– Shamsul Arefeen Khan
It’s no doubt a political rhetoric. It deserves to be ignored and overlooked.No sane and sensible element would ever have taken cognizance of a foolish, nonsense and stupid allegation like trading country’s interest by an esteemed popular leader who enjoys absolute confidence of a nation . Such nonsense expressions could be trashed forthwith , unless it had carried much venom to cause harm to the nation, incite frustration , misunderstanding alongside and escalate ignorance of the masses to infuriate indignation against a political enemy..Patriotic politics can’t sail on devil’s hoax and hoodwinks.It must go fair and transparent, run without an iota of fraudulence chicanery and cheating . A country with a geographical entity, a nation and a statehood, is not a grocery merchandise to deal in or to be sold out , neither a collateral object to be pledged for personal aggrandizement . Nevertheless, the Indian history would testify that over and over again country’s sovereignty was made a sacrificial goat by traitors and conspirators. Peoples’ freedom was minimized,downgraded or besieged by the invaders.Father of the Nation , Sheikh Mujibur Rahman wrote with regrets in his ‘Unfinished Autobiography’ about the perpetuity and preponderance of the traitors over ages .
I, personally, believe and hold it in the core of my faith that the Lankan Monarch Raban was not a rouge.He was the great hero of the ancient Indian sub-continent , then the seat of a high pitched civilization. Raban, the richest monarch in days immemorial had put up massive resistance with all the might he possessed, against Aryan invaders , now mythic ally believed to be the Gods of Heaven.His own brother Bivishon had betrayed. A local king of India, much later , had invited Moguls to invade India .The British sneaked into the sub-continent owing to a phenomenal betrayal. Traitors trailed patriots like shadows behind the sun.In 1857 , however, communally torn Indian people of all social fabrics rose above religious feud and staged mutiny in the British-Indian army and launched all out battle against the colonial exploiters.The battle, sprawled all over in civil areas, was joined by the small feudal lords along with landless peasants and farm slaves . Irrespective of religious identity, people of all caste creed and faith became party to it. Karl Marx then a columnist at NY journals with his fame as socialist theoretician and great researcher, evaluated the so called ‘Sepoy Mutiny’ as the “greatest peoples’ war against colonialism”. The British had figured out the the root of Indian strength in the Hindu-Muslim Unity and resorted to all conceivable measures to divide Indian nation to perpetuate their colonial hegemony over the golden goose.
In sixties of the last century , the greatest Bengali savior of thousand years’ history, Sheikh Mujib emerged, stood up by himself and bequeathed all political subservience . He resorted to his own strategy and adhered to the exclusive ideology , principle and philosophy, he bore in his faith and realizations ,bypassing his political teacher’s and mentor’s convictions , illusions and obsessions. Pakistani rulers got alarmed at the wake up call Mujib honked to his slumbering people.
It was on 19 November ’64, I still remember , a young Mujib 44 in his traditional `off sleeved black coat over white trouser and panjabi’,ascended the stairs of then improvised second floor news hub of the leading Bengali Daily Ittefaq at Dhaka Ramkrishno Mission Road at about 3 pm . He followed the earlier landing of his 8- page typed English language statement containing bulging reprisal against Pakistan Finance Minister Mohammad Shoyeb’s allegation of his(Mujib) “trading the country with a foreign power”.I was asked by the news boss Sirajuddin Hossain to translate the whole script in Bengali and dump at his office desk.Mujib , a Calcutta Islamia College friend of Sirajuddin Hosain , felt happy . He relaxed at a chair on the other side of my table and sat for about two hours over several cups of tea, incessantly smoking the aromatic pipe tobacco and casual gossips with me until I was done.Mujib went through the Bengali version , page by page , with rapt attention. He admired my job and left complacent . I was alone in the news room that afternoon. The English script which traveled through the Editor’s desk,had carried a note initialed by the legendary proprietor – editor Tofazzal Hossain Manik Mia. He ordered to make it a “half column ” ordinary news item in the middle page, at my command right then. Before Mujib’s aromatic arrival with fragrance of his favorite Erin More pipe tobacco, I did all I could do as a mere sub-editor. I drew News Editor’s attention and sought his advice.Next morning I found with utter surprise that Mujib’s statement was carried as front page 8 – column banner lead reading,”WHO IS SELLING THE COUNTRY ?SHOEB OR ME ? :MUJIB”.
After the demise of his political mentor, teacher and guide,Hussein Shahid Suhrawardy, Mujib had salvaged his loving party `Awami league’ from prolonged hibernation. He imposed himself at the top of the party and leaped forward.Mujib honked wake up call to his loving people.
Pakistani rulers got frightened and scared over the steep rise of Mujib near crescendo .They spared no spear to inflict dents and scars on his glowing public image and growing popularity.They hatched several ploys of hassle and harassment , condemnations and prison torments to tear him down. He was incarcerated with harrowing torments and excruciating pains in prison cells, for 4, 682 (four thousand six hundred eighty two ) days . But the brave and courageous Mujib was undaunted.
Sheikh Mujibur Rahman , the most successful revolutionary and visionary of our time, traveled patiently through the thorny landscape , navigated in turbulence and finally anchored at the shore of his dream .His pragmatism brought him the success. And on the other hand, an uncompromising, non submissive ” not negotiable” devotion to the cause of peoples’ emancipation from colonial slavery and dominatin with his relentless efforts for establishing “An exploitation free society” in the cold war era , showered martyrdom on him. He has of late been recognized by our biggest neighbor as ” Our World leader.” His unfinished autobiography translated in Hindi, now in circulation in India after being jointly plugged in by PM Narendra Modi and Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, would hopefully bring him more reverence and esteem of Himalayan height from 120 million Indian people.
Volleys of gunshots broke silence and tranquil of the sleeping neighborhood on the fateful night of 15 August 1975, nearly three and a half years after the bloody Bangladesh Liberation, stream of blood rolled down the stairs of an ordinary uncovered resting house of the “Poet of politics” Sheik Mujibur Rahman. He fell victim of an unpredictable assassination .Not a single shot was fired in resistance against the armed assassins.No machine gun roared, no gunship hovered to protect the Supreme Commander of the Armed Forces. So was the irony of fate. Mujib declined Presidential iron curtain to stay accessible to the common masses particularly to the adoring rural folks who would often visit him with some homegrown vegetables , foul and tiny fish , to lay at his feet as token of love and heart grown reverence.The loving Father of the unfortunate Nation fell victim of the worst ever blood soaked political carnage with 16 family members including ten year baby Russel.Never in the known history had the whole family of a national liberator been liquidated in retaliation by the defeated foes. Spilling last drop of his blood , Mujib paid off the debt, he often said, he owed to his people for their indescribable love and affection.In a belated and protracted process of the so called rule of law, some culpable culprits were, however , brought to justice .Some defendants were hanged and the rest went fugitive under amazing international patronage of utter surprise.As a student of political history I may recall my memory of a similar carnage that befell the “Poet of Black Africa’s rising sun ” Patrice Lumumba , the liberator of Congo Soon after his ascending power of the newly founded People’s Republic of Congo, as its democratically elected Prime Minister. He too was physically terminated by a military upheaval .Unclassified secret US documents revealed long after his elimination , that his death sentence was jointly vetted by the former colonial master of Congo , the emperor of Belgium and his mentor super power.The Marxist President of the South American Democratic Republic of Chile also fell victim of a Palace carnage inflicted by a military coup. Killers exposed themselves. Military terminator General Shuharto with the blessings of his Super Power God father , eliminated Indonesian founding father Dr . Sukarno to cut short his opportunity to articulate an exploitation free Society of his dream! All manuscripts of these tragedy were presumably written by the same pen and the same author in the Cold War era. None of the victim’s family was touched .The contention goes almost indisputably.
But I am wondering why the Mastermind of Mujib’s family was not yet officially showcased or unambiguously and categorically identified ?In quick succession of Mujib’s martyrdom , US ally and Mujib’s ardent foe , khondker Mushtaq was pushed to ascend the vacant throne.He took the pleasure of promoting Major General Ziaur Rahman as Chief of Army Staff in no time replacing General Shafiullah.Jounalist Anthony Mascaranhus in his famous book “Legacy of Blood” puts up a scenario where the then Deputy Chief of staff Zia , engrossed with the morning Shave, was heard saying the messenger of grief , my college friend Col. Shafayet Jamil , “The President is dead? So what ? Isn’t the Vice-President there.”He meant to say the old dictum ,”Nobody was indispensable !”Soon, thereafter , Kondker Mushtaq was discarded and the Pakistan’s 1965 War Hero of the highest dignity ” Helal-e- Jurat Zia, a senior ISI incumbent , the legendary “Woden Horse intruder” in the liberation War, grappled state power bit by bit like an anaconda of the African forest.His legacy bearing widow Madam Khaleda , however , still posing to be ignorant of the gamut of Zia’s trading the interest of the nation ! She must come to know how and by whom Bengali tradition and heritage was sold out for a “Bangladeshi ” outfit and The Peoples’ Republic of Bangladesh was transacted for an “Islamic Republic ” in a clandestine deal!
Author: Shamsul Arefeen Khan.Former Press coordinator of Bangobondhu/Language movement Vatern/Freedom Fighter War Correspodent and Columnist.Virginia, April 12, 2008