The bullets that killed the Father of the Nation, Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, on August 15, 1975, also have left a deep wound in the nation’s heart. He was the greatest leader of a thousand years, for the Bengalis. His leadership inspired them to fight with the highest stakes. And that fight brought them independence, and thus their own country Bangladesh.
Poet Shahid Qardri in one of his poems expressed his loath that all the killers were Bangladeshis. “I shall never hear anything more horrifying”, he penned. Bangabandhu told the BBC's David Frost in 1972, “My greatest strength is the love for my people, my greatest weakness is that I love them too much”.
Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman was an ephemeral great man and from his childhood he was extremely humane but strictly uncompromising on attaining the rights. He learnt from the most pronounced leaders. In the early 1940s of the last century, as a young student leader, he met Huseyn Shaheed Suhrawardy, Sher-e-Bangla A K Fazlul Haque and Moulana Abdul Hamid Khan Bhashani and strengthened his political knowledge. His vision to connect permeably to the people was so far-sighted that he had acquired the character and knowledge needed to fathom and materialise the dreams and desires of his people.
Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman’s long successful political career inspires generations to raise their voices against all sorts of injustice. He led many democratic and freedom movements, including Sarbodolio Rashtrobhasha Sangram Parishad (All Party State Language Action Committee) in 1948, Language Movement in 1952, Jukta-Front Election in 1954, Movement against Martial Law in 1958, Six-Point Movement in 1966, Mass Upsurge in 1969, and General Election in 1970. He was sent to jail several times and had to bear inhuman suffering for his active participation in those movements. His duel with challenges, his marvellous tackling of political and diplomatic issues and beaconing personality and the rigidly uncompromising attitude towards the Pakistani rulers despite their atrocities on the Bengalis fighting for establishing their rights have marvelled the world.
His political prowess and ability to actively inspire have been admired by politicians and leaders worldwide. His 7th March address in Racecourse Maidan aroused the whole nation and inspired them to jumped to their feet to fight for freedom. His call to resistance in that speech stills makes an impact.
Moreover, such are the ideals of Bangabandhu that he tops the list of political greats today’s youth hugely admire. His greatness doesn’t hail from his extraordinary qualities and brilliance alone; his decisions and strategic approach towards the improvement of his people are what make him an impactful, great leader.
Bangabandhu’s ideals, his actions and his words have left a trail for today’s youth to follow, a trail that leads to the safeguarding of the Bengali nationalism and internationalism. He said, “Independence should not mean chaos and unrest. Independence is living a respectful life and being able to hold your head up”. He also said, “Without ethics and the ability to self-criticism, self-control and self-rectification, one cannot be an ideal citizen”.
His determination to sacrifice and his promise to keep were not a null shot, rather something so real that it easily pierced people’s hearts even through the radios. In his speech declaring the independence of Bangladesh on 26 March 1971, he beforehand instructed what to do saying “if I cannot give orders later…”, anticipating that he might afterwards be captured, taken away or even killed. His speech was short but enough to inspire a mass resistance for independence.
The supreme lesson the youth must learn from Bangabandhu is his love for the people. His life inspires the youth to fight against oppression and aggression with a morally unbiased attitude. He enunciated the importance of each and every citizen to fulfill their particular duties to make the nation grow. He teaches the core rhythm of justice and embodies the just.
Bangabandhu teaches the meaning of true patriotism, first and foremost. His utmost dedication and sacrifice for the people of this land will never fade. He was the leader of the people, for the people and this is not bound to any time limits. And his ideals will certainly be inspiring the generations to come, as have been doing so far.