Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman had a dream of passing the last days of his life with his elder daughter Sheikh Hasina, currently the Prime Minister, at their Tungipara village, surrounded by natural beauty, in Gopalganj district.
“Today, one of his (Bangabandhu) words comes to my mind repeatedly. He used to say, ‘I will stay at village in the last days of my life. You will look after me. I will be with you,” Sheikh Hasina wrote at the chapter titled ‘Smritir Dakhin Doyar’ in her autobiography ‘Sheikh Mujib Amar Pita (Sheikh Mujib My Father).
The great leader, who used to think about the welfare of the country’s mass people throughout his life, wanted to find himself among the common people in the last days of his life.
As the elder daughter of Bangabandhu, Sheikh Hasina got an opportunity of passing more time with Bangabandhu. He used to share political thoughts, future plans and his desires with Sheikh Hasina.
Recalling memories with her father, Sheikh Hasina said, “I usually passed my times with my father. I got opportunities to discuss about the future”.
But Bangabandhu could not fulfill his dream as the self-confessed killers of August 15 not only assassinated Bangabandhu alone, but also 16 other members of his family, friends and relatives.
Only 16 days before of the carnage, Sheikh Hasina with her two children Saima Wazed Hossain Putul and Sajeeb Wazed Joy and her sister Sheikh Rehana left the country for Germany on July 30.
Although Sheikh Hasina did not want to go to Germany, she had to go after getting a phone call from her husband Dr MA Wazed Miah, who was then working there.
That time, the University of Dhaka was taking preparations for holding its convocation on August 15. The whole university wore a festive look and became jubilant over the issue.
Sheikh Hasina met the then DU Vice-Chancellor physicist Dr Abdul Matin Chowdhury before leaving the country. Dr Matin requested her to stay in Dhaka till August 15 for being a part of the historic convocation.
Sheikh Hasina also wanted to stay in Bangladesh till the date. But after getting a call from Wazed Miah, she left for Germany on July 30.
Recalling her memories on that day, the Prime Minister said, “It would have been better for me, if I stayed in Dhaka obeying sir’s (Matin) request… I, too, would have gone (died) with my father, mother and brothers. I would have got rid of my unbearable everyday pain”.
Bangabandhu became distressed over the departure of his two daughters on July 30.
Bangabandhu’s private secretary and former governor of Bangladesh Bank Dr Mohammed Farashuddin Ahmed said, “Bangabandhu broke into tears like a child during the departure of his two daughters. I never see him crying like this”.
If Sheikh Hasina and Sheikh Rehana did not go abroad, Bangabandhu would have passed his last days with his elder daughter. But the last sign of the Bangabandhu family would have been erased forever in the history of Bangali nation.
Terming Sheikh Hasina and Sheikh Rehana’s departure from the country as a divine blessing, Farashuddin said, “If they did not leave the country, they would have been the victims of the carnage. And we did not get today’s Bangladesh”.
Bangabandhu got only three and a half years after the country’s liberation in 1971. He could not implement his plan of building a self-reliant, educated and autogenous nation. He also could not materialize his dream of building Sonar Bangla as the perpetrators killed him by this time.
The great leader passed about 11 years in jail throughout his political career. As a political leader, Bangabandhu spent most of his time for the mass people. The generous leader, who was father of five children, instilled kindness, generosity, democratic and political spirits into his children.
Following her father’s footprints, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina is working sincerely to materialize Bangabandhu’s dream.
But she could not forget Bangabandhu’s dream in the last days of his life as Tungipara village beacons her wherever she goes there.
She also wants to pass the last days of her life with the reminiscence of her father’s affection. In the chapter ‘Smritir Dakhin Doyar’ of her autobiography, Sheikh Hasina wrote, “The tranquil environment of the village and the pull back of my father’s shrine take me to village again and again… I also want to pass the last days of my life at Tungipara permanently. I have a dream of building a house near the river”.