Bangabandhu – the exemplary symbol of inspiration

On March 17, 2024, we commemorate the 104th birth anniversary of Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, the revered leader of the Bengali people and the esteemed architect of independent and sovereign Bangladesh. He is celebrated as the greatest father figure in Bengali history. Additionally, this day is observed as National Children’s Day in our nation.

Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman was born on March 17, 1920, in Tungipara, within the Gopalganj subdivision of the Faridpur district. His father’s name was Sheikh Lutfar Rahman, and his mother was Saira Khatun. Among four sisters and two brothers, Sheikh Mujibur Rahman was the third. Renowned as the great architect of the independent and sovereign nation-state of Bangladesh, he is hailed as one of the greatest Bengalis of all time. In his childhood, Sheikh Mujibur Rahman was affectionately called ‘Khoka’.

From his early years, Sheikh Mujibur Rahman was deeply immersed in the joys and sorrows, the laughter and tears of traditional village life in Tungipara. The soil and its people held a strong allure for him. Growing up amidst the social fabric of the time, he keenly felt the distress caused by the tyranny, exploitation, and suffering inflicted upon the populace by landlords, talukdars, and financiers. Even as a teenager, known affectionately as ‘Khoka’ in Tungipara, Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujib actively engaged in politics. His first encounter with imprisonment came during his eighth-grade studies at the mission school in Gopalganj when he joined the anti-British movement.

From that point onward, Bangabandhu embarked on a lifelong struggle. Throughout his life, he fought tirelessly for the rights and welfare of the land and its people. Spending 14 years incarcerated in the bleak confines of Pakistani prisons, he faced the threat of execution twice on the gallows in his quest for the liberation of the Bengali nation. Yet, he steadfastly refused to compromise on the principles of self-respect and the rights of the Bengali people.

Bangabandhu, alongside his colleagues, founded the Bangladesh Chhatra League in 1948, followed by the establishment of the Bangladesh Awami League in 1949, during 23 years of relentless movement and struggle. Sheikh Mujibur Rahman emerged as the unquestioned leader of the Bengali nation following significant milestones such as the language movement of 1952, the United Front elections of 1954, the education movement of 1962, the six-point movement of 1966, and the popular uprising of 1969.

Bangabandhu’s courageous, resolute, and unwavering leadership, along with his heroic struggle, galvanized the Bengali nation, which had endured oppression for a century. He unified the Bengali people in their ultimate quest for freedom, igniting an unyielding yearning for liberation. On March 7, 1971, in a historic speech at the Race Course Maidan, Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman declared- “This struggle is our fight for liberation. This struggle is our battle for freedom.”

Following Bangabandhu’s historic announcement on March 7, an all-encompassing non-cooperation movement swept across the nation. In the early hours of March 26, 1971, Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman officially declared the independence of Bangladesh before being apprehended by the invading Pakistani forces. Independence was attained through the sacrifices of three million martyrs and the profound suffering endured by two hundred thousand mothers and sisters during the nine-month bloody armed conflict under the unwavering leadership of Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, the eminent leader of the liberation war. Under Bangabandhu’s guidance, the sovereign state of Bangladesh emerged on the world stage, marking a significant milestone in history.

Bengali, Bangabandhu, and Bangladesh are indivisible entities. Sheikh Mujib epitomizes Bangladesh. “Sheikh Mujib” reverberates as the rallying cry of freedom-loving individuals. His name, Sheikh Mujib, resonates as the purest essence coursing through the collective consciousness of the Bengali nation. Sheikh Mujib embodies an eternal, immutable spirit that transcends generations. He stands as the heroic protagonist in the saga of Bengali liberation, guiding the nation towards emancipation from oppression. Sheikh Mujib symbolizes the boundless courage of Bengalis, emerging as the paramount hero of the entire Bengali populace.

Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman occupies an eternal place in the illustrious history of Bengal and Bangladesh. Revered as the Pride of Bengalis worldwide, the late great leader, Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujib, stands as a stalwart advocate of Bengali nationalism and the architect of Bengali Manse nationalism. Through protracted struggles and countless sacrifices, he paved the way for the establishment of an independent state for the Bengali nation.

On August 15, 1975, Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman and his family were brutally assassinated by renegade soldiers. Subsequently, the murderous dictator Ziaur Rahman, who seized power through unconstitutional and illegal means, initiated efforts to propagate the distorted history and values of Pakistani ideology within independent Bangladesh.

Following 1975, the perpetrators of the murder engaged in numerous national and international conspiracies aimed at eradicating Bangabandhu’s legacy from the annals of history. In the aftermath of Bangabandhu’s assassination, the military dictatorship in independent Bangladesh endeavored to indoctrinate successive generations with false historical narratives for nearly two decades. Although the murderers succeeded in taking Bangabandhu’s life, they failed to extinguish his spirit and enduring ideology.

As long as Bengal and Bengalis endure, as long as this world persists, and as long as the annals of history endure, Bangabandhu will continue to shine brightly in every Bengali heart and in the hearts of all who cherish liberation, peace, and humanity. His life philosophy will forever serve as an inspiration and guiding light for the Bengali nation. The Bengali people will forever honor, appreciate, and love this great individual who shaped the history of Bangladesh.

The revered figure of Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman continues to resonate as an exemplary symbol of inspiration, consciousness, and enlightenment in the hearts and minds of the present generation of Bengalis. Today, under the leadership of the Prime Minister of Bangladesh, Sheikh Hasina, the daughter of Bangabandhu, the Bengali nation stands united, placing unwavering trust in her to embody the hopes and aspirations of the people. With solemn commitment, we pledge to advance along the path charted by this visionary leader towards the realization of his grand vision.

Every year, Bangladesh’s ruling party, the Awami League, in collaboration with affiliated organizations and institutions, coordinates a range of programs to commemorate the birthday of the Bengali leader, Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, and National Children’s Day. These events are characterized by profound respect and dignity, attracting participation from both public and private sectors. This tradition highlights the nation’s deep admiration for Bangabandhu and emphasizes the importance of fostering and honoring Bangladesh’s youth.

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