জাতিরজনক By Sheikh Hasina
My father spent nearly half his life behind bars and yet with extraordinary courage and conviction he withstood numerous trials and tribulations during the long period of his political struggle. During his imprisonment, he stood face to face with death on at least two occasions, but never for a moment did he waver.
My father grew up rural - amid rivers, trees, birdsong. He flourished in the free atmosphere inspired by his grandparents. He swam in the river, played in the fields, bathed in the rains, caught fish and watched out for birds' nests. He was lanky, yet played football. He liked to eat plain rice, fish, vegetables, milk, bananas and sweets. His care and concern for classmates, friends and others was well-known. He gave away his tiffin to the hungry, clothes to the naked, books to the needy and other personal belongings to the poor. One day, my grandfather told me, he gave his clothes to a poor boy and came home in his shawl.
Bangabandhu was blessed from boyhood with leadership, indomitable courage and great political acumen. He played an active role in controlling communal riots during the India-Pakistan partition. He risked his life for the cause of truth and justice. He rose in protest in 1948 against the declaration of Urdu as the state language of Pakistan and was arrested the following year. He pioneered the movement to establish Bangla as the state language. In 1966, he launched a six-point program for the emancipation of Bangalees. In 1969, my father was acclaimed Bangabandhu, Friend of Bengal. His greatest strength (and weakness) was his "love for the people." He is an essential part of the emotional existence of all Bangalees.
The appearance of Bangladesh on the world map in 1971 was the culmination of a long-suppressed national urge. On Mar. 7, 1971, my father addressed a mammoth public meeting in Dhaka and declared: "The struggle now is the struggle for our emancipation; the struggle now is the struggle for Independence." He sent a wireless message, moments after a crackdown by the Pakistani army, declaring the Independence of Bangladesh in the early hours of Mar. 26. The world knows he courted arrest - and yet Bangabandhu emerged as the unquestioned leader of a newborn country.
Once in power, my father pursued a non-aligned, independent foreign policy based on peaceful coexistence. Its basic tenet: "Friendship to all, malice to none." He advocated world peace and declared his support for all freedom struggles. He supported the concept of a "Zone of Peace" in the Indian Ocean. In 1974, he was awarded the Julio Curie Prize for his devotion to the cause of peace.
Consequently, the political ideals for which Bangladesh sacrificed three million of her finest sons and daughters were trampled, and Bangladesh became a puppet in the hands of imperialism and autocracy. By assassinating Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, the conspirators wanted to stop the country's march to freedom, democracy, peace and development. The process of law and justice were not permitted to take their course; human rights were violated. It is, therefore, the solemn responsibility of freedom- and peace-loving people to help ensure the trial of the plotters and killers of this great leader, my father.
Sheikh Hasina, daughter of the late Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, is the prime minister of Bangladesh.
BANGABANDHU SHEIKH MUJIBUR RAHMAN
The life of Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman is the saga of a great leader turning peoplepower into an armed struggle that liberated a nation and created the world’s ninth most populous state. The birth of the sovereign state of Bangladesh in December 1971, after a heroic war of nine months against the Pakistani colonial rule, was the triumph of his faith in the destiny of his people. Sheikh Mujib, endearingly called Bangabandhu or friend of Bangladesh, rose from the people, molded their hopes and aspirations into a dream and staked his life in the long battle for making it real. He was a true democrat, and he employed in his struggle for securing justice and fairplay for the Bengalees only democratic and constitutional weapons until the last moment. It is no accident of history that in an age of military coup d’etat and ‘strong men’, Sheikh Mujib attained power through elections and mass movement and that in an age of decline of democracy he firmly established democracy in one of the least developed countries of Asia.
Sheikh Mujib was born on 17 March 1920 in a middle class family at Tungipara in Gopalganj district. Standing 5 feet 11 inches, he was taller than the average Bengalee. Nothing pleased him more than being close to the masses, knowing their joys and sorrows and being part of their travails and triumphs. He spoke their soft language but in articulating their sentiments his voice was powerful and resonant. He had not been educated abroad, nor did he learn the art of hiding feelings behind sophistry; yet he was loved as much by the urban educated as the common masses of the villages. He inspired the intelligentsia and the working class alike. He did not, however, climb to leadership overnight. Early Political Life: His political life began as an humble worker while he was still a student. He was fortunate to come in early contact with such towering personalities as Hussain Shaheed Suhrawardy and A K Fazlul Huq, both charismatic Chief Ministers of undivided Bengal. Adolescent Mujib grew up under the gathering gloom of stormy politics as the aging British raj in India was falling apart and the Second World War was violently rocking the continents. He witnessed the ravages of the war and the stark realities of the great famine of 1943 in which about five million people lost their lives. The tragic plight of the people under colonial rule turned young Mujib into a rebel.This was also the time when he saw the legendary revolutionary Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose challenging the British raj. Also about this time he came to know the works of Bernard Shaw, Karl Marx, Rabindranath Tagore and rebel poet Kazi Nazrul Islam. Soon after the partition of India in 1947 it was felt that the creation of Pakistan with its two wings separated by a physical distance of about 1,200 miles was a geographical monstrosity. The economic, political, cultural and linguistic characters of the two wings were also different. Keeping the two wings together under the forced bonds of a single state structure in the name of religious nationalism would merely result in a rigid political control and economic exploitation of the eastern wing by the all-powerful western wing which controlled the country’s capital and its economic and military might.Early Movement: In 1948 a movement was initiated to make Bengali one of the state languages of Pakistan. This can be termed the first stirrings of the movement for an independent Bangladesh. The demand for cultural freedom gradually led to the demand for national independence. During that language movement Sheikh Mujib was arrested and sent to jail. During the blood-drenched language movement in 1952 he was again arrested and this time he provided inspiring leadership of the movement from inside the jail.
In 1954 Sheikh Mujib was elected a member of the then East Pakistan Assembly. He joined A K Fazlul Huq’s United Front government as the youngest minister. The ruling clique of Pakistan soon dissolved this government and Shiekh Mujib was once again thrown into prison. In 1955 he was elected a member of the Pakistan Constituent Assembly and was again made a minister when the Awami League formed the provincial government in 1956. Soon after General Ayub Khan staged a military coup in Pakistan in 1958, Sheikh Mujib was arrested once again and a number of cases were instituted against him. He was released after 14 months in prison but was re-arrested in February 1962. In fact, he spent the best part of his youth behind the prison bars.
Supreme Test: March 7, 1971 was a day of supreme test in his life. Nearly two million freedom loving people assembled at the Ramna Race Course Maidan, later renamed Suhrawardy Uddyan, on that day to hear their leader’s command for the battle for liberation. The Pakistani military junta was also waiting to trap him and to shoot down the people on the plea of suppressing a revolt against the state. Sheikh Mujib spoke in a thundering voice but in a masterly well-calculated restrained language. His historic declaration in the meeting was: "Our struggle this time is for freedom. Our struggle this time is for independence." To deny the Pakistani military an excuse for a crackdown, he took care to put forward proposals for a solution of the crisis in a constitutional way and kept the door open for negotiations.
The crackdown, however, did come on March 25 when the junta arrested Sheikh Mujib for the last time and whisked him away to West Pakistan for confinement for the entire duration of the liberation war. In the name of suppressing a rebellion the Pakistani military let loose hell on the unarmed civilians throughout Bangladesh and perpetrated a genocide killing no less than three million men, women and children, raping women in hundreds of thousands and destroying property worth billions of taka. Before their ignominious defeat and surrender they, with the help of their local collaborators, killed a large number of intellectuals, university professors, writers, doctors, journalists, engineers and eminent persons of other professions. In pursuing a scorch-earth policy they virtually destroyed the whole of the country’s infrastructure. But they could not destroy the indomitable spirit of the freedom fighters nor could they silence the thundering voice of the leader. Tape recordings of Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujib’s 7th March speech kept on inspiring his followers throughout the war.Return and Reconstruction: Forced by international pressure and the imperatives of its own domestic predicament, Pakistan was obliged to release Sheikh Mujib from its jail soon after the liberation of Bangladesh and on 10 January 1972 the great leader returned to his beloved land and his admiring nation.But as he saw the plight of the country his heart bled and he knew that there would be no moment of rest for him. Almost the entire nation including about ten million people returning from their refuge in India had to be rehabilitated, the shattered economy needed to be put back on the rail, the infrastructure had to be rebuilt, millions had to be saved from starvation and law and order had to be restored. Simultaneously, a new constitution had to be framed, a new parliament had to be elected and democratic institutions had to be put in place. Any ordinary mortal would break down under the pressure of such formidable tasks that needed to be addressed on top priority basis. Although simple at heart, Sheikh Mujib was a man of cool nerves and of great strength of mind. Under his charismatic leadership the country soon began moving on to the road to progress and the people found their long-cherished hopes and aspirations being gradually realized.Assassination: But at this critical juncture, his life was cut short by a group of anti-liberation reactionary forces who in a pre-dawn move on 15 August 1975 not only assassinated him but 23 of his family members and close associates. Even his 10 year old son Russel’s life was not spared by the assassins. The only survivors were his two daughters, Sheikh Hasina - now the country’s Prime Minister - and her younger sister Sheikh Rehana, who were then away on a visit to Germany. In killing the father of the Nation, the conspirators ended a most glorious chapter in the history of Bangladesh but they could not end the great leader’s finest legacy- the rejuvenated Bengali nation. In a fitting tribute to his revered memory, the present government has declared August 15 as the national mourning day. On this day every year the people would be paying homage to the memory of a man who became a legend in his won lifetime. Bangabandhu lives in the heart of his people. Bangladesh and Bangabandhu are one and inseparable. Bangladesh was Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman’s vision and he fought and died for it.My practical experience, some of new leaders of BNP (retired amla) wants to be leader. They want to show something to Khaleda Zia in strike period. Want to be talk of the day as like Sadek Hossain Khoka. Khoka hold liquid tomato pack with him and blasted in due time while police caught him on the streets. Remember people? Shamsher Mobin Choudhury Beer Bikram Freedom fighter, I salute for his contribution, but I enjoyed his acting on strike period with police SI. He want to be arrested then news will be like this “Beer Bikram Shamsher Mobin Choudhury didn’t relief from the police tortured.Good attitude but no need to do this simple acting for growing the attraction of Khaleda. Next time he will be foreign Minister if BNP comes to the power.
Bangabandhu and Bangladesh
By Muntasir Mamun
The inhabitants of Bangladesh had dreamt of a free land for long. Many individuals had sought to materialise this dream in the past. Many had spoken about that land during the first forty years of the last century. That plan was once again drawn during the partition of India. Moulana Bhashani had spoken about an independent territory for the Bangalis during the decade of 1960s. But none could give complete shape to that dream. That dream was finally realized on 16 December 1971 under the leadership of a pure Bangali – Sheikh Mujibur Rahman. It was he who could erect for the Bangalis the geographic boundaries of a free state. Bangabandhu, Father of the Nation, or Sheikh Mujibur Rahman – in whatever name we may call him – his iconic figure looms large whenever we talk about Bangladesh. That is why; his name has become ingrained in Our history and because of that we repeatedly reminisce about him. There are numerous claimants to the Bangladesh dream. Many might have dreamt it; many had talked about Bangladesh through signs and gestures; but Sheikh Mujib had completed the task like an architect. Like many others, he also thought of Bangladesh, but preparations for the purpose Continue up to 1971.Moulana Bhashani had also spoken about Bangladesh in open forums. But his role was negligible in this field. However, all those dreams and speeches had prepared the people. Journalist Abdul Matin had written in his autobiography: “He met Mujib one day at noon during the military rule of Ayub Khan. Sheikh Saheb said that he did not care Ayub Khan. He knew the minds of the people. After remaining silent for a few moments, he talked about using the Agartala case in the anti-Ayub movement”. It can be said in this context that the Agartala conspiracy case might not have been fully cooked up. That dark gentleman had emerged from the very midst of our rural paddy culture. His heart was vast like nature itself, and he wanted to cover the Bangalis with that – the whole of Bangladesh. The Bangalis had repaid that gesture as long as he lived. One day on 27 March 1971, a Major suddenly told the Bangalis to snatch freedom and they jumped for that – the Bangalis are not made of such stuff. It took a long time to awaken them and it was Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman who succeeded in doing that. Consequently, whether one likes it or not, can there be any option other than calling him the ‘architect of our freedom’? And it was not that Sheikh Mujib became ‘Bangabandhu’ overnight in 1970 and ‘Father of the Nation’ all of a sudden in 1972.
0It took him three decades to become Bangabandhu. If we consider the period between 1940 and 1974, we shall see that Sheikh Mujib became Bangabandhu and Father of the Nation for several reasons. These were: the vastness of his heart, his humanism and tolerance, his appearance, dresses and words; all of these had demonstrated his intention to maintain everlasting bonds with a huge population. Some information and proofs could be obtained about the long-drawn conspiracies of the villains of 1975 for seizing power. Khandakar Mostaque is an example. Evidence of the conspiratorial mentality of this principal villain in our history could be observed even before the liberation war. The frontline leaders of Awami League had visited Bangabandhu at his Dhanmondi residence on 25 March 1971 and asked him to remain cautious. Only Khandakar Mostaque was not seen there. After independence, he lobbied with Dr. Wazed Miah to become Foreign Minister with seniority.
Later, in 1974, Dr. Wazed Mia saw after going to Khandakar Mostaque’s residence that one Major Rashid was going out of the house after secret talks with him.
There has been much debate about the message of Sheikh Mujib broadcast by Mr. Hannan from Chittagong on 26 March 1971. Dr. Wazed Miah had written: “Bangabandhu’s message was in a taped form. After transmitting that message from Dhaka’s Baldah garden, that brave member
of EPR had sought fresh orders by contacting Bangabandhu’s residence over telephone. Bangabandhu then directed the EPR member via Mr. Golam Morshed to leave that place instantly after throwing the transmitter into the pond of Baldah garden.” I shall not go into the debate on whether this information was correct or not. I understand as an ordinary student of history that the country called Bangladesh was founded at the very start of March 1971 and that had happened at the directive of Sheikh Mujibur Rahman. Professor Borhanuddin Khan Jahangir highlighted this in a very clear and logical manner in his essay titled ‘Accountability of the State’. He wrote: “The 35 directives issued by Sheikh Mujib had laid the ground for all-out noncooperation with the Pakistani state through resistance and rejection of its authority and complete cooperation of the Bangali masses with their administration through establishment of a pro-people authority. ------ The Bangali people had nurtured the thought of becoming the inhabitants of a separate, different and independent state in their bosom, head and heart even before the commencement of the war.” From the 1960s, Bangabandhu had two objectives.
One of those was unambiguous, while another was unclear or something akin to a dream. The clear objective was to build up the Awami League, spread the organization throughout the country and establish a civil society by going to power on Awami League platform. There were infightings within the Awami League, which was natural for a big party. But Sheikh Mujib’s organizational
capacity was unique. He had the two qualities of tolerance and flexibility, which were needed for making the party bigger. I have even seen old people in remote rural areas, whose only possession was a tea-stall, who never got anything from the party, but had never left it after coming to the fold of Awami League at the behest of Sheikh Mujib. There are many more self sacrificing Awami Leaguers in the nooks and corners of Bangladesh, who did not leave the party despite becoming destitute. The leaders, however, do not keep track of them. Besides, Sheikh Mujib had such individuals as his companions, without whose help he might not have achieved his cherished goal. As a result, the Awami League became bigger, expanded after the 6- point movement and simultaneously Sheikh Mujib became the undisputed leader of the masses. He also had tremendous self-confidence and courage. The blossoming of the party had also raised his confidence in himself as well as the people. That was why he could transform the 6-points into a 1-point. And this was his unclear vision or dream. That he was unwavering on the question of this objective and had the necessary courage and confidence for materializing this dream were highlighted during the Agartala conspiracy trial. Fayez Ahmed had written about an incident during this trial. He was sitting beside the main accused Sheikh Mujib. They were not allowed to talk inside the court. Sheikh Mujib tried to draw the attention of Fayez Ahmed a number of
times in order to say something. Fayez Ahmed said, “Mujib Bhai, conversations are not allowed. I can’t turn my head. They will throw me out.” A loud reply came forthwith, “Fayez, one has to talk to Sheikh Mujib if he wants to stay in Bangladesh.” - -------He did not know then that this symbolic utterance by Sheikh Mujib was not meant for any individual person; it was a message for the entire people of a country, which could ignite fire.
Sheikh Mujib returned to the Bangladesh of his dream in 1972. Now his role was not that of a wager of movements. Rather, he played his part in materialising the dream of a Golden Bangla. He worked tirelessly with that objective in mind until 15 August 1975. Reconstruction of the country was in full swing and the Constitution was already framed by that time. The biggest achievement of Bangabandhu and the then Awami League government was to endow the country with a Constitution. I do not know whether there is any other example of a country where it was possible to provide a Constitution so swiftly in the aftermath of such a bloody war. The four core principles of the state were proclaimed through this Constitution, which could have been termed as radical in the context of the then realities. These were: Democracy, Socialism, Secularism and
Nationalism. These principles in fact contained those very ideals for which the liberation war was fought. This was especially true of secularism. That is why the military generals had at the very outset struck at these core principles, especially secularism. Besides, the Constitution described the social, economic and political rights of citizens and the philosophy of the state. In other words, it indicated that the liberation war was waged for establishing a civil society in place of a military-dominated one.
The 1972 Constitution had incorporated the necessary institutions for a civil society; it firmly strove to lay the foundation for a vibrant civil society in Bangladesh. In this context, Bangabandhu had said in one of his speeches: “I do not know whether democracy was initiated immediately after a bloody revolution in any country of the world. ----- Elections have been organised. The right of vote has been expanded in scope by lowering the voting age from 21 to 18. Bangladesh’s own aeroplanes are now flying in the skies of different countries; a fleet of commercial ships has also been launched. The BDR is now guarding the borders. The ground forces are ready to repel any attack on the motherland. Our own navy and air-force are now operational. The police force and thanas have been rebuilt, 70 percent of which were destroyed by the Pakistanis. A ‘National Rakkhi Bahini’ has been raised.
You are now the owners of 60 percent of mills and factories. Taxes for up to 25 bighas of land have been exempted. We do not believe in the policy of vengeance and revenge. Therefore, general amnesty has been declared for those who were accused and convicted under the Collaborators’ Act for opposing the liberation war.” But the people were not inclined to appreciate the framing of Constitution, its principles, and the successes of Sheikh Mujib due to rising price of essentials and the law and order situation. Not only was Bangabandhu killed along with his family, the husband of his sister Abdur Rab Serniabat and his nephew (sister’s son) Sheikh Moni were also killed along with their family members. It was quite apparent that intense hatred had worked behind this; otherwise this kind of brutality could not have been carried out in cold blood. The assumption that if any of the family members survived, then he would come forward to provide leadership was also at work. That this assumption was not unfounded has been proved subsequently. Bangabandhu’s two daughters Sheikh Hasina and Sheikh Rehana survived as they were staying abroad. Later, Sheikh Hasina became the leader of the Awami League and is now once again waging a struggle to reinforce the civil society. It is clear from the manner in which the Bangabandhu family was assassinated that there were local and international conspiracies and a long time was spent for planning it. The conspirators took risks and that risktaking paid off. A faction of the Awami League led by Khandakar Mostaque was involved in it. It can be cited as evidence that it was during Mostaque’s rule that the four Awami League and national leaders Tajuddin Ahmed, Syed Nazrul Islam, Mansur Ali and Kamruzzaman were killed inside the central jail on 3 November 1975. Saudi Arabia and China recognized Bangladesh immediately after Khandakar Mostaque came to power. Relationships with Pakistan and the USA also improved. Consequently, the theory that foreign powers had a hand in the killings cannot be dismissed outright. Almost three decades after Sheikh Mujib’s killing, the people can once again feel what Sheikh Mujib really was and why he was awarded the title ‘Bangabandhu’. People can realize today that he wanted to raise the stature of the Bangalis, and one way of doing that was to give back the honour to the unarmed people. Whichever parties and persons might have ruled Bangladesh after his murder, his name could not be erased from the minds of the people. That effort still continues. That is because it is evident
today that we got that honour only once, that path was opened for us only once in 1971, when Bangladesh succeeded in ousting all kinds of armed thugs under the leadership of an unarmed Bangali called Sheikh Mujibur Rahman.
Despite the many flaws and heaps of criticisms levelled against Sheikh Mujib, we should note, just as an opponent of Sheikh Mujib and Awami League – Moudud Ahmed – had written (translator’s translation from Bengali): “The appearance of Sheikh Mujib was the biggest event in the national history of Bangladesh. His burial did not take place through his death. More pragmatic, efficient, capable and dynamic political personalities than Sheikh Mujib might have emerged or may emerge, but it will be very difficult to find someone who has contributed more to the independence movement of Bangladesh and the shaping of its national identity.” He had endeavoured to uphold the interests of the Bangalis throughout his life and had never compromised until his objectives were attained. That is why the Bangalis gave him the title ‘Bangabandhu’ and ‘Father of the Nation’ out of sheer love and emotion. His lifestyle was like that of an ordinary Bangali of eternal Bengal; that is why he could so intensely connect with the ordinary people and their communities. He possessed all the attributes of an ordinary Bangali.
But his love for his people and country was extraordinary, almost blind. He used to say: “My strength is that, I love human beings.
My weakness is that, I love them too much.” The position of Bangabandhu vis-à-vis other doers in the civil society of Bangladesh will become clear if the events of 1971 and 1971-75 are analysed. It is impossible to write the history of pre and post-independence Bangladesh without mentioning him. The names of two great Bangalis will remain forever shining in the minds of the Bangalis. One is Rabindranath Thakur and the other is Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman. One had shaped the Bengali language and wrote the national anthem of Bangladesh. The other materialised the age-old dream of the Bangalis by helping create an independent territory called Bangladesh for an entire nation. I feel proud for this, and my posterity will also be so. The names ‘Bangali’ and ‘Bangladesh’ will continue to live on. And that is why Anandashankar Ray had written:
“As long as the Padma, Meghna, Gouri, Jamuna flows on,
Your accomplishment will also live on, Sheikh Mujibur Rahman.”
Translation: Helal Uddin Ahmed
বঙ্গবন্ধুর ৭ মার্চের ভাষণ
আজ দুঃখ-ভারাক্রান্ত মন নিয়ে আপনাদের সামনে হাজির হয়েছি। আপনারা সবই জানেন এবং বুঝেন।আমরা আমাদের জীবন দিয়ে চেষ্টা করেছি- আজ ঢাকা, চট্টগ্রাম, রংপুর ও যশোরের রাজপথ আমার ভাইয়ের রক্তে রঞ্জিত হয়েছে।
আজ বাংলার মানুষ মুক্তি চায়-তারা বাঁচতে চায়।তারা অধিকার পেতে চায়।নির্বাচনে আপনারা সম্পূর্ণভাবে আমাকে এবং আওয়ামী লীগকে ভোট দিয়ে জয়যুক্ত করেছেন শাসনতন্ত্র রচনার জন্য। আশা ছিল জাতীয় পরিষদ বসবে, আমরা শাসনতন্ত্র তৈরী করবো এবং এই শাসনতন্ত্রে মানুষ তাদের অর্থনৈতিক,রাজনৈতিক ও সাংস্কৃতিক মুক্তি লাভ করবে। কিন্ত ২৩ বছরের ইতিহাস বাংলার মানুষের রক্ত দিয়ে রাজপথ রঞ্জিত করার ইতিহাস। ২৩ বছরের ইতিহাস বাংলার মানুষের মুমুর্ষু আর্তনাদের ইতিহাস, রক্ত দানের করুণ ইতিহাস।নির্যাতিত মানুষের কান্নার ইতিহাস ১৯৫২ সালে আমরা রক্ত দিয়েছি। ১৯৫৪ সালে নির্বাচনে জয় লাভ করেও ক্ষমতায় বসতে পারিনি।১৯৫৮ সালে দেশে সামরিক শাসন জারি করে আইয়ুব খান দশ বছর আমাদের গোলাম করে রাখলো।১৯৬৬ সালে ৬-দফা দেয়া হলো এবং এর পর এ অপরাধে আমার বহু ভাইকে হত্যা করা হলো।১৯৬৯ সালেগণ-আন্দোলনের মুখে আইয়ুবের পতনের পর ইয়াহিয়া খান এলেন। তিনিবলেলেন, তিনি জনগণের হাতে ক্ষমতা ফিরিয়ে দেবেন, শাসনতন্ত্র দেবেন,আমরা মেনে নিলাম তার পরের ঘটনা সকলেই জানেন। ইয়াহিয়া খানের সংগে আলোচনা হলো-আমরা তাকে ১৫ ইং ফেব্রুয়ারী জাতীয় পরিষদের অধিবেশন ডাকার অনুরোধ করলাম। কিন্তু 'মেজরিটি'পার্টির নেতা হওয়া সত্ত্বেও তিনি আমার কথা শুনলেন না। শুনলেন সংখ্যালঘুদলের ভুট্টো সাহেবের কথা।আমি শুধু বাংলার মেজরিটিপার্টির নেতা নই, সমগ্র পাকিস্তানের মেজরিটি পার্টির নেতা। ভুট্টো সাহেব বললেন, মার্চের প্রথম সপ্তাহে অধিবেশন ডাকতে, তিনি মার্চের ৩ তারিখে অধিবেশন ডাকলেন আমি বললাম, তবুও আমরা জাতীয় পরিষদের অধিবেশনে যাব এবং সংখ্যাগরিষ্ঠ দল হওয়া সত্বেও কেউ যদি ন্যায্য কথা বলে আমরা তা মেনে নেব, এমনকি তিনি যদি একজনও হ'ন জনাব ভুট্টো ঢাকা এসেছিলেন। তাঁর সঙ্গে আলোচনা হলো। ভুট্টো সাহেব বলে গেছেন আলোচনার দরজা বন্ধ নয়; আরো আলোচনা হবে।মওলানা নুরানী ও মুফতি মাহুমুদ সহ পশ্চিম পাকিস্তানের অন্যান্য পার্লামেন্টারী নেতা এলেন, তাদের সঙ্গে আলোচনা হলো- উদ্দেশ্য ছিলো আলাপ-আলোচনা করে শাসনতন্ত্র রচনা করবো।তবে তাদের আমি জানিয়ে দিয়েছি ৬-দফা পরিবর্তনের কোন অধিকার আমার নেই,এটা জনগণের সম্পদ কিন্তু ভুট্টো হুমকি দিলেন।তিনি বললেন, এখানে এসে'ডবল জিম্মী' হতে পারবেন না। পরিষদ কসাই খানায় পরিণত হবে। তিনি পশ্চিম পাকিস্তানী সদস্যদের প্রতি হুমকি দিলেন যে, পরিষদের অধিবেশনে যোগ দিলে রক্তপাত করা হবে, তাদের মাথা ভেঙে দেয়া হবে।হত্যা করা হবে। আন্দোলন শুরু হবে পেশোয়ার থেকে করাচী পর্যন্ত। একটি দোকানও খুলতে দেয়া হবেনা তা সত্বেও পয়ত্রিশজন পশ্চিম পাকিস্তানী সদস্য এলেন।কিন্ত পয়লা মার্চ ইয়াহিয়া খান পরিষদের অধিবেশন বন্ধ করে দিলেন। দোষ দেয়া হলো, বাংলার মানুষকে, দোষ দেয়া হলো আমাকে, বলা হলো আমার অনমনীয় মনোভাবের জন্যই কিছু হয়নি এরপর বাংলার মানুষ প্রতিবাদ মুখর হয়ে উঠলো।আমি শান্তিপূর্ণ সংগ্রাম চালিয়ে যাবার জন্য হরতাল ডাকলাম। জনগণ আপন ইচ্ছায় পথে নেমে এলো কিন্তু কি পেলাম আমরা? বাংলার নিরস্ত্র জনগণের উপর অস্ত্র ব্যবহার করাহলো। আমাদের হাতে অস্ত্র নেই। কিন্তু আমরা পয়সা দিয়ে যে অস্ত্র কিনে দিয়েছি বহিঃশত্রুর হাত থেকে দেশকে রক্ষা করার জন্যে, আজ সে অস্ত্র ব্যবহার করা হচ্ছে আমার নিরীহ মানুষদের হত্যা করার জন্য। আমার দুঃখী জনতার উপর চলছে গুলী আমরা বাংলার সংখ্যাগরিষ্ঠমানুষ যখনই দেশের শাসনভার গ্রহণ করতেচে য়েছি, তখনই ষড়যন্ত্র চলেছে-আমাদের উপর ঝাঁপিয়ে পড়েছে ইয়াহিয়া খান বলেছেন, আমি নাকি ১০ই মার্চ তারিখে গোলটেবিল বৈঠকে যোগদান করতে চেয়েছি,তাঁর সাথে টেলিফোন আমার আলাপ হয়েছে
। আমি তাঁকে বলেছি আপনি দেশের প্রেসিডেণ্ট, ঢাকায় আসুন দেখুন আমার গরীব জনসাধারণকে কি ভাবে হত্যা করা হয়েছে, আমার মায়ের কোল খালি করা হয়েছে আমি আগেই বলে দিয়েছিকোন গোলটেবিল বৈঠক হবেনা। কিসের গোল টেবিল বৈঠক? কার গোল টেবিল বৈঠক? যারা আমার মা'বোনের কোল শূন্য করেছে তাদের সাথে বসবো আমি গোল টেবিল বৈঠকে ?
তেসরা তারিখে পল্টনে আমি অসহযোগের আহবান জানালাম। বললাম, অফিস-আদালত,খাজনা-ট্যাক্স বন্ধ করুন।আপনারা মেনে নিলেন।হঠাৎ আমার সঙ্গে বাআমাদের সঙ্গে আলোচনা না করে একজনের সঙ্গে পাঁচ ঘণ্টা বৈঠকের পর ইয়াহিয়া খান যে বক্তৃতা করেছেন, তাতে সমস্ত দোষ আমার ওবাংলার মানুষের উপর চাপিয়ে দিয়েছেন। দোষ করলেন ভুট্টো- কিন্তু গুলী করে মারা হলো আমার বাংলার মানুষকে। আমরা গুলী খাই, দোষ আমাদের-আমরা বুলেট খাই, দোষ আমাদের ইয়াহিয়া সাহেব অধিবেশন ডেকেছেন। কিন্ত আমার দাবী সামরিক আইন প্রত্যাহার করতে হবে, সেনাবাহিনীকে ব্যারাকে ফিরিয়ে নিতে হবে, হত্যার তদন্ত করতে হবে। তারপর বিবেচনা করে দেখবো পরিষদে বসবো কি বসনো না। এ দাবী মানার আগে পরিষদে বসার কোন প্রশ্নই ওঠে না, জনগণ আমাকে সে অধিকার দেয়নি। রক্তের দাগ এখনো শুকায়নি, শহীদদের রক্ত মাড়িয়ে ২৫ তারিখে পরিষদে যোগ দিতে যাব না ভাইয়েরা, আমার উপর বিশ্বাস আছে? আমি প্রধান মন্ত্রীত্ব চাইনা, মানুষের অধিকার চাই। প্রধানমন্ত্রীত্বের লোভ দেখিয়ে আমাকে নিতে পারেনি, ফাঁসীর কাষ্ঠে ঝুলিয়ে নিতে পারেনি। আপনারা রক্তদিয়ে আমাকে ষড়যন্ত্র মামলা থেকে মুক্ত করে এনেছিলেন। সেদিন এই রেসকোর্সে আমি বলেছিলাম, রক্তের ঋণ আমি রক্ত দিয়ে শোধ করবো; মনে আছে?আজো আমি রক্ত দিয়েই রক্তের ঋণ শোধ করতে প্রস্তুত আমি বলে দিতে চাই, আজ থেকে কোর্ট-কাচারী,হাইকোর্ট, সুপ্রীম কোর্ট,অফিস, আদালত, শিক্ষা প্রতিষ্ঠান সমুহ অনির্দিষ্ট-কালের জন্য বন্ধ থাকবে। কোন কর্মচারী অফিস যাবেন না। এ আমার নির্দেশ: গরীবের যাতে কষ্ট না হয়তার জন্য রিক্সা চলবে, ট্রেন চলবে আর সব চলবে ট্রেন চলবে- তবে সেনা বাহিনী আনা-নেয়াকরা যাবে না। করলে যদি কোন দূর্ঘটনা ঘটে তার জন্য আমি দায়ী থাকবোনা সেক্রেটারীয়েট, সুপ্রীম কোর্ট, হাইকোর্ট জজকোর্টসহ সরকারী, আধা-সরকারী এবং স্বায়ত্তশাসিত সংস্থাগুলো বন্ধ থাকবে।শুধু পূর্ব বাংলার আদান-প্রদানের ব্যাঙ্কগুলো দু-ঘন্টার জন্য খোলা থাকবে। পূর্ব বাংলা থেকে পশ্চিম পাকিস্তানে টাকা যেতে পারবেন না। টেলিগ্রাফ, টেলিফোন বাংলাদেশের মধ্যে চালু থাকবে। তবে, সাংবাদিকরা বহির্বিশ্বে সংবাদ পাঠাতে পারবেন এদেশের মানুষকে খতম করা হচ্ছে, বুঝে শুনে চলবেন। দরকার হলে সমস্ত চাকা বন্ধ করে দেয়া হবে আপনারা নির্ধারিত সময়ে বেতন নিয়ে আসবেন। যদি একটিও গুলী চলে তাহলে বাংলার ঘরে ঘরে দূর্গ গড়ে তুলবেন। যার যা আছে তাই নিয়ে শত্রুর মোকাবেলা করতে হবে। রাস্তা ঘাট বন্ধ করে দিতে হবে। আমরা তাদের ভাতে মারবো-পানিতে মারবো।হুকুম দিবার জন্য আমি যদিনা থাকি, আমার সহকর্মীরা যদি না থাকেন, আপনারা আন্দোলন চালিয়ে যাবেন।
তোমরা আমার ভাই,তোমরা ব্যারাকে থাকো,কেউ কিছু বলবেনা। গুলী চালালে আর ভাল হবে না।সাত কোটি মানুষকে আর দাবীয়ে রাখতে পারবা না।বাঙ্গালী মরতে শিখেছে, তাদের কেউ দাবাতে পারবেনা শহীদদের ও আহতদের পরিবারের জন্য আওয়ামীলীগ সাহায্যে কমিটি করেছে। আমরা সাহায্যের চেষ্টা করবো। আপনারা যেযা পারেন দিয়ে যাবেন সাত দিনের হরতালে যে সবশ্রমিক অংশ গ্রহণ করেছেন, কারফিউর জন্য কাজ করতে পারেননি-শিল্পমালিকরা তাদের পুরো বেতন দিয়ে দেবেন সরকারী কর্মচারীদের বলি, আমি যা বলি তা মানতে হবে। কাউকে যেন অফিসে দেখা না যায়। এ দেশের মুক্তি না হওয়া পর্যন্ত খাজনা-ট্যাক্স বন্ধ থাকবে।আপনারা আমার উপর ছেড়ে দেন, আন্দোলন কিভাবে করতে হয় আমি জানি।
কিন্তু হুঁশিয়ার, একটা কথামনে রাখবেন, আমাদের মধ্যে শত্রু ঢুকেছে, ছদ্মবেশে তারা আত্মকহলের সৃষ্টিকরতে চায়।বাঙ্গালী-অবাঙ্গালী,হিন্দু-মুসলমান সবাই আমাদের ভাই, তাদের রক্ষা করার দায়িত্ব আমাদের রেডিও, টেলিভিশন ও সংবাদপত্র যদি আমাদের আন্দোলনের খবর প্রচার নাকরে তবে কোন বাঙ্গালী রেডিও এবং টেলিভিশনে যাবেন না শান্তিপূর্ণভাবে ফয়সালা করতে পারলে ভাই ভাই হিসাবে বাস করার সম্ভাবনা আছে, তা না হলে নেই।বাড়াবাড়ি করবেন না, মুখ দেখাদেখিও বন্ধ হয়ে যেতে পারে প্রস্তুত থাকবেন, ঠাণ্ডা হলেচলবে না। আন্দোলন ও বিক্ষোভ চালিয়ে যাবেন।আন্দোলন ঝিমিয়ে পড়লেতারা আমাদের উপর ঝাঁপিয়ে পড়বে। শৃংখলা বজায় রাখুন। শৃংখলা ছাড়াকোন জাতি সংগ্রামে জয়লাভ করতে পারে না
আমার অনুরোধ প্রত্যেকগ্রামে, মহল্লায়, ইউনিয়নে, আওয়ামী লীগের নেতৃত্বে সংগ্রাম কমিটি গড়ে তুলুন।হাতে যা আছে তাই নিয়েপ্রস্তুত থাকুন। রক্ত যখনদিয়েছি, রক্ত আরও দেবো।এদেশের মানুষকে মুক্ত করে ছাড়বো ইনশাল্লাহ
এবারের সংগ্রাম, মুক্তিরসংগ্রাম, এবারের সংগ্রাম,স্বাধীনতার সংগ্রাম
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