I have the utmost respect for the Nation's founder, Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, as well as Bangamata and everyone who was mercilessly murdered by terrorists and anti-independence forces in Bangladesh. Even though Bangabandhu is no longer with us physically, the legacy of Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, the Father of the Nation, Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman exists in our national and everyday lives. Because of giving us an independent country on the world map, Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman is considered the most influential Bengali of all time. The Bengalis now have a permanent address. Whether we refer to him as Bangabandhu or the Father of the Nation, there is no mistaking his monumental and motivational impact on Bangladeshi society. Whenever we consider anything concerning Bangladesh, his image is the first thing that comes to mind. The title of "Father of the Nation" did not magically appear on Bangabandhu's resume overnight.
In addition, a two-minute radio broadcast cannot be sufficient to incite an entire nation into a fight in which its citizens are willing to sacrifice themselves. On the eve of Bangladesh's birth, Bangabandhu adopted the generation's desire and shaped it into a singular aim of independence. He did this by gradually infusing the dream into the sensibility of the familiar people, allowing him to accomplish this feat. Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman's creative directions made it possible for the Bengali nation to stand tall on the solid ground of self-confidence and wade through a sea of blood to reach the shores of freedom while keeping their colours aloft in 1971.
The sound of thunder could be heard in his voice. People were influenced magically by his magnetism. Because of his unparalleled courage and charisma radiated from him, he stood out as a one-of-a-kind superman in this era. In the aftermath of Bangabandhu's proclamation of Bangladesh's independence on March 26, 1971, Newsweek Magazine published an analysis on April 5, 1971, which stated, "Tall for a Bengali, with a touch of graying hair, a bushy mustache, and alter black eyes—Mujib can attract a crowd of a million people to his rallies and hold them spellbound with great rolling waves of emotional rhetoric." He is regarded as the poet of politics. Therefore, his approach may be exactly what the region's various social groups and ideological perspectives have been waiting for.
Since the 1960s, the emancipation of the people of Bangladesh has been one of Bangabandhu's most important political goals. To that end, the construction of a mass-oriented political organization with an idealistic focus was a priority, and it was realized by the formation of the Awami League. Bangabandhu envisioned the organization evolving into an open public forum that would provide opportunities for Bengalis from all walks of life to join together and foster a sense of national awareness. Within a few periods after its founding, the Awami League became the preeminent political platform in Bengal for Bangabandhu's exceptional organizational strength. This achievement was accomplished. It was conceivable since his personality contained comparable amounts of tolerance and sensitivity. Once someone experienced his fascinating demeanor, he could not follow anyone else. Many people from every nook and cranny of Bengal once united under the flag of the Awami League in response to Bangabandhu's clarion call is the evidence of unity. These individuals have not turned their backs on him in their lives. The man known as Bangabandhu was the driving force behind the rise of the Awami League to become Bengal's preeminent political party.
The Bengali nation gradually grew aware of its own self-identity. The Bengali Nation became antagonistic against subservience during Awami League's standing securely on a rock-solid foundation under the outstanding leadership of Bangabandhu. This occurred throughout the period in which Bangabandhu was in charge. Bangabandhu emerged as a shining star in the darkling sky of the fate of Bengal through the 48-52 Language Movement, the movement for political autonomy and socio-economic rights in the wake of the 54's elections, the cultural resistance movement throughout the 60s, the student movement against the 62's Sharif Education Commission report, and the six-point demand movement of 66 to ascertain a future of development for the people of Bengal.
The primary stream of liberation persisted like an undercurrent in the six-point demand that he had expressed in 1966, which garnered the unhesitating and spontaneous support of the pan Bengalis during the popular uprising of 1969 and the election that took place in 1970. In a nation where a subset of the population sought their unique currency and a distinct militia, the need for independence became apparent, and the demand for autonomy did not require a formal declaration. Because he was able to make this idea known to the public, Bangabandhu was able to appear as the principal spokesman for East Pakistan. Bangabandhu was the creator of the six-point demand.
His political position became very powerful as a result of the unwavering support of the Bengali population. For this, Ayub Khan and his allies decided to adopt a strategy of keeping him locked up in prison. Bangabandhu believed that the responsibility of defending the nation against exploitation was more important than his own personal existence. In recompense, the people of East Bengal bestowed upon him the title of "Bangabandhu" out of their respect for him (February 23, 1969).
His middle finger pointed skyward at the Racecourse Ground, which taught Bengalis to be strong-minded in their protests and rock-solid in their opposition. His concluding declaration, "This time the struggle is for our freedom; this time the struggle is for independence," determined the path of action for all of the people of Bengal. However, the official call to declare Bangladesh's independence occurred in the middle of the night on the first quarter of March 26, just before Bangabandhu was arrested by the Pakistani Army. This declaration of independence was the last thing he did before being taken into custody.
This was not merely a broadcast of some emotionally charged comments to the world; instead, it was the rumbling roar of a long-trampled nation on the cusp of developing its own sense of self-identity. This roar appropriately reverberated from the mouth of the nation's most incredible son, casting a magical spell and binding the entire country with the thread of a single goal. This roar made the advent of the sun of independence in the bleak sky of Bengal, thereby ushering in a new epoch for the Bengalis.
This accomplishment was never simple to accomplish. Bangabandhu provided the Bengalis with the courageous and energizing leadership necessary to achieve this level of glory. Therefore, even though he spent most of the liberation struggle locked up in prison in West Pakistan, he was an unparalleled General of our liberation movement and a constant and ceaseless source of motivation for the freedom fighters. In January of 1972, after serving time in a prison in Pakistan, he returned to a free Bangladesh, where his role was subsequently altered. This time around, he transformed himself into a visionary leader. He had to deal with thousands of challenges. It was never going to be an easy task to bring about economic growth and rehabilitation in a war-torn country. But Bangabandhu never returned to the struggle after leaving it. In the ongoing fight to transform Bangladesh into a prosperous nation, he put every ounce of his might and skill to work. At this point in the process, his first significant attempt was to write a constitution for the nation. The writing of Bangladesh's constitution in 1972, following the directives of Bangabandhu, with democracy, economic socialism, secularism, and Bengali nationalism as the four core principles, is a significant turning point in the country's history. The constitution has been referred to as the "unique milestone."
Soon after the country gained its independence, Bangabandhu began the process of nationalizing mills, factories, banks, insurance companies, and other financial organizations to improve its economic base. Through the integration of the banks that existed during the time of Pakistan, he founded the state-owned Sonali, Janata, Agrani, Rupali, and Pubali Banks. Through the establishment of the Bangladesh Krishi bank and the growth of its presence in rural regions, he made it his mission to remove any obstacles that may have prevented farmers from obtaining financial assistance.
He established a specialist industrial bank to foster economic growth and create new job opportunities through increased investment in the manufacturing sectors. During this period, Bangabandhu emphasized the development of various small industries, including cottage and home-based businesses. 1974 saw the birth of BSCIC as a direct result of this movement. In the first national budget, which was created under the leadership of Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, the government placed the highest priority on reducing poverty. This was done to develop Sonar Bangla. The annual development program (ADP) was restructured following the budget to improve the credibility of the administration of the local government. The implementation of five-year plans was one of the first initiatives that Bangabandhu took to combat the problem of poverty. His directive established the Bangladesh Rural Development Board (BRDB).
In 1972, the foundation of BRAC was also given the go-light. In addition to founding various financial organizations, Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman was also instrumental in expanding and improving the country's infrastructure. Almost every bridge and culvert in the country at the time of the war was destroyed. After they gained their independence, the government began the process of rebuilding them and also began construction on a large number of new ones. During the time that Bangabandhu was in power, both the Meghna Bridge and the Kanchpur Bridge were constructed. In addition, he intended to build the largest bridge in the nation across the Jamuna river. Unfortunately, he could not carry out this plan during his lifetime, but it was eventually realized in his honour. In addition, Bangabandhu took several steps to improve the country's fuel and energy industries. The Oil, Gas, and Mineral Resources Corporation of Bangladesh, more commonly referred to as Petrobangla, was founded.
The government purchased five significant gas fields from their previous owners, who were foreign nationals. The entire country was first broken up into eight sections before exploration of its potential oil, gas, and mineral reserves could begin. In addition to that, Ghorashal is home to the world's most powerful thermal power plant. Bangabandhu did not dismiss the possibility of the new nation having its own sovereignty. His government established the BDR and maintained order along the border. The minimum age to register to vote was lowered from 21 to 18 so that more people could participate in democratic processes. That is to say, Bangabandhu fought tirelessly to provide the newly independent nation of Bangladesh with a stable foundation on which it could stand solidly. Bangabandhu had the unbounded goal of transforming his war-torn country into "Sonar Bangla," which means "New Bangladesh." Unfortunately for all of us, he did not have sufficient time to make his goal a reality before he passed away. During the era following the war, he was not given the necessary time to construct a structure of prosperity on top of ruins.
Alas! On August 15, 1975, a band of deserters from the Army mercilessly murdered him and his family members. What a sick and twisted twist of fate this is! Instead of receiving love and gratitude for everything he had done for Bengal and Bengalis, he was forced to take bullets from the merciless pistol of the killer and have them lodged deep within his heart. To this day, we hold fast to the belief that Bangabandhu's assailants could not destroy his spirit, profound personality, or legacy, all of which live on through the profound personality and leadership of his worthy daughter, the honorable Prime Minister, Jononetree Sheikh Hasina. Bangabandhu is always present in Bengalis' hearts and is a constant source of inspiration and bravery.
Author is a Writer, Columnist, Educationist, Folklorist, Professor of English and former Pro-Vice-Chancellor, Islamic University, Kushtia, Bangladesh