Celebrating 100th Birth Anniversary of Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibar Rahman
March 17, 2021 is the birth centenary of our Father of Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman (1920-1975). The founding leader of Bangladesh and the country’s first Prime Minister. In 1973, then-Cuban leader Fidel Castro remarked “I have not seen the Himalayas. But I have seen Sheikh Mujib.”
Sheikh Mujibur Rahman was born in March 17, 1920 in the village of Tungipara, Gopalganj as the third child of Sheikh Lutfar Rahman and Sheikh Sayera Khatun, Sheikh Mujib began his schooling at the age of seven at a local primary school and studied law and political science in Kolkata and Dhaka. He started his political life at a very early age in 1940 by joining the All India Muslim Students Federation while he was a college student. In 1943, he joined the Bengal provincial branch of All India Muslim League and in 1949, after two years of the partition and subsequent establishment of Pakistan, He was elected as one of the joint secretaries of Awami Muslim League. On July 9, 1953, Sheikh Mujib was elected as the general secretary of the party. On October 1955, He was reelected as General Secretary and served the post until 1966 when he became president of the party. Sheikh Mujib was given the title “Bangabandhu”, or “Friend of Bengal” at a mammoth public meeting organized by the Central Student Action Committee at the Race Course Maidan on February 23, 1969 as recognition to his supreme sacrifices for the masses. Under his leadership, the Awami League secured a landslide victory in the 1970 general elections across Pakistan to form a one-party government. On March 7, 1971, Mujib addressed a mammoth public rally in Dhaka where he called on the people to prepare for the struggle for independence. He quoted, “As we have already shed blood, we are ready to shed more blood! his time the struggle is for our freedom, this time the struggle is for our independence!” Sheikh Mujibur Rahman proclaimed the Independence of Bangladesh in the early hours of March 26, 1971 and quoted “I have given you independence, now go and preserve it. This may be my last message. From today Bangladesh is independent. I call upon the people of Bangladesh wherever you are and with whatever you have, to resist the occupation army. Our fight will go on till the last soldier of the Pakistan Occupation Army is expelled from the soil of independent Bangladesh. Final victory is ours. Joy Bangla!”. right after the proclamation; he was arrested and taken to a Pakistani prison. After nine months of bloody war, Bangladesh is liberated with the surrender of the Pakistani occupation army on December 16, 1971. On 10 January 1972, he was released and returned to Bangladesh where millions of jubilant citizens welcomed him with open arms. He served as the country’s first president and later as prime minister. In an Interview with Sir David Frost on the BBC Bangabandhu said “My greatest strength is the love for my people, my greatest weakness is that I love them too much.”
Sheikh Mujibur Rahman marries Sheikh Fazilatunnesa (Renu) in 1932 and together they had two daughters, Sheikh Hasina and Sheikh Rehana, and three sons, Sheikh Kamal, Sheikh Jamal and Sheikh Russel. Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman is assassinated by a handful of army renegades in the early hours of August 15, 1975 with every member of his family except his daughters Sheikh Hasina and Sheikh Rehana, who by fortune alone were abroad at that time.