Monaem Sarker A Devoted Politician to Materialize Bangabandhu’s Ideals

Hiren Pandit: Politician, writer, and columnist Monaem Sarker is not getting old, he is standing still, he is evergreen, forever young, seventy-eight is a number to him, not age. He saw the light of the world on March 30, 1945. Still every day dawns, afternoon turns into night, days go by, and months go by like this, he is always busy for the welfare of the Bengali nation. But we don’t see any sign of old age in him, in his thoughts, intellect, or his actions. There is no room for laziness in the life of the Monaem Sarker. His organization is the biggest family in his life. Life and politics have become one in his life.

I was introduced to his writings at the end of 1986 when I had just come to Dhaka as a fresher student at Dhaka University. Although familiar with writing for a long time, bilateral communication came much later through the welfare of social media. After visiting the Bangladesh Foundation for Development Research (BFDR), my interest is increasing constantly, the more I see, the more I am impressed, by the thoughts about the country, the thoughts about politics, the enlightened analysis of politics, the progress of progressive politics and the relentless efforts to enlighten the new generation with the spirit of the liberation war enthrall us.

He has led the nation with brave and valiant dynamism from the front whenever the nation and the sky of the country are covered with black clouds and still, he continues to do so. He was one of those who played an important role in the homecoming of present Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on May 17, 1981, by giving the responsibility of party president to take the lead of Bangladesh Awami League after the assassination of the Father of the Nation Bangabandhu and his family on August 15, 1975. Today Bangladesh’s strong pace from earth to space is due to the homecoming of the people’s leader Sheikh Hasina. Bangladesh is a role model for development. The spirit of the liberation war gained a new dimension under her dynamic leadership.

After the assassination of Bangabandhu at the hands of anti-independence domestic and foreign gangs, black darkness engulfed Bangladesh, he was in their front line who lit the torch of light to drive away that darkness. That torch, after the initial crisis-restriction continues to light up, the turn of Bengali and Bangladesh’s emancipation begins. Just as Bengalis are united to remove all the garbage, rich in promises, the wind of auspicious promises can be seen from the day of the return of the leader Sheikh Hasina to the country on May 17, 1981. We have always been familiar with the organizational strength of the Monaem Sarker. We noticed in him an extraordinary ability to inspire everyone through leadership. Among the numerous protest meetings, the meeting of cultural activists organized to protest the attack of fundamentalist militants on poet Shamsur Rahman.

Ramu in Cox’s Bazar, Nasirnagar in Brahmanbaria, Shalla in Sunamganj, the incident in Cumilla city, Santhia in Pabna, Gangachara in Rangpur, Rishipara in Jashore, his heart wept, he did not want this Bangladesh, he again trusted in the leader Sheikh Hasina, thinking that the darkness will end one day under the leadership of Sheikh Hasina. Fundamentalists and Fanatics will be defeated. In protest of these sad events, he organized various protests and demonstrations with like-minded people.

Monaem Sarker skillfully brought the discussion forward. Where necessary, the program and the distribution of responsibilities. Every successful and large protest rally is held at Shaheed Minar. Monaem Sarker’s memory is very sharp. He is a living legend and history. I am familiar with many of his writings. I have read in the newspaper; I have had the opportunity to read in the books. There is a picture of society in his writings. There are various news and instant analyses of the ongoing politics of the country. He sees many events in his way and many cases makes a rational analysis, praises the good work, and critically analyzes any wrong decision of the policy-makers and tells the ways out of it, which is very useful for the welfare of the country.

He remembers many unknown events, which serve as simple elements to understand society and politics. In his story, the individual must exist, but it is not the person who becomes the chief, and the personality of the person who is present is very interesting. He is a watchful observer of all events, sometimes a catalyst. He is constantly understanding our existing society and political reality with his heart and mind and is constantly trying to move our society forward. Reality and its brutality and its injustice, especially the disparity between the rich and the poor, come alive in his writings.

It understood and helped us understand that it is not enough to speak out against injustice; the structural change that is needed to bring people’s economic emancipation. Monaem Sarker could have been many things if he had wished, and in that respect, considerable work was certainly to be done. But politics was his passion. If the profession is to be said, then that is politics. But his politics is not about gaining power. Not a minister, not even a member of Parliament, he remained a political activist throughout his life. Our Prime Minister said, “Monaem Sarker is our Permanent Sarker, Prime Minister considers him very dearest and nearest one”.

As Monaem Sarker understood the theory, he also found areas for the demand of the theory in the real world. That is why full-time involvement in direct politics was inevitable for him. Despite many dangers, he did not move from there. But the politics of Monaem Sarker is completely different. It was always about social change. The desire for power never chased him. He has done organizational work and led many times. Attended the conferences at home and abroad. He wrote many Books and published as well as edited the magazine. The total number of books written and published by politician, writer, and columnist Monaem Sarker is 116.

The political, social, economic, and cultural problems of Bangladesh are presented in these books. Our achievements through the long liberation war, the story of the great liberation war and independence of Bangladesh, the story of our great achievements being misled by the reactionary forces. At the same time, it is called to defeat the communal and reactionary forces and lead the country in a liberal and secular democratic manner. The reflection of the writer’s real political experience can be seen in his writings. The historical truth is established today that the secular, liberal democratic trend is the main trend in the politics of Bangladesh.

In the reality of today’s society and politics, there is a great need for the iron unity of the pro-liberation forces to establish the mainstream of Bangladesh politics. The glorious history of past achievements of the Bengali nation is in the process of being lost and it is a matter of healthy democratic politics to restore those achievements. After receiving his MSc degree in Applied Physics from Dhaka University, he joined direct politics as a full-time activist. After Bangabandhu was brutally killed, the Monaem Sarker created public opinion in various countries of the world including the United Kingdom and India with the aim of re-establishing the style and values of independence in Bangladesh.

During his 4 years of expatriate life after 1975, he met Mrs. Indira Gandhi, P.N. Haksar, Bhupen Gupta, Ramesh Chandra, Rajeshwar Rao, D.T. Randhike developed close relations with famous personalities like Professor Shantimoy Roy, Ganesh Ghosh, Manukh Nath Gupta etc. The role of Monaem Sarker is well known when reading the diary ‘Uttar Parba Mujibnagar’ written by Shawkat Osman. He wrote in his diary on 17 January 1979; The thought of struggle for life is matched with patriotism in such a way that Bangabandhu could not stay in the country after the brutal murder. Here he took responsibility as the guardian of all political refugees. He kept himself occupied in many ways, from raising money for habits to maintaining the political flow.

Bangabandhu sacrificed his life for the people of Bengal. This motivation greatly moved the spirit of the Monaem Sarker. He devoted himself to the welfare of Bangladesh. He has no wants in his own life. The example of his sacrifice holding the ideals of Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman is instructive for all. Bangabandhu is working tirelessly to establish a non-communal Golden Bengal free from hunger and poverty. Monaem Sarker is the epitome of a cool, prudent, unsophisticated, and honest politician.

He had an inevitable presence in all the political movements of Bangladesh under the leadership of Bangabandhu, such as the language movement of 1952, the formation of the United Front in 1954, the education movement in 1962, the mass upsurge in 1969, the elections of 1970, the independence war of 1971 until today. The beginning of his participation in the progressive political movement through language movement in 1952 as a teenager, is firmly rooted in the soil of Bangabandhu’s dreamy golden Bangladesh of today. As an active worker in the progressive political movement of Bangladesh and as a confirmed bachelor the contribution of this humble man was undaunted.

His diverse experiences, rebellious skills, honesty, and determination are the only support for his progressive thinking. There is nothing to gain in his life, nothing to get – yet this man who is devoted to the welfare of the people of Bangladesh still has an endless love for Bangabandhu, the architect of Bangladesh, the father of the nation, his ideology is the last path of his life and his firm belief that he will continue to work till the end of his life to fulfill Bangabandhu’s dream.

As a skilled analyst of the ups and downs of Bangladesh politics, his well-written writing is appreciated by all. We wish long life to this pioneer of politics, social policy, and cultural movement. We also believe that he will be devoted to the welfare of Bengali-Bangla-Bangladesh people till his last day. After August 15, 1975, the country plunged into a deep crisis. The country is completely in the hands of anti-independence and communal evil forces.

Monaem Sarker presented a proposal to Mrs. Indira Gandhi to end this anarchy in the country. Against Bangabandhu’s murder, jail murder, and elimination of Awami politics all over the world where there are as many Awami League fans, political workers, and intellectual writers as they try to resist everything politically. Since the 1980s, the political environment in Bangladesh gradually moved towards secularism due to the Awami political movement. Pro-Awami leaders also came out of their fearful positions and devoted themselves to the practice of engaging with mainstream politics.

But who will take the lead of the Awami League? Everyone had doubts about this. Many people were trying to catch up. Many of them were respected by all. But in the end, Sheikh Hasina’s name was proposed. In a family atmosphere, Sheikh Hasina’s name was proposed to PN Haksar, a visionary personality of Indian politics, by Monaem Sarker. As Sheikh Hasina’s name was proposed, it was accepted unanimously.

In the 1996 national election. An election steering committee was formed. Joint Convener- Shah AMS Kibria, Gaziul Haque, and many others. But among the foremost leaders and artisans of election management were Shah AMS Kibria and Monaem Sarker. After 21 years, the Awami League formed the government in the country due to the electoral management skills of this committee. Shah AMS Kibria and Monaem Sarker established the Bangladesh Foundation for Development Research, a mainstream research institute on politics, society, and culture in Bangladesh.

The chairmanship of the research organization BFDR was held for life by Shah AMS Kibria and Monaem Sarker took over as the founder Director General. No one has ever seen any sense of arrogance in the Monaem Sarker, such friendly and hospitable people are rare in our society. Our society needs many more virtuous and unselfish people like Monaem Sarker, only then Bangladesh will move forward faster.

Hiren Pandit is an essayist, researcher, and columnist

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