Sheikh Kamal’s 71st Birth Anniversary
A tribute to the iconic young leader
Today we mark the 71st birth anniversary of a pioneer to have ornamented our sporting - cultural - political arenas with his gifted talent as an organiser and an icon. He is late Sheikh Kamal, eldest son of our Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman.
Sheikh Kamal's active presence in the field of sports, culture and politics had significantly shaped the mind of countless youngsters during the 60s and early 70s. Under his direct and indirect short-lived tutelage, the country's sporting and cultural arenas flourished and had given birth to numerable sporting and cultural icons representing Bangladesh in the global map as a new nation. He was the founder-president of the country's leading sporting club Abahani Krira Chakra and founder-member of Dhaka Theatre.
The football pioneer had introduced modern football in Bangladesh following country's independence. His notable contribution to sports has been the launching of the sporting club Abahani Krira Chakra. Within a short span of time, Abahani, the team consisting of a bunch of young promising players shaped the future of Bangladesh Football and also cricket. Till today the sporting club remains a glorifying symbol, established in the patriotic spirit of country's 1971 Liberation War.
In the cultural arena, Sheikh Kamal had been the founder-member of Dhaka Theatre. In the political arena, he was a leading figure of Bangladesh Chhatra League (BCL), the student wing of Bangladesh Awami League. He had placed BCL on a rock-solid foundation, instilling its young student members with the sheer spirit of self - determination, thus inspiring them to get engaged in our struggle for freedom and also in the post liberation period.
During the tumultuous decade of the 60s, he began reorganising BCL which he treasured more than his life. By working undaunted and going down to the grass-roots level, within a month he turned BCL into a formidable students' wing as an organised and spirited young force to reckon with.
Most importantly, the short-lived Kamal had been an inspiration of young leaders of the country - irrespective of class, religion and political affiliation. His evergreen image is that of a glowing symbol of youth and enthusiasm.
Needless to mention, our sport, cultural and political arenas would have appeared much colourful under his exemplary leadership attributes. However, that was not to happen when a group of derailed and reckless army officers had brutally murdered him along with our Father of the Nation and his family members, except two on the night of 15 August of 1975. His two sisters Sheikh Hasina, now the country's Prime Minister and Sheikh Rehana survived the carnage as they were out of the country.
Reflecting back to his series of contributions for the country, Sheikh Kamal's legacy has been that of a young leader based on the foundations of youthful spirit, patriotism and gifted organising abilities. His killers had barely managed to execute him physically, but his outstanding legacy had lived on. On many counts, Sheikh Kamal's premature death echoes the famous English proverb - The good die young. Well-regarded people who are upright, kind, and beneficent tend to die at a younger age than do most people.
On this auspicious day, the nation remembers Sheikh Kamal with profound love, affection and adoration. Following his untimely demise, the country lost a young and promising leader who could have leaded the country with the spirit of 1971 Liberation War for which his father Bangabandhu sacrificed his life and three million martyrs shed their blood.