Remembering Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, Sheikh Fazilatunnesa and Qazi Iqbal Faruq
The surviving septuagenarians at the end feel, who have observed and viewed the tragic killing of Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman on August 15, 1975 by the conspiracy cooked by Awami League Minster Khandaker Mushtaq Ahmed became self-proclaimed President and chief martial law administrator, now expect a dynamic view be taken of the past, present and future to step forward towards centenary birthday celebration in the spirit befitting the time. Opportunists as usual may engage twisting of history in their selfish aggrandizements for which non -partisan University teachers and students should always remain alert in the coming days so that money spent from Public exchequer or Party fund are not squandered.
It is reasonably hoped the elected Hall Unions and Dhaka University Central Students Union (DUCSU) should be encouraged by the Vice-Chancellor and respective Provost, each holds functions in their respective Hall and central places on the occasion of centenary celebration, instead of going out of the campus to attend party or government functions remain in the eye of high command! The fund required may be provided from the budget to elected leaders.
Thankfully PM Sheikh Hasina has started the students' democratic pursuits and annual election this year which will have to be taken countrywide by Public Universities, more than one hundred private Universities and many Colleges, MPO listed and so on; strongly monitored by Education Minister, her ministry and attached bodies. After DUCSU no other University has come up which is expected within the stipulated time left for centenary birthday celebration of Bangabandhu. What vex us central committee of Chhatra League front of Awami League or Chhatra Dal front of BNP are yet to be completed by respective high command in view of various protest programs, reported in the media.
What would be befitting make the student's organizations independent as was in erstwhile East Pakistan and not front of party during liberation war1971 beyond bordering states of India in camps and after independence by Political Party Regulation 1976. It was kept in RPO by the Election Commission of immediate past Caretaker Government of Dr Fakhruddin Ahmed, unfortunately by our batch mate Dhaka University 1961, who was well aware of student's union election under the control of provost, panels made by the students customarily and no outside interference. However, changes of mind are earnestly requested before centenary and take solemn vow on 15th August that will be paying true respect.
Earlier this has been corroborated by my 'Reminiscenceon 95th birth anniversary of Sheikh Mujibur Rahman' published in esteemed Holiday Friday March13, 2015 may be referred, which had been shared with all concerned, might have reached the PM in official channel. We have written in mainstream dailies on August tragedy over time. It is for the concerned University departments, research outfits and memorial organizations keep press clippings on contemporary's remembrances and August tragedy; hopefully done for ready reference of the students and researchers know the history, now facilitates works on centenary publications.
Our heart bleeds when reflect how much cruel and barbaric the power hungry monsters in the shape of human being were who killed wife of Bangabandhu, Sheikh Fazilatunnesa, a mother like figure whoever came in contact with her felt her blessings. PM Sheikh Hasina eloquently expressed her feelings in her article in national vernacular daily 'Sheikh Fazilatunnesa- Amar Ma' Sheikh Fazilatunnesa-my mother on 11 August 2016, the period from 1959 coincides with our experience, should be taken into account of history so that twisters are left out while crosschecking the papers by researchers and historians. She was publicity shy simple pious steadfast on principles, accepted martyrdom and we pray her soul rests in peace.
It has been painfully observed little resistance was raised by Awami League leaders and cadres against the perpetrators of August tragedy. Rather coalesced with subsequent regimes for loaves and fishes amply seen and recorded in History. I was 34 years of age, took up the onerous responsibilities as Director Finance Bangladesh Red Cross Society in February, 1975 in course of my service career started from 1962 as Economist, committed to patriotic politics, contributed from monthly salary to full timers of National Awami Party (NAP), surviving few like Monaem Sarker now Director General Bangladesh Foundation of Development Research appears to have forgotten! He was introduced to me by Sangbad editor Bazlur Rahman our 1961batch at Paltan-Stadium Group in 1960s, who later solicited me to write in his daily after I joined law and politics in 1988.
Meanwhile, after a meeting at External Resources Division of the Government in 1985 my friend Shafi happily narrated past events and winked to meet President of Awami League who is better placed utilizes my services in politics and government. But, NAP leaders were pulling me from behind and I was not interested to join power based parties although I had good number of friends there by force of circumstances willing to embrace me. Actually what worried me new features added in politics like bureaucrat-turned- politician, turn coats, no third party after one of the two mainstream parties from erstwhile East Pakistan NAP fractured into different factions in Bangladesh lost its force needed for democracy. Still by good words of NAP I was persuaded joined reorganized NAP under the leadership of Barrister Abdul Haq in 1990 unify all factions which turned out to be futile exercise came to defunct on November17,2006.I continued to write in mainstream English dailies and vernacular daily Sangbad as solicited by my friends.
One of my best moments of life was to meet Qazi Iqbal Faruq Private Secretary Press Adviser to Leader of the Opposition Sheikh Hasina when 5th Parliament went in limbo I was in search of means end deadlock. At very first sight he received me friendly who read my columns in a reputed Daily on this score and appreciated. Thereafter, evening meetings, interactions on current affairs, with tea became regular. He introduced me to all who came to his chamber.
One evening on his own motion he strongly said 'I will get you seated by Sheikh Hasina.' He supported Sheikh Hasina in every way. As ill luck would have it, he suddenly passed away due to heart failure; may his soul rest in peace. I wonder if such person around her now. That deadlock in one form or the other is still persisting!
At the end let us not forget many of our age group has passed away who kept up popularity of Sheikh Hasina as daughter of Bangabandhu irrespective of party or consideration. It is reducing her base. Those surviving retain the same spirit pay due respect to Bangabandhu and his wife and pray on this occasion for eternal peace.
The writer is an economist,
advocate and columnist