Independent BD and assassination of Bangabandhu
The August is the mourning month for the people of Bangladesh. Because, on 15th August of 1975, the architect of independent Bangladesh was brutally killed by some high ambitious and perverted army soldiers. The perpetrators of Bangabandhu assassination killed his entire family members including ten years old innocent boy Sheikh Russel. The present Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina and her sister Sheikh Rehana escaped the death as they were in Germany that time.
Literatures about the killing of Sheikh Mujib are limited due to the unavailability of sources and restriction of collecting information in Bangladesh. Some investigative journalists, Lawrence Lifschultz, Anthony Mascarenhas, Mijanur Rahman Khan, for instances had worked about the killing of Sheikh Mujibur Rahman. In those literatures, all of them have tried best to find out the perpetrators who killed the father of the nation. They have alleged, behind the assassination of Bangabandhu, responsibilities vested on the diverts army officers of Bangladesh armed forces including the conspiracy of Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), an American detective branch and the Inter Service Intelligence (ISI) of Pakistan.
Awami League, present ruling party frequently alleged that, the pro-Pakistani army officers and collaborators of armed forces in 1971 were responsible for assassination of Bangabandhu. But in reality, it is not. Because, most of the killers of Bangabandhu were awarded freedom fighters. It is truly so much pathetic that the diverted freedom fighters and officers of post war Bangladesh assassinated the architect of the nation who had fought against Pakistan's trained army under Bangabandhu direction in 1971.
In this writing, it would be tried to discuss the reasons those are responsible for Bangabandhu assassination. Among the reasons were power hunger and high ambitious of some army officers, imbalance between promises and performance of pre and post independent Bangladesh respectively and international conspiracy which were created the background. Firstly, according to researchers and scholars, Bangabandhu failed to attain the support of military groups. The resentment of army officers to the Bangabandhu started when he reduced the corporate interests of post war Bangladesh. Although the resentment of army expressed when the Indian army joined and started blitzkrieg with freedom fighters in third December against occupied Pakistan' army.
According to their language, India had looted the prestigious glory of liberating Bangladesh. They said, when 'the Indian army had robbed the Bangladeshi fighters had already finished the job, and they had taken away to India all sophisticated weaponry and vehicles that captured from the Pakistani soldiers'.
Another dissatisfaction of army officers to the Bangabandhu had the formulated a paramilitary force popularly known as 'Rakhi Bahini'. The creations of parallel force which deepened the tension more among the army officers. They felt deprived in compare to Rakhi Bahini. Finally, when Bangabandhu reached more closeness to the India then undoubtedly, they thought, undermine the sovereignty of Bangladesh.
But if we see from neutral perspective, closeness to India was necessary for Bangabandhu to build state and nation from the both politically and economically vulnerable Bangladesh. Secondly, promises and performance was the important factor for the background of the Mujib killing. According to Rounaq Jahan, the movement for Bangladesh was carried out forward in the name of creating 'Sonar Bangla'. The meaning of Sonar Bangla was emancipation from economic exploitation and inequality, freedom of speech, human dignity and social justice. But unfortunately, Bangabandhu failed to fulfil his commitment to the nations due to natural disasters, and conspiracy from home and abroad.
In the second year of Bangabandhu era, harvest of rice increased. But the nature was not in favour of Bangabandhu. In the early 1974, heavy drought damaged the crops. Later devastating flood given the fuel to damage the crops and food shortage. As a result, heavy food shortage caused famine. Because of the famine in 1974, starvations, begging and distress migration had increased tremendously and they would flee to Dhaka from rural areas of the country.
According to scholars and writers, everyday two or three unclaimed dead body were found in the streets of Dhaka. To tackle famine and starvation, Bangabandhu opened many soup kitchens across the country. Through those great initiatives, Bangabandhu enabled to prevent the large scale of famine. He provided money to the people to meet their necessary needs. He also provoked to the international community to help prevent the starvation and famine.
Political tension and conflict had increased due the movement and oppose of the leftists and pro Pakistani interest groups. To create political instability Jatiya Samajtantrik Dal (JSD) attacked numerous thanas and police stations. They demanded to the Bangabandhu to introduce socialistic political and economic system, although in the first constitution of independent Bangladesh had adopted the socialism in terms of equality and free from all types of exploitations.
Thirdly, according to investigative journalists and researchers, Lawrence Lifschultz, Anthony Mascarenhas, Mijanur Rahman Khan and others have tried best to find out the reasons and perpetrators of Bangabandhu assassination. According the Lawrence Lifschultz, CIA and ISI were responsible for the killing of Mujib because they had created the background of brutal and pathetic august coup of 1975.
He wrote, Booster repeatedly objected to the conspiracy leading to the August 15 assassination even issued written instruction in this regard, but failed to prevent the then station chief Philip Cherry of the CIA in Dhaka office from doing conspiracy. An example may be preferable here, when Bangladesh started to export Jute to Cuba then the USA stopped the supplying food aid to Bangladesh in 1974-1975. Undoubtedly, it had created food shortage in Bangladesh that time.
Finally, it would be better to say, all of the aforementioned reasons had created the background of the military coup in 1975. And opportunists were waiting to utilise opportunities to remove the founding father from his post. 15th August 1975, a dark night created for Bangladesh when the culprits and opportunists killed the designer of Bangladesh.
The writer is studying Political Science, University of Dhaka