Remembering Sheikh Russel in his birthday!

Publish: 9:13 PM, October 17, 2021 | Update: 9:13:PM, October 17, 2021

 Nayeem Islam Nibir
Sheikh Russel was a witty kid and happened to be the youngest member of the family of Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman. He was born on 18 October 1964 at Bangabandhu’s No. 32, Dhanmondi residence. At the time of his birth, Bangabandhu was in Chittagong on election emergency.
Bangabandhu named his fifth child Sheikh Russel after the world-renowned British writer, philosopher, and Nobel Laureate in Literature Bertrand Russel. Russel, a very fond child, grew up like a rose. As a child, he was very intelligent, spent most of his time without his father. Because Sheikh Mujibur Rahman was roaming from one corner to another corner of the countryfor the sake of the freedom movement and liberation struggle of Bengalis. He had to stay in jail for a long time as a political prisoner. Amid the tumultuous days of sixty’s, baby Russel grew up.

With the victory in the great war of independence in 1971, the red-green flag was waving in the free sky of liberated Bangladesh. With intrigue Russel grasped the new reality. Sheikh Russel also had a stylish presence on the state tour with his father Bangabandhu. He accompanied his father in many visits. Sheikh Russel was studying in the 4th grade of the University Laboratory School in 1975, when he was 11 years old. He loved cycling and used to go to and from school by bicycle like any other boy without any state protocol.

On Friday, August 15, 1975, very early in the morning, as usual, the muezzin’s melodious voice came from the mosque, calling for prayers, for welfare; Just then the demonic bullets of the treacherous perpetrators roared at Bangabandhu’s house at No. 32, Dhanmondi. The brutal armed assassin killed Bangabandhu and his family along with his infant son Russel that day. There have been political assassinations in the world for ages, but nowhere has such a brutal and demonic assassination taken place. Terrified by the sound of bullets, blood and screams, Russel cried and said, “I will go to my mother.” Later, seeing his mother’s dead body, Sheikh Russel begged in a tearful voice, “Send me to Hasu Apar (Sheikh Hasina).” Russel was brutally murdered after the killers walked past the bodies of his parents, two brothers, his brother’s wife and uncle.

Sheikh Russel grew up laughing at the affection of his parents and siblings. What happened to his mind when he saw their dead bodies lying? Why was an innocent child had to die with so much pain? What was the crime of Bangabandhu’s darling child? Will the answer to this question ever be found?

Sheikh Russel, if survived would have been 57 years old to this day. He could have joined hand in building Bangabandhu’s golden Bengal. He may have been a world-renowned researcher, scientist, or father of the nation, or a beacon of humanity as glorious as Bertrand Russel. The voice of the oppressed people of the world. Sheikh Russel could have been a unique example for the welfare of the country, the nation and the world as a worthy successor of Bangabandhu.

On Sheikh Russel’s birthday, Bangabandhu’s daughters Sheikh Hasina and Sheikh Rehana cried remembering thousands of memories of their younger brother. At the same time,they regret that Russel could have done more if he had survived. Talking about Sheikh Russel, Sheikh Hasina burst into tears in an emotional voice. she said, ‘What did Russel look like today?’ Sheikh Russel had a lot of compassion for children. He would give something to the children. Bangabandhu used to share his food with the poor people. That was the quality of Russel.

Sheikh Russel did not get close to Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman for long. So, he was anxious to go to his father. He used to cry for his father. Bangabandhu wrote in his prison diary, “One day Russel came to visit me in jail. And two-year-old Russel said, Abba, let’s go home. What should I answer? I tried to convince him that he did not understand that I was a prisoner. I told him, you go to your mother’s house. I live in my house. Come to see me again. How can this little boy be freed from this stone wall with his weak hand! I am sad, I am a man – his father.”

“The other boys and girls had learned to understand but Russel has not yet learned to understand. So sometimes he wanted to take me home.” It is a matter of realizing from the heart how many memories and emotional moments of Sheikh Russel are written in the book ‘Our Little Russel Sona’ written by Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina.

If Sheikh Russel had survived, he could have made the development of the country more dynamic by strengthening the hand of People’s Leader Sheikh Hasinatoday. The book ‘Our Little Russel Sona’ written by the Prime Minister on the life story of Sheikh Russel should be handed over to the youngest students in our country. Child-loving and human-loving Sheikh Russel is today the name of an ideal for the children-adolescent-young and well-informed people of the country. Happy Birthday!