Poet of politics
In the thousand - year history of Bangladesh, Sheikh Mujib is the only leader who has, in terms of blood, race, language, culture and birth, been a full - blooded Bangali. His physical stature was immense. His voice was redolent of thunder. His charisma worked magic on people. The courage and charm that flowed from him made him a unique superman in these times.
I have not seen the Himalayas. But I have seen Sheikh Mujib. In personality and in courage, this man is the Himalayas. I have thus had the experience of witnessing the Himalayas
The appearence of Sheikh Mujib was the biggest event in the national history of Bangladesh. His burial did not take place through his death. More pragmatic, efficient, capable and dyanmic political personalities than Sheikh Mujibur Rahman might have emerged or may emerge, but it will be very difficult to find someone who has contributed more to the independence movement of Bangladesh and the shaping of its national identity.
A man of vitality and vehemence, Mujib became the political Gandhi of the Bengalis, symbolizing their hopes and voicing their grievances. Not even Pakistan's founder, Mohammed Ali Jinnah, drew the million-strong throngs that Mujib has attracted in Dacca. Nor, for that matter, has any subcontinent politician since Gandhi's day spent so much time behind bars for his political beliefs.
In a sense, Sheikh Mujib is a greater leader than George Washington, Mahatma Gandhi and De Valera.
Sheikh Mujibur Rahman does not belong to Bangladesh alone. He is the harbinger of freedom for all Bengalis. His Bengali nationalism is the new emergence of Bengali civilization and culture. Mujib is the hero of the Bengalis, in the past and in the times that are.
As long as Padma, Meghna, Gouri, Jamuna flows on, Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, your accomplishment will also live on.
Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman led his people in their struggle for liberation through his inspired and courageous leadership. I pay homage to a great visionary and statesman who laid a firm foundation for an independent, strong and proud Bangladesh.
Sheikh Mujib's place in the history of Bangladesh is hotly disputed.
To some extent the debate is split down party lines. His admirers in the Awami League Government - led by his daughter Sheikh Hasina - see him as the country's founding father.
They venerate him as the leading force behind the independence of Bangladesh from Pakistan in 1971.
This view is at odds with the opinions of Sheikh Mujib's detractors - many of them in the opposition Bangladesh Nationalist Party - who see him as an autocrat who paved the way for the country to succumb to military rule.
Despite the conflicting views, there is little doubt that at the height of his power in the early 1970s, he dominated Bangladeshi politics.
... and by his daughter Sheikh Hasina Wajed...
My father Sheikh Mujibur Rahman was involved in politics. He was then imprisoned in jails most of the time. I and my younger brother Kamal used to live with our mother at the village home of our grandparents. My father used to study at Kolkata and simultaneously engage in politics during the time of my birth. He came to see me after getting the news later on.
My father used to come home whenever there was time and opportunity. We never moved from his side during those episodes. By listening to stories while sitting on his lap and eating together, what we got from him during childhood seemed enough to me. One day when papa was brought to Gopalganj police station, I and Kamal went to see him along with our grandfather. Kamal was in fact born when my father was in a Dhaka jail. He therefore had not yet seen father from a close range. He used to listen spellbound to the stories I told him about papa. We were standing beside a pond near the Gopalganj jail to have a glimpse of dad just when he would be taken to the court. Kamal stood by my side and said: Hasu’pa, will you allow me to call your papa ‘papa’? This sentiment of Kamal could never be erased from the depth of my childhood heart. We rarely got our father during our childhood and teenage years. As we were deprived of his affection during childhood, we got much of it from our grandparents, relatives and village‐folks.
My father’s birthplace was also Tungipara. He now sleeps in the soil of that very village in a cool and shady setting. The graves of my grandparents lie by his side.
I used to spend most of my times near my father. I also got the opportunity to take part in discussions on his future plans. I vividly recall one of his utterances. He told us quite often, ‘I shall live in village in the last part of my life. You will take care of me. I shall live near you.’ Those words still resonate in my ears. This back‐pull of my father’s tomb in the secluded atmosphere of a village will bring me back to that village over and over again wherever I may be on earth.
May Allah grant Sheikh Mujibur Rahman jannat (heaven), forgive his sins, and let his positive contribution inspire the rest of us to do good. Ameen.
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