Hiren Pandit: 15 August 1975 is a painful and scandalous chapter in the life of the Bengali nation. On this day, the father of the Bengali nation, Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, the greatest Bengali of a thousand years, was martyred at his residence in Dhanmondi by some misguided members of the army with the direct and indirect support of the anti-independence conspirators at home and abroad. On that day, Bangabandhu’s wife, all the family members present including three sons, Bangabandhu’s sister-in-law farmer leader Abdur Rob Serniabat and his family members and Bangabandhu’s nephew youth leader Sheikh Fazlul Haque Moni and his family members were also martyred. Bangabandhu’s infant son Sheikh Russell along with Sheikh Moni’s pregnant wife were not spared that day. Colonel Jamil, Bangabandhu’s military secretary, was also killed. 13 innocent people were also killed in Mohammadpur by cannon fire that day. This event is rare in the history of the world. Fortunately, Bangabandhu’s daughter, the current Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina and her younger sister Sheikh Rehana, survived because they were out of the country. All those who were killed that day were very good people. According to the recently released documents of the United States, the worst enemy of Bangladesh’s independence, how many true patriots and honest people were brutally killed on August 15, 1975. Their administrative skills may be questionable but their patriotism and integrity are unquestionable.’ The killers and planners realized that this conspiracy to transform Bangladesh into the pattern of Pakistan would never have been possible without killing Bangabandhu. If our young generation does not know the root cause of Bangabandhu’s murder, Bangladesh will never be established as a dignified, welfare state.: So, it is very important to highlight these issues to the young generation. Bangabandhu’s political ideals and goals are reflected in the 1972 constitution. Bangabandhu and his associates, who led the liberation war and framed the 1972 constitution, were well aware of the aspirations of the Bengali nation. The 1972 constitution laid down four principles for the independent sovereign state of Bangladesh: 1) Nationalism, 2) Democracy, 3) Socialism and 4) Secularism. This is how the spirit of the liberation war has been taken in the 1972 constitution.
Starting from the language movement, all the democratic movements and struggles of the Bengali nation were termed by the Pakistani rulers as an Indian conspiracy against Pakistan and Islam. The 1971 Liberation War has also been called an Indian conspiracy against Pakistan and Islam by the Pakistani rulers and their domestic allies alike. The freedom fighters were in their view ‘criminals’, ‘India’s chars’ and ‘enemies of Islam’. Bangabandhu and his family were killed to avenge the defeat of the Pakistani ruling class and their international masters in the liberation war. Since independence, Pakistan’s President Bhutto continued to campaign against Bangladesh and conspired to overthrow Bangabandhu by contacting the extreme right and left wing of Bangladesh. According to American researcher and author Stanley Wolpert, ‘Bhutto continued to provide money and arms to Abdul Haque and other anti-Mujib groups for two years and in return got the result (Mujib’s assassination) in August 1975.’ It is not unusual for them to have moral and material support in the assassination of the founder of Bangladesh, Bangabandhu.
Three years after the first revolution of the creation of Bangladesh in 1971, on January 25, 1975, Bangabandhu initiated the introduction of a new political-economic system, which he called the second revolution. Among the programs of the second revolution was the change of the system of government to the presidential system in place of the parliamentary system, the abolition of all parties, and the formation of a national party called Bangladesh Krishak Sramik Awami League (BAKSAL) to include all parties of the liberation war and people from all classes and occupations, the permission of four national daily newspapers. , upgradation of subdivisions into districts, the appointment of public representatives or governors in charge of district administration, cooperative agricultural production and land management, the establishment of health complexes in rural areas, decentralization of administration, reform of the judicial system, etc.
Bangabandhu was a non-communal man. He was an active volunteer during the Hindu-Muslim communal riots in Kolkata before the partition of India in 1947. He risked his life regardless of caste and creed to save the lives of the people affected by the riots. This riot left a scar on his mind. After the liberation war, the constitution adopted ‘secularism’ as one of the basic principles of the state. Bangabandhu’s clear statement about communalism: ‘Those who create communalism in politics, those who are communal are inferior, their hearts are small. He who loves people can never be communal.’
On January 3, 1971, Bangabandhu said in Suhrawardy Udyan, ‘Secular does not mean irreligion. Muslims will practice Islam. Hindus will practice Hinduism. Christians will practice their religion. Bangabandhu’s vision of secularism was misrepresented by the conspirators as irreligious or atheistic and had a huge negative impact at home and abroad. But Bangabandhu was never against Islam or religion. He had immense faith in God. His deep faith in God is also evident in his March 7 speech. He concluded his historic speech on March 7, 1971 with ‘Inshallah’ with immense faith in God.
In 1973 a general amnesty was announced for war criminals. During the liberation war in 1971, only those who did not commit any serious crime i.e. murder, rape, looting and arson were pardoned. At the time of Bangabandhu’s assassination, 11,000 war criminals were awaiting trial in various prisons across the country. On December 31, 1975, the Dalal Act was repealed and all war criminals were released overnight. By freeing convicted war criminals, the Razakars walk proudly in society. The bleeding of the heart of the martyr’s family multiplies. Humanity gives violators more incentive to commit wrongdoing.
Even after the Liberation War, the anti-Bangladesh conspiracy continued. After the constitution of the newly independent People’s Republic of Bangladesh was adopted by the Constituent Assembly on November 4, 1972, in the spirit of the liberation war, it became the main target of attack by the anti-liberation war, fundamentalist, and communal evil forces. According to them, the four principles of the state enshrined in the 1972 constitution were an anti-Islamic Indian conspiracy. They still consider secularism to be irreligion, which has nothing to do with truth. Explaining secularism in the 1972 Constitution, Bangabandhu said – “Secularism does not mean irreligion; It has confirmed the right of seven and a half million people of Bengal to practice religion. We do not and will not ban religion by law. Our only objection is that no one can use religion as a political weapon. For 25 years we have seen gambling, theft, dishonesty in the name of religion, torture, murder, and adultery in the name of religion in Bangladesh. Religion is a very sacred thing. Sacred religion should not be used as a political tool. If someone says that religious rights have been curtailed – I say, religious rights have not been curtailed. I have made arrangements to protect the religious rights of seven and a half crore people.” (Address to the Constituent Assembly, November 4, 1972)
In the constitution of many countries of the world, ‘secularism’ has been accepted as one of the principles of state management. One of the hallmarks of Bangladesh’s 1972 constitution was the ban on forming political parties in the name of religion to separate religion from state and politics, which is not even found in the constitution of India, the world’s largest secular democracy. In fact, nowhere outside the socialist camp has constitutionally banned politics in the name of religion.
In the second part of the Constitution, the chapter entitled ‘Principles of State Administration’, the four principles of state- nationalism, socialism, democracy and secularism are explained, the principle of ownership in the economic field, the emancipation of peasant workers, the provision of basic needs, rural development and agrarian revolution, unpaid and compulsory education, public health and morality, Equality of opportunity, duties of citizens and public servants, separation of the executive from the judiciary, national culture and the development of international peace, security and solidarity is all the commitments of a progressive and peaceful modern state.
Those who killed Bangabandhu have certain political identities. He was killed for political reasons. Although it has been said at different times from different quarters – some ambitious subordinate officers of the army killed him for mere greed of power, there is no politics involved. Because some of the self-confessed murderers participated in the liberation war, but this has nothing to do with the real truth. This politically motivated attitude towards the assassination of Bangabandhu has affected the subsequent judicial process as well. Those who have been booked as killers of Bangabandhu are self-proclaimed field-level killers. In the Bangabandhu murder case, the main planners, and abettors of the murder, the beneficiaries of the murder have remained behind the scenes. Bangabandhu’s call for a second revolution has a background. The post-independence Bangabandhu government had to perform duties in an extremely hostile environment. The situation arising out of armed robbery, looting, bribery, corruption, black market, hoarding, the famine of 1974, etc. was very difficult for the newly formed government to deal with. Some of the extreme leftist organizations of the time such as Siraj Sikder-led Proletariat Party, Abdul Haque East Pakistan Communist Party, ASM Abdur Rab’s Jasad, and some other extremist groups looted police stations, police stations, markets and banks, set fire to jute warehouses, uprooted railway tracks, etc. In the name of exterminating the enemy, they practically waged an undeclared war against the government by killing people, killing parliamentarians, etc., and created an anarchic situation in the country. Moreover, Bangabandhu was fed up with the extreme disunity between the Awami League and its affiliated organizations, the anti-social activities and the corruption of some leaders and activists. Bangabandhu used to lament in various speeches at that time, “Everyone gets a gold mine when the country becomes independent, I got a thief’s mine”. With such a political background, Bangabandhu started his second revolution. The loss of many lives in the 1974 famine and domestic and international conspiracies also encouraged Bangabandhu to think of an alternative. He did not change the system of government out of ambition to become a totalitarian dictator.
The law-and-order situation in the country improved after Bangabandhu’s second revolution program. Commodity prices fell, prospects for political stability brightened, economic conditions improved, and the production of a wide variety of agricultural crops and products increased in rural areas. The former governor of Bangladesh Bank. According to Mohammad Faras Uddin, the gross income growth in the country increased to 6.5-7.0 percent in 1974-75, which has been achieved in the fiscal year 2015-16. Despite that, the conspirators continued to spread misinformation about BAKSAL and create confusion in the public mind to create the scene of Bangabandhu’s assassination.
Hiren Pandit is a columnist and research fellow