got actively involved with the movement for the creation of Pakistan.
Mujibs busy and active political career took off in the literal
sense with his election as a councilor of the Muslim League.
took part in the conference of the All Bengal Muslim Students League
held in Kushtia, where he played an important role. He was also
elected secretary of Faridpur District Association, a Calcutta-based
organization of the residents of Faridpur.
Mujib was elected General Secretary of Islamia College Students
obtained Bachelor of Arts degree from Islamia College under Calcutta
University. When communal riots broke out in the wake of the partition
of India and the birth of Pakistan, Bangabandhu played a pioneering
role in protecting Muslims and trying to contain the violence.
took admission in he Law Department of Dhaka University. He founded
the Muslim Students League on 4 January. He rose in spontaneous
protest on 23rd February when Prime Minister Khwaja Nazimuddin
in his speech at the Legislative Assembly declared : The
people of East Pakistan will accept Urdu as their state language.
Nazimuddins remarks touched off a storm of protest across
the country. Sheikh Mujib immediately plunged into hectic activities
to build a strong movement against the Muslim Leagues premeditated,
heinous design to make Urdu the only state language of Pakistan.
He established contracts with students and political leaders. On
2 March, a meeting of the workers of different political parties
was held to chart the course of the movement against the Muslim
League on the language issue. The meeting held at Fazlul Huq Hall
approved desolation placed by Bangabandhu to form an All-Part State
League age Action Council.
Action Council called for a general strike on 11 March to register
its protest against the conspiracy of the Muslim League against
Bangla. On 11 March, Bangabandhu was arrested along with some colleagues
while the were holding a demonstration in front of the Secretariat
building. The student community of the country rose in protest
following the arrest of Bangabandhu. In the face of the strong
student movement the Muslim League government was forced to release
Bangabandhu and other student leaders on 15 march. Following his
release, the All-Party State Language Action Council held a public
rally at Dhaka University Bat Tala on 16 March. Bangabandhu presided
over the rally, which were soon sets upon by the police.
protest the police action Bangabandhu immediately announced a countrywide
student strike for 17 March. Later, on 19 May, Bangabandhu led
a movement in support of the Dhaka University Class Four employees
struggling to redress the injustice done to them by their employers.
Mujib was arrested again on 11 September.
Mujib was released from jail on 21 January. Bangabandhu extended
his support to a strike called by the Class Four employees of Dhaka
University to press home their various demands. The university
authorities illogically imposed a fine on him for leading the movement
of the employees. He rejected the unjust order. Eventually, the
anti-Muslim League candidate Shamsul Huq won a by-election in Tangail
on 26 April, Mujib was arrested for staging a sit-in strike before
the vice-chancellors residence. When the East Pakistan Awami
Muslim League was formed on 23 June, Bangabandhu was elected its
joint secretary despite his incarceration. He was released in late
June. Immediately after his release, he began organizing an agitation
against the prevailing food crisis. In September he was detained
for violating Section 144. Later, however, he was freed.
raised the demand for Chief Minister Nurul Amins resignation
at a meeting of the Awami Muslim League in October. Immediately
afterward, he was arrested again alone with Moulana Abdul Hamid
Khan Bhashani for leading a delegation to Liaquat Ali Khan. That
was towards the end of October.
the first of January, the Awami Muslim League brought out an anti-famine
procession in Dhaka on the occasion of Pakistans Prime Minister
Liaquat Ali Khans visit to the province. Once again Bangabandhu
was arrested and jailed, this time for two years, for leading the
26 January, Khwaja Nazimuddin declared that Urdu would be the state
language of Pakistan. Though still in jail, Bangabandhu managed
to play a leading role in organizing a protest against this announcement.
From prison he sent out a call to the State Language Action Council
to obverse 21 February as Demand Day for releasing political prisoners
and making Bangla the state language. He began a hunger strike
on 14 February. On 21 February the student community violated Section
144 and brought out a procession in Dhaka to demand the recognition
of Bangla as the state language. Police opened fire, killing in
the process Salam, Barkat, Rafique, Jabbar and Shafiur, who thus
became martyrs of the Language Movement. In a statement from jail,
Bangabandhu condemned the police firing and registered his strong
protest. He was on hunger strike for 13 consecutive days. He was
moved from Dhaka central jail to Faridpur Jail to prevent him from
making contact with the organizers of the movement. He was released
from jail on 26 February.
9 July, Mujib was elected general secretary of East Pakistan Awami
League at this council session. Efforts were made to forge unity
among Moulana Bhashani, A.K. Fazlul Huq and Shaheed Suhrawardy
with the objective of taking on the Muslim League at the general
elections. To achieve this goal, a special council session of the
party was called on 14 November, when a resolution to form the
Jukta Front (United Front) was approved.
first general elections were held on 10 March. The United Front
won 223 seas out of a total of 237, including 143 captured by the
Awami League. Bangabandhu swept the Gopalganj constituency, defeating
the powerful Muslim League leader Wahiduzzaman by a margin of 13,000
votes. On 15 May, Bangabandhu was given charge of the ministry
of agriculture and forests when the new provincial government was
formed. On 29 May, the central government arbitrarily dismissed
the United Front ministry. Bangabandhu was again arrested once
he landed at Dhaka airport after a flight from Karachi on 30 May.
He was freed on 23 December.
was elected a member of the legislative assembly on 5th June. The
Awami League held a public meeting at Paltan Maidan on 17th June
where it put forward a 21-point program demanding autonomy for
East Pakistan. On 23rd June the Working Council of the Awami League
decided that this members would resign from the legislative assembly
if autonomy was not granted to East Pakistan.
25ht August Bangabandhu told Pakistans assembly in Karachi:
YOU WILL SEE THAT THEY WANT TO PLACE THE WORD EAST PAKISTAN INSTEAD
OF EAST BENGAL. WE HAVE DEMANDED SO MANY TIMES THAT
YOU SHOULD USE BENGAL INSTEAD OF PAKISTAN. THE WORD BANGAL HAS
A HISTORY, HAS A TRADITION OF TIS OWN. YOU CAN CHANGE IT ONLY AFTER
THE PEOPLE HAVE BEEN CONSULTED. IT YOU WANT TO CHANGE IT THEN WE
HAVE TO GO BACK TO BENGAL AND ASK THEM WHETHER THE ACCEPT IT. SO
FAR AS THE QUESTION OF ONE UNIT IS CONCERNED IT CAN COME IN THE
CONSTITUTION. WHY DO YOU WANT IT TO BE TAKEN UP JUST NOW? WHAT
ABOUT THE STATE LANGUAGE, BENGALI? WE WILL BE PREPARED TO CONSIDER
ONE-UNIT WITH ALL THESE THINGS. SO, I APPEA TO MY FRIENDS ON THAT
SIDE TO ALLOW THE PEOPLE TO GIVE THEIR VERDICT IN ANY WAY, IN THE
FORM OF REFERENDUM OR IN THE FORM OF PLEDICITE.
21st October the party dropped the word Muslim from
its name at a special council of the Bangladesh Awami Muslim League,
making the party a truly modern and secular one. Bangabandhu was
reelected General secretary of the party.
3 February, Awami League leaders, during a meeting with the Chief
Minister, demanded that the subject of provincial autonomy be included
in the draft constitution. On 14 July, the Awami League at a meeting
adopted a resolution opposing the representation of the military
in the administration. The resolution was moved by Bangabandhu.
On 4 September an anti-famine procession was brought out under
the leadership of Bangabandhu defying Section 144. At least three
persons were killed when police opened fire on the procession in
Chawkbazar area. On 16 September, Bangabandhu jointed the coalition
government, assuming he charge of Industries, Commerce, Labor,
Anti-Corruption and Village Aid Ministry.
30 May, Bangabandhu resigned from the cabinet in response to a
resolution of the party to strengthen the organization by working
for it full-time. On 7 August, he went on an official tour of China
and the Soviet Union.
President, Major General Iskandar Mirza, and the chief of Pakistans
army Genera Ayub Khan, imposed martial law on 7 October and banned
politics. Bangabandhu was arrested on 11 October. Thereafter, he
was continuously harassed through one false case after another.
Released from prison after 14 months, he was arrested again at
the jail gate.
was released from jail after he won a writ petition in the High
Court. Then he started underground political activities against
the martial law regime and dictator Ayub Khan. During this period
he set up an underground organization called Swadhin Bangal
Biplobi Parishad or Independent Bangla Revolutionary Council,
comprising outstanding student leaders in order to work for the
independence of Bangladesh.
again Bangabandhu was arrested under the Public Security Act on
6 February. He was freed on 18 June following the withdrawal of
the four-year-long martial law on 2 June. On 25 June, Bangabandhu
joined other national leaders to protest the measures introduced
by Ayub Khan. On 5 July he addressed a public rally at Paltan Maid
an where he bitterly criticized Ayub Khan. He went to Lahore on
24 September and joined forces with Shaheed Suhrawardy to form
the National Democratic Front, an alliance of the opposition parties.
He spent the entire month of October traveling across the whole
of Bengal along with Shaheed Suhrawardy to drum up public support
for the United Front.
Mujib went to London for consultations with Suhrawardy, who was
there for medical treatment. On 5 December, Suhrawardy died in
Awami League was revitalized on 25 January at a meeting held at
Bangabandhus residence. The meeting adopted a resolution
to demand the introduction of parliamentary democracy on the basis
of adult franchise in response to public sentiment. The meeting
elected Maulana Abdur Rashid Tarkabagish as party president and
Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujib as general secretary. On 11 March, an
All-Party Action Council was formed. Bangabandhu led a committee
to resist communal riots. Following the riots he took the initiative
to start a vigorous anti-Ayub movement. Bangabandhu was arrested
14 days before the presidential election.
government charged Sheikh Mujib with sedition and making objectionable
statements. He was sentenced to a one-year jail term. He was later
released on an order of the High Court.
5 February, a national conference of the opposition parities was
held in Lahore. Bangabandhu placed his historic 6-point demand
before the select committee of the conference. The 6-point demand
was a palpable charter of freedom of the Bengalee nation. On the
first day of March, Bangabandhu was elected president of the Awami
League. Following his election, he launched a campaign to obtain
enthusiastic support for the 6-point demand. He toured the entire
country. During his tour he was arrested by the police and detained
variously at Sylhet, Mymensingh and Dhaka several times. During
the first quarter of the year he was arrested eight times. On 8
May, he was attested again after his speech at a rally of jute
mill workers in Narayanganj. A countrywide strike was observed
on 7 June to demand the release of Bangabandhu and other political
prisoners. Police opened fire during the strike and killed a number
of workers in Dhaka, Narayanganj and Tongi.
Pakistan government instituted the notorious Agartala conspiracy
case against Bangabandhu and 34 Bengalee military and CSP officers.
Sheikh Mujib was named accused number one in the case that charged
the arrested persons with conspiring to bring about the secession
of East Pakistan from the rest of Pakistan. The accused were kept
detained inside Dhaka Cantonment. Demonstrations started throughout
the province to demand the release of Bangabandhu and the other
co-accused in the Agartala conspiracy case. The trial of the accused
began on 19 June inside Dhaka Cantonment amidst tight security.
Central Students Action Council was formed on 5 January to press
for the acceptance of the 11-point demand that included the 6-point
demand of Bangabandhu. The council initiated a countrywide student
agitation to force the government to withdraw the Agartala conspiracy
case and release Bangabandhu. The agitation gradually developed
into a mass movement. After months of protests, violations of Section
144 and curfews, firing by the police and the EPR and a number
of casualties, the movement peaked into an unprecedented mass upsurge
that forced Ayub Khan to convene a round-table conference of political
leaders and announce Bangabandhus release on parole. On 22
February, the central government bowed to the continued mass protests
and free Bangabandhu and the other co-accused. The conspiracy case
was withdrawn. The Central Student Action Council arranged a reception
in honor of Sheikh Mujibur Rahman on 23 February at the racecourse
(Suhrawardy Uddyan). At this meeting of one million people, Mujib
was publicly acclaimed as Bangabandhu (Friend of Bengal). In his
speech on the occasion, Bangabandhu pledged his total support to
the 11-point demand of the student.
26 February, Bangabandhu joined the round-table conference called
by Ayub Khan in Rawalpindi. At the conference Bangabandhu placed
the 6-point demand of his party and the 11-point demand of the
students and said: To end the peoples anger there is
no alternative to the acceptance of the 6-point and 11-point demand
and the granting of regional autonomy. When the Pakistani
politicians and rulers rejected his demand he left the conference
on 13 March. The next day he returned to Dhaka. On 25 March, Gen.
Yahya Khan seized power and imposed martial law. On 25 October,
Bangabandhu went to London on a three-week organizational tour.
On 5 December, Bangabandhu declared at a discussion meeting held
to observe the death anniversary of Shaheed Suhrawardy that henceforth
East Pakistan would be called Bangladesh. He added: There
was a time when all efforts were made to erase the word Bangla from
this land and its map. The existence of the word Bangla was
found nowhere except in the term Bay of Bangal. I on behalf of
Pakistan announce today that this land will be called Bangladesh instead
of East Pakistan.
was re-elected President of the Awami League on 6 January. The
Awami League at a meeting of the Working committee on 1 April decided
to take part in the general elections scheduled for later that
year. On 7 June, Bangabandhu addressed a public meeting at the
racecourse ground and urged the people to elect his party on the
issue of the 6-point demand. On 17 October, Bangabandhu selected
the boat as his partys election symbol and launched his campaign
through an election rally at Dhakas Dholai Khal. On 28 October,
he addressed the nation over radio and television and called upon
the people to elect his partys candidates to implement the
6-point demand. When a mighty cyclone storm hit the coastal belt
of Bangladesh, killing at lest one million people, Bangabandhu
suspended his election campaign and rushed to the aid of the helpless
people in the affected areas. He strongly condemned the Pakistani
rulers indifference to the cyclone victims and protested against
it. He called on the international community to help the people
affected by the cyclone. In the general elections held on 7 December,
the Awami League gained an absolute majority. The Awami League
secured 167 out of 169 National Assembly seats in the then East
Pakistan and gained 305 out of 310 seats in the Provincial Assembly.
3 January, Bangabandhu conducted the oath of the peoples
elected representatives at a meeting at the Race Course ground.
The Awami League members took the oath to frame a constitution
on the basis of the 6-point demand and pledged to remain loyal
to the people who had elected them. On 5 January, Zulfiquar Ali
Bhutto, the leader of the majority party, the Peoples Part,
in the then West Pakistan, announced his readiness to form a coalition
government at the centre with the Awami League. Bangabandhu was
chosen as the leader of his partys parliamentary part at
a meeting of the National Assembly members elected from his party.
On 27 January, Zulfiquar Ali Bhutto arrived in Dhaka for talks
with Bangabandhu. The talks collapsed after three days of deliberations.
In an announcement on 13 February, President Yahya Khan summoned
the National Assembly to convince in Dhaka on 3 March. On 15 February,
Bhutto announced that he would boycott the session and demanded
that power be handed over to the majority parties in East Pakistan
and West Pakistan. In a statement on 16 February, Bangabandhu bitterly
criticized the demand of Bhutto and said, The demand of Bhutto
sahib is totally illogical. Power has to be handed over to the
only majority party, the Awami League. The people of East Bengal
are now the masters of power.
1 March, Yahya Khan abruptly postponed the National Assembly session,
prompting a storm of protest and throughout Bangladesh. Bangabandhu
called an emergency meeting of the working committee of the Awami
League, which called a countrywide hartal for 3 March. After the
hartal was successfully observed, Bangabandhu called on the President
to immediately transfer power to his party.
7 March, Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman addressed a mammoth
public rally at the Race Course ground, where he declared:
STRUGGLE NOW IS THE STRUGGLE FOR OUR EMANCIPATION, THE STRUGGLE
NOW IS THE STRUGGLE FOR OUR INDEPENDENCE. JOI BANGLA. IN
THIS HISTORIC SPEECH, BANGABANDHU URGED THE NATION TO BREAK THE
SHACKLES OF SUBJUGATION AND DECLARED, SINCE WE HAVE GIVEN
BLOOD, WE WILL GIVE MORE BLOOD. GOD-WILLING, THE PEOPLE OF THIS
COUNTR WILL BE LIBERATED
. TURN EVERY HOUSE INTO A FORT. FACE
(THE ENEMY) WITH WHATEVER YOU HAVE.
advised the people to prepare themselves for a guerilla war against
the enemy. He asked the people to start a total non-cooperation
movement against the government of Yahya Khan. There were ineffectual
orders from Yahya Khan on the one hand, while the nation, on the
other hand, received directives from Bangabandhus Road 32
residence. The entire nation carried out Bangabandhus instructions.
Ever organization, including government offices, banks, insurance
companies, schools, colleges, mills and factories obeyed Bangabandhus
directives. The response of the people of Bangladesh to Bangabandhus
call was unparalleled in history. It was Bangabandhu who conducted
the administration of an independent Bangladesh from March 7 to
16 March, Yahya Khan came to Dhaka for talks with Bangabandhu on
the transfer of power. Bhutto also came a few days later to Dhaka
for talks. The Mujib-Yahya-Bhutto talks continued until 24 March.
Yahya Khan left Dhaka in the evening of 25 March in secrecy. On
the night of 25 March, the Pakistan army cracked down on the innocent
unarmed Bangalees. They attacked Dhaka University, the Peelkhana
Headquarters of the then East Pakistan Rifles and the Rajarbagh
Sheikh Mujibur Rahman read out a wireless message, moments after
the crackdown began, declaring the independence of Bangladesh as
25 March gave way to 26 March. His declaration was transmitted
over wireless to the country:
MAY BE MY LAST MESSAGE, FROM TO-DAY BANGLADESH IS INDEPENDENT.
I CALL PON THE PEOPLE OF BANGLADESH WHEREVER YOU MIGHT BE AND WITH
WHATEVER YOU HAVE, TO RESIST THE ARMY OF OCCUPATION TO THE LAST.
YOUR RIGHT MUST GO ON UNTIL THELAST SOLDIER OF THE PAKISTAN OCCUPATION
ARMY IS EXPELLED FROM THE SOIL OF BANGLADESH. FINAL VICTORY IS
called upon all sections of people, including Bangalee military
and civilian personnel, students, workers and peasants, to join
the resistance against the occupation Pakistan army. This message
of Bangabandhu was immediately disseminated throughout the country
through radio equipment under special arrangements. The same night
jawans and officers in Chittagong, Comilla and Jessore cantonments
put up resistance to the Pakistan army after receiving this message.
Bangabandhus declaration was broadcast by Chittagong Radio
station. The Pakistan army arrested Bangabandhu from his Dhanmondi
residence at 1-10 A.m. and whisked him away to Dhaka cantonment.
On 26 March he was flown to Pakistan as a prisoner. The same day,
General Yahya Khan, in a broadcast banned the Awami League and
called Bangabandhu a traitor.
26 March, M.A Hannan, an Awami League leader in Chittagong, read
out Bangabandhus declaration of dependence over Chittagong
radio. On 10 April, The Provisional Revolutionary Government of
Bangladesh was formed with Bangabandhu as President.
revolutionary government took the oath of office on 17 April at
the Amrakanan of Baidyanathtala in Meherpur, which is now known
as Mujibnagar. Bangabandhu was elected President, Syed Nazrul Islam
acting President and Tajuddin Ahmed Prime Minister. The Liberation
War ended on 16 December when the Pakistani occupation forces surrendered
at the historic racecourse ground accepting defeat in the glorious
was led by the revolutionary government in exile. Bangladesh were
between August and September of 1971, the Pakistani junta held
a secret trial of Bangabandhu inside Lyallpur jail in Pakistan.
He was sentenced to death. The freedom-loving people of the world
demanded absolute security of Bangabandhus life. Once Bangladesh
was liberated, the Bangladesh government demanded that Bangabandhu
be released immediately and unconditionally. A number of countries,
including India and the Soviet Union, and various international
organizations urged the release of Bangabandhu. Pakistan had no
right to hold Bangabandhu, who was the architect of Bangladesh.
In the meantime, Bangladesh had been recognized by many countries
of the world.
Pakistan government freed Bangabandhu on 8 January 1972. Bangabandhu
was seen off at Rawalpindi by Zulfiquar Ali Bhutto, by now Pakistans
president the same day Bangabandhu left for London en route to
Dhaka. In London, British Prime Minister Edward Heath met him.
On his way back home from London Bangabandhu had a stop-over in
New Delhi, where he was received by Indian President V. V. Giri
and Prime Minister Indira Gandhi.
memorable reception was accorded to Bangabandhu when the Father
of the Nation reached Dhaka on 10 January. From the airport he
drove straight to the Racecourse Ground where he made a tearful
address before the country. On 12 January, Bangabandhu became Bangladeshs
Prime Minister. On 6 February he traveled to India at the invitation
of the Indian government. After twenty-four years the Dhaka University
authorities rescinded his expulsion order and accorded him the
Universitys life membership.
1 March he went to the Soviet union on an official visit. The allied
Indian army left Dhaka on 17 March at the request of Bangabandhu.
On 1 Ma he announced a raise in the salary of class three and four
employees of the government. On 30 July Bangabandhu underwent a
gall bladder operation in London. From there he went to Geneva.
On 10 October the World Peace Council conferred the Julio Curie
award on him. On 4 November, Bangabandhu announced that the first
general election in Bangladesh would be held on 7 March, 1973.
On 15 December, Bangabandhus government announced the provision
of according state awards to the freedom fighters. On the first
anniversary of liberation the constitution of the Peoples
Republic of Bangladesh was framed.
the important achievements of the Bangabandhu government:
reorganization of the administrative system, framing of the constitution,
rehabilitation of one crore people, restoration and development
of communication system, expansion of education, supply of free
books to students upto class V and at low price to students upto
class VIII, effective ban on all anti-Islamic and anti-social activities
like gambling, horse races, drinking of liquor, establishment of
Islamic Foundation, reorganization of Madrasa Board, establishment
of 11,000 primary schools, nationalization of 40,000 primary schools,
establishment of womens rehabilitation centre for the welfare
of distressed women, Freedom Fighters Welfare Trust, waiving tax
upto 25 bighas of land, distribution of agricultural inputs among
farmers free of cost or at nominal price, nationalization of banks
and insurance companies abandoned by the Pakistanis and 580 industrial
nits, employment to thousands of workers and employees, construction
of Ghorasal fertilizer factory, primary work of Ashuganj complex
and establishment of other new industrial units and reopening of
the closed industries. Thus Bangabandhu successfully built an infrastructure
for the economy to lead the country towards progress and prosperity.
Another landmark achievement of the Bangabandhu government was
to gain recognition of almost all countries of the world and the
United Nations membership in a short period of time.
Awami League secured 293 out of the 300 Jatiya Sangsad (parliament)
seats in the first general elections. On 3 September, the Awami
League, CPB and NAP formed Oikya Front (United Front). On 6 September,
Bangabandhu traveled to Algeria to attend the Non-Aligned Movement
Peoples Republic of Bangladesh was accorded membership of
the United Nations. On 24 September, Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur
Rahman addressed the UN General Assembly in Bengali.
25 January, the country switched over to the presidential system
of governance and Bangabandhu took over as President of the republic.
On 24 February, Bangladesh Krishak Sramik Awami League, comprising
all the political parties of the country, was launched. On 25 February,
Bangabandhu called upon all political parties and leaders to join
this national party. He felt the need for making Bangladesh a self-reliant
nation by reducing dependence on foreign aid. So he overhauled
the economic policies to achieve the goal of self-reliance, He
launched the Second Revolution to make independence meaningful
and ensure food, clothing, shelter, medicare, education and work
to the people. The objectives of the revolution were: elimination
of corruption, boosting production in mills, factories and fields,
population control and establishment of national unity.
received an unprecedented response to his call to achieve economic
freedom by uniting the entire nation. The economy started picking
up rapidly within a short time. Production increased. Smuggling
stopped. The prices of essentials came down to within the purchasing
capacity of the common man. Imbued with new hope, the people untidily
marched forward to extend the benefits of independence to ever
doorstep. But that condition did not last long.
the pre-dawn hours of 15 August, the noblest and the greatest of
Bengalees in a thousand years, Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman,
the architect of Bangladesh and the Father of the Nation, was assassinated
by a handful of ambitious and treacherous military officers. On
that day, Bangabandhus wife, a noble woman, Begum Fazilatunnessa;
his eldest son, freedom fighter Sheikh Kamal; second son Lt. Sheikh
Jamal; youngest son Sheikh Russel; tow daughters-in-law Sultana
kamal and Rosy kamal; Bangabandhus brother Sheikh Naser;
brother-in-law and agriculture minister Abdur Rab Serniabat and
his daugher baby Serniabat; Arif Serniabat, grand son Sukanto Abdullah
and nephew Shahid Serniabat Bangabandhus nephew, youth leader
and journalist Sheikh Fazlul Huq Moni and his pregnant wife Arzoo
Moni; Bangabandhus security officer Brig. Jamil and a 14-year-old
boy Rintoo were killed. In all the killers slaughtered 16 members
and relatives of Bangabandhus family.
law was imposed in the country after the killing of Sheikh Mujibur
Rahman. Democracy was done away with and basic rights were snatched
away. Thus began the politics of killing, coups and conspiracy.
The peoples rights to food and vote were taken away.
is international provision to hold trial of killers to protect
human rights in the world. But unfortunately in Bangladesh, a law
was enacted under a martial law ordinance exempting the self-confessed
killers of Bangabandhu from any trial. Having captured power illegally
through a military coup, Gen. Ziaur Rahman spoiled the sanctity
of the constitution by incorporating the notorious Indemnity Ordinance
in the Fifth Amendment to the constitution. He rewarded the killers
by providing them with jobs in Bangladesh diplomatic missions abroad.
The people are suffering from lack of security as the killers,
instead of being punished, have been rewarded. The Indemnity Ordinance,
which is opposed to basic human rights, has to be repealed and
the killers punished to restore rule of law in the country. The
indemnity Ordinance was repealed by parliament only after the Awami
League led by Bangabandhus daughter Sheikh Hasina returned
to power in 1996.
15, 1975, is the blackest day in Bangladeshs national life.
The nation observes this day as National Mourning Day.
Page updated 12-07-2005 @ 1712 GM