977Published on February 1, 2023
On 15 August 1975, Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman was supposed to visit Dhaka University and take a look around the campus. He was once expelled from here for organising strikes for its menial workers and 'going against the university authority'.
Nearly three decades after this incident, Dhaka University was ready to receive the once expelled Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, who was then the nation's leader, with due respect.
Preparations had started to welcome Bangabandhu. All the buildings, courtyards and premises of the campus were well decorated and a festive vibe lingered in the air.
He was scheduled to visit different university halls, offer flower wreaths at the Central Shahid Minar and spend some time with teachers and students.
But nobody was aware of a violent conspiracy that was being organised at the same time. The conspirators were not weak and they had international support.
Bangbandhu was magnanimous and kind. He was extremely indifferent to having personal security guards and did not live the lavish life like politicians these days. He also could not fathom how barbaric the enemy could be and the conspirators took full advantage of it all.
The most disgraceful tragedy in the history of Bangladesh was the assassination of Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, father of the nation and the charismatic leader of the Liberation War.
Under his leadership, the Bangalees fought for nine long months. Bangladesh became independent on 16 December 16, 1971. Within three years, Bangabandhu managed to fulfill most of the rehabilitation tasks in a war-torn Bangladesh.
He established political stability and worked for economic reformation. He had a vision for the development of Bangladesh. Bangabandhu stated the world is divided into two halves – the oppressed and the oppressors, and he was always with the oppressed.
All his dreams were shattered on 15 August, 1975 when traitors murdered him along with most of his family members. Only two daughters survived: Sheikh Hasina and Sheikh Rehana.
Others killed in the attack were Bangabandhu's wife Sheikh Fazilatunnesa Mujib, his younger brother Sheikh Nasser, his sons Sheikh Jamal and Sheikh Kamal and their wives Rosy Jamal and Sultana Kamal, his youngest son Sheikh Russel and his chief security officer Colonel Jamil Uddin Ahmed who had rushed to save Bangabandhu. Several servants were also murdered in lavatories.
The assassination of Bangabandhu and his family on 15 August is one of the most heinous killings in the history of human civilisation. But it was not just murder. It was also a conspiracy to silence the progress of a newly independent nation forever.
After the assassination of Bangabandhu, the four principles of the Liberation War - secularism, Bangalee nationalism, democracy and socialism - were removed from the constitution.
We lament the brutal killing of a politician who had dedicated his whole life to serving his nation.
The occupiers of state power trampled on the spirit of independence and took to building Bangladesh based on Pakistani ideology. Needless to say, those who were against Bangladesh's freedom and supported Pakistan were behind Bangabandhu's killing.
After the assassination, the killer group targeted our constitution achieved through the Liberation War; they wanted to kill our national principles. Their main objective was to destroy our constitution and the values of Liberation War as well.
With Bangabandhu's death, Bangladesh's growth was stalled and the supporters of the Liberation War were marginalised socially, economically and politically. Our country is still suffering the consequences of the damage caused by the conspirators and murderers.
The Liberation War of Bangladesh was not a separatist movement. Its aim was to free the country from the hands of military rulers and build a democratic power. In 1975, that dream was shattered and we were truly doomed.
The 15 August massacre was a heinous crime in terms of humanity, morality, even legal and social standards. But this assassination was also a treasonous political crime.
On that day, one of the conspirators Khondaker Mostaq Ahmad immediately took over the government and declared himself the President of Bangladesh.
The rogue killers wanted to taint our achievements through the Liberation War. As already mentioned, the Liberation War was not a separatist effort. There was no Liberation War to split Pakistan into two and create a second Pakistan in its eastern half.
Our great war was a struggle for national liberation. It was a people's war.
The leaders of the governments which were formed after Bangabandhu's assassination did not respect the Liberation War or the four pillars based on which our Liberation War and constitution was formed. If anything, they tried to distort Bangladesh's political history.
But little did they know that even if Bangabandhu was killed, neither he nor the sacrifice of the three million martyrs, and the spirit of the great Liberation War, which was embodied in the constitution of 1972, could ever be forgotten.
Writer: Researcher and columnist