Bengalis Cry as of the Agony of Losing Bangabandhu in Bloody August

Hiren Pandit: Bangabandhu gave a gift to the Bengali Nation, a blood-stained flag with Bangabandhu’s name written on it. With the dream of building a Golden Bengal, Bangabandhu returned after nine months in a very tired physique, yet he went ahead, with a new dream. Bangabandhu had many dreams before the materializing of that dream, the Bengal became red with the blood of Bangabandhu, the people of this country cried out, and the tweeting of birds stopped. But the Bengali nation has not forgotten Bangabandhu, they will never be forgotten. Now the noble boys are dreaming of materializing Bangabandhu’s dream, they have taken a blood oath to materialize Bangabandhu’s desperate desire to build a Golden Bengal. From a distance, stand and see Bangabandhu, every day in your Bengal the morning birds still come to find you, the flowers of the garden look for you in the branches of the trees, the rivers find you in every wave, Bangabandhu remains in the blood flag of this country. All the roads of Bengal have converged today in Bangabandhu’s Tungipara. The Bengal of Bangabandhu’s dream is getting filled with gold today. Who says there is no Bangabandhu, Bangabandhu is in this Bengal, we are waiting for him to sing the song of independence.

Mourning Bloody August. In this month of 1975, Bengalis lost their best child of thousand years, the Father of the Bengali Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, and most of his family members. On August 21, 2004, an attempt was made to kill Awami League president, the then leader of the opposition and current Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, daughter of the Father of the Nation, in a grenade attack. Fortunately, she survived that day, but 24 people were killed including former president Zillur Rahman’s wife and Awami League women’s affairs secretary Ivy Rahman and more than 500 leaders and activists were injured.

On the night of August 15, 1975, the assassins not only killed Bangabandhu, Bangabandhu’s companion Bangamata, Bangabandhu’s three sons Sheikh Kamal, Sheikh Jamal, and Sheikh Russell, along with daughter-in-law Sultana Kamal and Rozi Jamal, lost their lives one by one. 16 family members and relatives including Bangabandhu’s brother Sheikh Nasser, sister-in-law of former Agriculture Minister Abdur Rob Serniabat, nephew Jubo League founder Sheikh Fazlul Haque Moni, his wife Begum Arju Moni and Colonel Jamil could not escape from this most despicable murder in the world.

After killing the father of the nation Bangabandhu along with his family, a number of members of the army went into danger, and the whole world felt intense anger, condemnation and mourning. West German leader Willy Branditt, who won the Nobel Prize after Bangabandhu’s murder, said that Bengalis can no longer be trusted after Mujib’s murder. A Bengali who can kill Sheikh Mujib can do any heinous act.

Indian-born British citizen and prominent writer Nirad C. Chowdhury described the Bengalis as ‘traitors’ and said that by killing Sheikh Mujib, the visionary of the Bengali nation, the Bengali nation has shown its suicidal character to the people of the world. The 16 August 1975 issue of ‘The Times of London’ stated that ‘In spite of everything, Bangabandhu will always be remembered. Because the existence of Bangladesh without him is unimaginable.

On the same day, the “Daily Telegraph” newspaper published in London said, “Millions of people in Bangladesh will consider Sheikh Mujib’s heinous murder as an irreparable loss.”

The nation has been freed to some extent by the execution of the verdict of the trial of the murderers of Bangabandhu. Similarly, the slander of Bengali’s suicidal character has also ended. Commenting on the Telegraph, the newspaper made far-reaching comments that day. The people of the country are now able to realize that Bangabandhu was killed by the anti-independence and domestic & foreign conspirators with the aim of destroying the spirit of the liberation war and bringing back the Pakistani ideology in the country.

The killing of Bangabandhu was not just a murder, 15th August 1975 marked the beginning of the reverse journey of the newly independent Bangladesh through a long struggle and a bloody liberation war. Even in the liberation war, the illegal military force seized power by overthrowing the civil government of the country by destroying consciousness, democracy and the constitution, and since then, the history of illegal and lawless rule has been written. On August 15, 1975, not only Sheikh Mujib was assassinated, but the then Awami League government was not overthrown, the sovereignty of the people of Bangladesh was taken away through that incident. Through this, the rights of the people, their willpower and judgment in changing the government were denied. In fact, on August 15, 1975, democracy itself was killed in Bangladesh.

After the final victory in the War of Independence, Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman returned to independent Bangladesh on January 10, 1972, after being released from Pakistan prison. Helped in the reconstruction of the country’s governance system, education, medicine, and economy. After independence, the defeated forces, domestic and foreign conspirators started various conspiracies about the country’s economy and politics. Bangabandhu and his family were killed in that house on the night of August 15, 1975, when he was the president of independent Bangladesh from the house at 32 Dhanmondi, Dhaka, where Bangabandhu declared independence until the beginning of Bangladesh’s independence war. August 15 is not only a major disaster in the history of Bangladesh, but it is also a scandalous chapter in the history of the world. Bangabandhu and his wife and children were killed just three and a half years after the independence of the great architect of freedom, which has no comparison in the history of the world.

The military dictatorship of General Zia and Ershad has been running in this country for 15 years after the August 15 military coup and the assassination of Mujib. If the August 15, 1975 coup was prevented as illegal, more than two dozen coups would not have happened one after the other. There would not have been so many murders one after the other. The country was not under military rule for 15 years.

Just a few days after Bangabandhu’s assassination, The Guardian wrote on August 28 that through the events of August 15, the people of Bangladesh had reverted to Ayub’s religious campaign and military rule for political purposes. A few years after the tragic events of 1982, Time magazine also said on 5 April 1982 that the democratic period ended after the coup d’état on 15 August and the assassination of Sheikh Mujib. Meanwhile, Khandaker Mushtaq Ahmad also mentioned in his first speech as the head of the government that was formed through the August 15 coup was not constitutionally valid.

On August 15, Khandaker Mushtaq Ahmad became president after the assassination of Bangabandhu and his family. On this day, he gave a speech on radio and television to the nation as the head of the government and president who seized the power of martial law. On August 16, 1975, the daily Ittefaq published news about this. In his speech, Mushtaq mentioned that the responsibility of the government as the President has been entrusted to him by relying on the prayers of the merciful to carry out the sacred duty of realizing the right and true aspirations of the 7.5 crore people of Bangladesh as a whole and collectively. However, he said, although the change in the governance system of the country is desired by all quarters, as it is not possible according to the law, the military has to come forward to change the government.

Mushtaq’s speech, however, made another claim, that the army also worked for this change and expressed unwavering loyalty and trust to his government. However, it is yet to be revealed whether the entire army was involved in the conspiracy and coup. Many people think that he himself gave the certificate of illegality to his own government saying that change is not possible according to the law. Mushtaq was forced to step down from the presidency on 6 November. Justice Abu Sadat Sayem took office as president. However, the government under Mushtaq or Sayem was not legitimate at all. Both of them came to power completely illegally. Following this, Ziaur Rahman and Ershad seized power later. The High Court in 2010 struck down the Seventh Amendment to the Constitution and ruled Khandaker Mushtaq Ahmed, Abu Sadat Mohammad Sayem, Ziaur Rahman and Hussain Muhammad Ershad as illegal power grabbers. The politics of assassination, coup and conspiracy started in the country with the killing of Bangabandhu. Various conspiracies started after August 15, 1975, to distort the consciousness even in the liberation war. In non-communal Bangladesh, there was a resurgence of fundamentalist politics in Pakistani ideology.

Bangabandhu was able to reach the highest position of the great hero of history only through political and social activities. The basic elements of his self-identity such as his thoughts, goals, ideals, philosophy of life, etc. have gradually developed and passed from one position to the next. This pace of development and evolution never stopped, continuing till the last days of his life. He had to cross many adverse roads to take the long road of politics, and sometimes he had to adopt different approaches considering the reality; But the pace of its overall evolution was forward, in the direction of progress and in its actions, it was a reflection of the thoughts and aspirations of the common people.

For a long time, it seemed that there was no real existence in Bangladesh without Bangabandhu. But it can be said that if the Bengali nation is the name of consciousness, the name of a dream, the name of creating history, the name of aspiration, the name of struggle and the name of success, then its shaper is Bangabandhu. He is the hero of history. Bangabandhu will always remain immortal in the hearts of Bengalis.

Hiren Pandit is a columnist and a researcher.

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