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Fight against discriminations may be the goal of birth centenary of Sheikh Mujib

Here I am not going to describe the whole political journey of Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, just mentioning the outcomes of his political life.

by Swadesh Roy

Upcoming 17th March is the centenary of Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, the father of the nation of Bangladesh and one of the iconic heroes in the world. The National Committee of his birth centenary observation has started celebrating his birth anniversary. The committee has taken one-year long program for the celebration of this hero's 100th birth anniversary. The people of Bangladesh basically the new generation is so happy thinking themselves as the luckiest generation, observing centenary of Sheikh Mujibur Rahman.

On the contrary, when the centenary of Sheikh Mujibur Rahman is being observed in Bangladesh along with many parts of the world even the United Nations, then, the world is carrying conservative and fundamentalist wave, Sheikh fought his whole life against it. Sheikh Mujibur Rahman was the son of Indian Sub-continent. In his youth, when he was a student leader of the student wings of Muslim religious based political organization ‘Muslim League' the then Indian Sub-continent was divided into two parts in the name of religion. Before this partition a mass humanitarian disaster, religious riot happened in this Indian Sub-continent. Millions of people were killed and thousands of women were raped. As a result, at least twenty-five million people were forcibly and frightfully displaced. Most of them became refugees. Their next generation is still suffering. The forcibly human displacement of this Indian Sub-continent is one of the biggest man-made disasters in the world.

Sheikh Mujib, the young student leader, perceived it very keenly. Despite a young Muslim religion based party leader, he did not receive this human disaster with his mind in the name of religion. So, after establishment of a country named Pakistan on the basis of Muslim religion, which was a part of the Indian Sub-continent; he did not accept Pakistan. Rather from the very beginning of Pakistan, he started his new politics in the Eastern part of Pakistan, which was then called East Bengal. Mujib's new politics was to move the dimension of nationalism towards language from religion. Within a very short time, he became successful and as a young leader he gained the central attraction of the politics of Eastern part of Pakistan. After that, Mujib's political journey was very much speedy but on an uphill road.

Here I am not going to describe the whole political journey of Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, just mentioning the outcomes of his political life. In his twenty-two years of politics in Pakistan, he became the main and only leader of his people. Even it may be said; during his time, he was the leader of the world who was the most popular to his own people. One British journalist described his popularity saying, if Mujib called the water of any river in his country, the water flow would come to him. Mujib did not achieve his popularity by using religion or creating any myth. Granting a point, he made his popularity or united his people following language based nationality and geography based economic program and the demand of sovereignty of his people. It is true, when a leader unites his people on this type of scientific demands, then he can achieve his goal at any cost. Mujib's success was too costly. Three million of his people had to sacrifice their lives and more than half a million woman had to give their sacred virginity. The people of Mujib achieved this with invaluable independence. This Independence was not only an achievement of Sheikh Mujib, but also he became successful by moving the direction of the politics in a small part of this Indian Sub-continent which was divided and turned out to be so called independent as a midnight’s child in the name of religion. Given this context, Mujib was the only successful leader in Indian Sub-continent who could pull out the politics from the religion towards humanity.

In a sharp contrast, Mujib became successful but he had to die by the killers of religious forces. After his killing, his country further ruled in the name of religion. So, Mujib was the leader who became successful against religious politics but he had to die by the religious forces. Before Mujib, another iconic leader of this Sub-continent, Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi, well known as Mahatma Gandhi had been killed by the religious force.

Mahatma Gandhi’s appeal for humanity is very much universal all over the world comparatively Mujib who was more language based Nationalist leader. But to create a secular state he was more successful than Mahatma Gandhi. Last year was Gandhi’s 150th birth anniversary and this year is Mujib's centenary. Many parts of the world celebrated Gandhi’s 150th anniversary. Many parts of the world will observe Sheikh Mujibur Rahman’s100th birth anniversary. Miserably, when Gandhi’s 150th and Mujib's 100th anniversary is being observed, then most parts of the world are ruling in the name of religion, ultra-nationalism, color, race and economic authority; all are against liberalism and humanity. 

We, the people of this Sub-continent along with all over the world are disappointed thinking that we are not that much eligible people who can celebrate Mujib's centenary; because, we are living in such a world which is more backward that Mujib created throughout his life. Even that with the people we are not fighting or sacrificing our comfort to create a world or a country what Mujib created. The new generation who will celebrate Mujib's centenary has many qualities; they are the global citizens and drive force of the world of information technology. Taking all this, they are not fighting that much to create all kind of discrimination free world or a world which will be equal for all people. If this new generation of Bangladesh keeps this in their mind that their iconic hero Mujib fought against religious, economic and other discriminations. We, the predecessors of Mujib will fight all kind of discrimination or inequality. Their fighting process may be different than Mujib but if they become the predecessors of their great leader and they want to celebrate the centenary of Mujib with due respect, they have to set up their mind for this fight. Otherwise, their celebration of Mujib's centenary will be only a day observation not to show the true respect to their iconic hero’s 100th birth anniversary.

Swadesh Roy, Senior Journalist, Dhaka, Bangladesh. He is a highest state award winning journalist and can be reached at swadeshroy@gmail.com

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