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Mujib Year and the sycophants

Published : Wednesday, 18 March, 2020 at 12:00 AM  Count : 290

Nizam Ahmed

Nizam Ahmed

Mujib Borsho means Mujib Year in English began on Tuesday, March 17 amid cancellation and postponement of a number of colourful events scheduled to be held in the next two weeks. The fate of the events slated to be held in the coming months also hangs on the balance as the experts have no idea how the pandemic (COVID-19) will behave unless an effective antidote or vaccine is invented any time soon.

Meanwhile, most countries have cancelled their international, multilateral and bilateral political, commercial and sports events as novel Coronavirus spreading globally killing more than 6,000 and infecting over 160,000 people, mostly in China--the epicentre of the virus. In Bangladesh three more people have tested positive for coronavirus, taking the number of infected people to eight so far and the authorities have ordered all educational institutions to remain close to March 31 next. With the shutting of the educational institutions the guardians heaved a sigh of relief as they want to keep their children in homes to protect them from infection of the virus.

However, according to unofficial sources many people have been affected with coronavirus and are languishing in hidden shelters as no medical officers including close relatives are deliberately avoiding to nurse the victims for the sake of their own safety.

Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, the greatest Bangalee in a thousand years, was born on this day in 1920 at Tungipara, under the then Gopalganj Subdivision. Son of Sheikh Lutfur Rahman and Shahara Khatun he was a born activist who during his student life in Calcutta protected the minority Muslims from the Hindu rioters. After being expelled from the Dhaka University, he involved himself in the politics.

He participated in the historic language movement in 1952, raised the six-point demand in order to seek provincial autonomy.  He was arrested in 1966 over the Agartala Conspiracy Case as he was arrested in 1948 and 1952. By 1954, Sheikh Mujibur Rahman had transformed himself into an activist politician right after forming the Awami Muslim League in June 1949.

At the provincial elections of March 1954, the Awami League played a pioneering role in the creation of the Jukto Front. Following Huseyn Shaheed Suhrawardy's death in 1963, Sheikh Mujib revived the Awami League in January 1964. At the height of the Agartala conspiracy trial in 1968, he coolly told a western journalist that the Pakistani authorities would not be able to keep him incarcerated for more than six months. He was free in seven months.

A mass upsurge forced the withdrawal of the case on February 22, 1969. The next day, at a huge rally at the then Race Course Maidan, Sheikh Mujib was officially honoured by the grateful Bengali nation as Bangabandhu--Friend of Bengal. Bangabandhu led the Awami League to a decisive victory at Pakistan's first general elections in December 1970.

However, as the Yahya Khan regime and Zulfikar Ali Bhutto began to conspire against the Awami League to deny it the right to form a government at the centre, Bangabandhu stood before the masses on March 7, 1971 and delivered what clearly was the finest speech of his career.

He called the struggle one of emancipation and independence. His historic speech changed the course of the history of struggle for independence and gave millions of Bangalee a new direction. As the Pakistan army launched its genocide on 25 March 1971, Bangabandhu declared Bangladesh's independence early on March 26. He was arrested soon afterward by the army and flown to West Pakistan, to be put on trial on charges of treason.

After a trial in camera, he was sentenced to death by a military tribunal in early December 1971. An all-out guerrilla war began against the Pakistani oppressive regime and the victory achieved on December 16, 1971. It was his political inspiration and moral persuasion that made mass people sacrifice their lives. Pakistan's defeat in Bangladesh and the emergence of the Bangalee nation saw him return home a hero on January 10, 1972.

However, Bangladesh has started the Mujib Year with a set of debates including the pertinent one "Whether the Bangladesh judiciary is really independent." The debate revived for the second times in as many weeks, after a High Court (HC) bench on March 12 last (Thursday), withdrew the permanent bail it had granted to former Prime Minister Begum Khaleda Zia, Chairperson of Bangladesh Nationalist Party on a State Defamation case, a couple of hours ago.

The cancellation of the bail came, before the uproar in concerned quarters on a transfer of a Pirojpur Acting District Judge,  who ordered a former lawmaker of the ruling Awami League to be sent to prison on graft charges, subsided completely. Immediately after the Pirojpur Judge order on March 3 last, the judge removed and another judge who replaced him,  cancelled the previous order and granted bail to the lawmaker and his wife in a case filed by the Anti Corruption Commission.

As the HC in Dhaka and the lower court in Pirojpur changed their relevant orders involving a high profile convict and an accused couples belonging to the ruling party. Most people, including the leaders and activists of the opposition and the anti-government, believe that the orders were reversed on the alleged interference of the government which has been in the helm the country's overall affairs on the unprecedented third consecutive and the fourth term.
People want to know why these things are happening regularly and who are behind these occurrences which likely to erode popularity of the government. Who influences the judges to give bail and again to cancel it?  Who orders the court to order some accused to go to prison and who transfer the judges within hours of issuing an order?

Concerned quarters feel that such unwarranted developments especially by some over enthusiasts or sycophants should be stopped for the sake retention of people's confidence in the government.

The author is business editor,
the Daily Observer

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