1538Published on June 7, 2020
The Bengalis were not liberated even after 190 years of British rule (1757-1947) and exploitation after the death of Sirajuddaula, the last independent Nawab of Bengal. In 1947, after the emergence of Pakistan, a new chapter of exploitation, torture, and oppression began on us. Pakistan continues the oppression, exploitation, and injustice in all fields including language, economy, industry, education, health, agriculture, law, etc. (Professor, Professor, & Proddot, 2014).
But Bengali is a nation of heroes and never learned to bow to injustice. It was as if the Awami Muslim League, i.e the Awami League, and innumerable brave leaders and activists, including Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, the father of the nation, appeared in Bengal to give a real form to that consciousness (Rahman, 2017).
The charismatic leader Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman who led from the outset to end the exploitation and oppression of West Pakistan and was imprisoned for 4675 days at different times for demanding the release of Bengalis (Staff, 2017).
In 1966, Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, in consultation with the Bengali CSP officers, prepared the ‘Six-Point Charter’ for the Liberation of Bengal and Bengalis to bring Bangladesh forward politically. When the National Conference of Anti-Ayub Political Parties began on 5 February 1966, Maulana Bhasani and other political leaders withdrew themselves. But Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman joined the conference to raise a ‘Six-Point Demands’ as the Bengali Charter of Liberation like a hero (Moni, 2018).
After raising the six-point demands, Pakistani leaders were frightened to realize the flag of independent and sovereign Bengal. Because the Six-Point formula later took the form of independence.
Analyzing the historic ‘Six-Point Formula or Demand’ it can be seen that the six-point had a very significant impact on the heroic struggle of Bangladesh.
The first phase of ‘Six-Point Formula’ claimed that the constitution was formulated based on the Lahore resolution to make Pakistan a true federation and there was talk of universal suffrage through the direct adult vote and the sovereignty of laws (Moni, 2018). Initially, it was the first step towards the liberation of Bengal and Bengalis where Sheikh Mujibur Rahman indirectly raised the issue of democracy and rule of law. Analysis of the administrative image of West Pakistan in 1966 shows that we had 35% access to law enforcement and 22.7% access to the Ministry of Home Affairs, which was less than the actual solicitation (Professor & Dr., 2015).
In the second phase of ‘Six-Point Formula’ appealed that only the defense of the country and foreign affairs will be under the federation government and all remaining matters will be under the jurisdiction of the States (Moni, 2018). Here too, Sheikh Mujibur Rahman implied at the liberation of the Bengalis from Pakistani exploitation and oppression.
In the third phase of the six-point formula, Sheikh Mujibur Rahman proposed the introduction of a separate but easily exchangeable currency for East and West Pakistan and proposed to the establishment of two separate regional banks. At the same time, he proposed also the introduction of a similar currency, where money laundering would be prevented and there would be two separate Reserve Bank systems for the two regions (Syed, 2018). Indeed, this was the third proposal to liberate the Bengalis from economic exploitation. This was because an analysis of the allocations from 1960-1961 to 1964-1965 showed that the total budget allocation for East Pakistan was only 6,480 million and where West Pakistan's allocation was almost 3 times that of 22,230 million (Professor & Dr., 2015). As a result, East Pakistan lagged several times behind West Pakistan in all areas of trade, commerce, industrial production, agriculture, and economy. Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman raised the third point to take these backward people forward.
The fourth phase of ‘Six-Point Formula’, demanded that the power to levy and collect all kinds of taxes and levies will be in the hands of the regional government. The regional government will arrange for a certain portion of the collected revenue to be paid to the central government. Here, also, Sheikh Mujibur Rahman proposed a separate tax and rent policy to protect the agriculture and industry and economy of East Bengal from destruction by West Pakistan through increased taxes and rents. Note that in 1966, in the administrative figure of Pakistan, only nominal portions were allotted to East Pakistan as well as Bengalis in the fields of industry and agriculture which amounted to 25.7% and 21% respectively (Professor & Dr., 2015).
In the fifth phase of ‘Six-Point Formula’, it was proposed to keep separate accounts of foreign exchange and income of the two regions where the states will own their earned foreign currency and fee import and export trade will continue between the two regions. Also, they shall remit a fixed portion of the income to the Center at a rate equal to or equal to that prescribed by the Constitution. Essentially, to eliminate the huge disparity in income and expenditure and to ensure a fair distribution system between the two regions, Sheikh Mujibur Rahman made a fifth point demand.
And in the sixth phase, it proposed to form its own or paramilitary forces or regional armies for the regional security of East Pakistan. Originally, Sheikh Mujibur Rahman hinted to Pakistan about the military as well as the organizational strength of the Bengalis to achieve liberation.
However, the six-point movement had also far-reaching effects on the successive political developments in the then Pakistan. The success of the six-point movement had encouraged the conceited and corrupted Ayub Khan's dictatorial regime to falsely implicate him in the Agartala Conspiracy case. It evoked widespread enthusiasm in East Pakistan (M., 2008). Conversely, the importance of a six-point movement in the national life of Bengalis as well as in achieving our independence is immense where it was the prerequisite of the emergence of Bangladesh as an independent and sovereign state.
Writer: Prime Minister Gold Medalist and Student of Department of Public Administration and Governance Studies at Jatiya Kabi Kazi Nazrul Islam University, Trishal, Mymensingh.