The assassination of Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, the architect of independent Bangladesh, along with most of his family members on the fateful night of August 15, 1975 shocked the world and devastated the nation's psyche.
The All India Radio Akashvani in a news review on August 16, 1975 aired a commentary saying "Jesus died. Now millions of people remember him by wearing cross. Perhaps, once Mujib as well will be like that."
According to the article, on August 17, Indian newspaper Economic Times headlined “India shocked at Mujib’s death”.
Sunday Standard on the same day made its headline saying “Mujib, Bangladesh PM killed in Army Coup, Khandoker new President, and country under Martial Law”.
However, there was a little error in headline as Bangabandhu was president when he was assassinated. The newspaper also published an editorial with headline “Mujib: Liberator of 75m Bengali”.
Its starting was “Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, who was overthrown in a military coup, is the father of the four-year old nation and known to his 75 million people as Banga Bandhu” (friend of Bengalis).
Esteemed Indian newspaper Statesman made its main headline- India keeping watch on Events in Bangladesh Grief over Mujib’s Tragic Death.
It published biography covering almost half of a page on the assassination of Bangabandhu. Its beginning was with a nice sentence-Sheikh Mujibur Rahman was the inspiration behind the declaration of Independence by the country of 75 million Bengalis.
One of the news headlines was “Bangla still cut off”. In another news item, it mentioned that “Bangladesh becomes Islamic Republic”.
Reactions of the United States and the then Soviet Union were published with headline “US watching events, Soviet media report Coup without comment”.
With headline ‘Foreign Reaction’, reactions of Egypt, Malaysia and the UK were mentioned.
In another report, it mentioned Khandokar Mustaq expressed gratitude to Pakistan for recognizing Bangladesh (Mustaq’s government).
The report also cited Pakistan pledged of sending 500 metric tonnes of rice and other gift items to Bangladesh.
Times of India also made a beautiful editorial headlined-Father of “Sonar Bangla” mentioning Bangabandhu’s life, political rise, Liberation War, his role in building an Independent Bangladesh and his non-communal thoughts.
On August 18, Indian Bengali daily Jugantor carried a report on its first page with headline “Reactions of entire world over Bangladesh incidents”. In the report it mentioned that as a first European country Poland protested Bangabandhu killing. In reaction, the country said leftist and pro-Chinese force had a hand in the coup. They (the forces) were carrying out countrywide killings, terrorism and subversive acts.
French daily Humanite commented ‘Bangladesh coup seems it is pre-planned’. America played a crucial role behind the coup and Khandoker Mustaq is the biggest friend of Washington in Bangladesh.
On August 18, Jugantor published a report on its 5th page headlined “Ektee Dusangbad, Kichhu Bedona-Bidhur Smriti” (A sad news, some sorrowful memories) mentioning how the Kolkata people got the news of military coup. Jugantor staff report Mihir Ganguly wrote “those who have hobby (habit) to listen regular foreign radio, today they were first to know the news of death of Sheikh Mujib and changeover of Bangladesh”, though the news came to Amritabazar and Jugantor before the dawn.
“We got the news over phone from (Dhaka) there, something has happened in Dhaka. News loving audience listened from Dhaka radio centre that Mujibur killed. Khandokar Mustaq Ahmed formed new rebel government. Dhaka again under radical rule”
After the assassination of Bangabandhu on the treacherous night on 15 August 1975, the intensity of shock in the international arena was so grave that the world community had to re-evaluate Bengalis and even portray them as 'insidious'.
Many of them were so shocked because of the heinous act that they opined the Bengalis who can kill Bangabandhu, the most charismatic leader in the eyes of the world leaders, can no longer be trusted.
"After the killing of Mujib, Bengalis can no longer be trusted. The Bengalis, who can kill Mujib, can perpetrate any heinous deed."
This is how the Nobel Laureate West German Leader Willy Brandt commented after the martyrdom of the greatest Bengali of the millennium Sheikh Mujibur Rahman.
The Bengalis exposed to the people of the world their suicidal character by killing the dreamer of Bengali nation as the Indian born British citizen and noted litterateur Nirod C. Chowdhury commented, 'Insidious Bangalee.'
The influential British daily The Guardian on August 28 published an article saying that the people of Bangladesh apparently returned to the marital law and the religious campaign following the regime of military dictator Ayub Khan.
On August 16, another British newspaper The Daily Telegraph mentioned: "Millions of people of Bangladesh shall consider the gruesome death of Sheikh Mujib to be irreparable loss."
British Daily ‘The Times’ on its August 16 issue mentioned 'In spite of all, Bangbandhu will be ever remembered for all time to come for the fact that without him Bangladesh would not have acquired its entity in reality.' And the Financial Times asserted that "Had there been no Mujib, Bangladesh would not have been born."