An ardent call for following Bangabandhu’s lofty ideals
Z A M Khairuzzaman
August 15 of ongoing 2022 marked the 47th anniversary of the assassination of Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman. On this day in 1975, Bangabandhu, the Greatest Bengali of All Time, along with most of his family members, was assassinated in a brutal manner. His two daughters, Sheikh Hasina and Sheikh Rehana, survived as they were staying abroad at the time. Because of the Father of the Nation’s untimely departure within less than four years of the bloody birth of Bangladesh, much before fulfilling his vision for Sonar Bangla (Golden Bengal), that he liberated from the shackles of subjugation of ruthless Pakistani rulers caused a permanent void in leadership which is unlikely to be filled in the days to come. Today, Bangladesh is a wonder to the whole world in terms of development. People across the globe have now become astonished witnessing the remarkable development of the country. It is Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman for whom today Bangladesh sparkles in the map of the world as a free, sovereign state.
Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman not only architected the independence of the country but also strove to build the country as a poverty-free prosperous ‘Sonar Bangla.’ Over the past 51 years, Bangladesh has made incredible socio-economic and infrastructural progress encompassing health, sanitation, education, financial inclusion, women empowerment, showing leadership in addressing environmental issues etc. Therefore, this is the time for us to ponder the sacrifice of Bangabandhu that did not go in vain. He has given his blood for the downtrodden people of this country. People’s welfare was central to his vision. He fiercely defended their fundamental rights, as any modern leader should. He did not want his monuments to be just bricks and mortar. He wanted them to be built with love in the hearts of his people, something that all leaders should aspire to.
Earlier, attempts were made time and again to erase the name of the Father of the Nation from the history of the Liberation War after Bangabandhu’s assassination in 1975. Even, the history of the Liberation War’s victory had been changed and it continued for 21 years. For this reason, new generations are deprived of knowing the real history of the Liberation War. The new generations did not know Bangabandhu’s life-long dedication to change the fate of the distressed people facing inhuman torture for 24 years. The month of August remains a dark month in our national history for its sheer brutality. But it is also a month that killed our essential ideals. A thorough understanding is required to understand the trauma. Only then, we shall be able to heal the wounds created by many public failings and ills. Through revisiting the causes and consequences of this trauma we can reintroduce the future generations “that never saw the murder of Mujib,” a great man who sacrificed his life in pursuit of Golden Bengali while alive, but even more so—after his death.
Professor Dr Amjad Hossain, a ‘Swadhinata Padak’ (Independence Award) winning social worker, realized that it is imperative on the part of the members of the new generation to know the actual history of Bangabandhu and Bangladesh. Bangabandhu’s ideals of democracy, equality, and justice are as relevant today as they were when he was alive. Today’s students can learn a lot from Bangabandhu’s example, and his life story is an inspiring reminder of what is possible when we stand up for what we believe in. There are a few politicians in the world who are remembered for a sign of courage due to their actions, and Bangabandhu is one of them. The students can emulate the ideals of Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman. He organized a mourning meeting in memory of Bangabandhu and other martyrs of the August 15 carnage at his founded Amena-Baki Residential Model School and College at Chirirbandar in Dinajpur recently. A large number of students of the institution, including people from all walks of life attended the meeting. At the outset of the meeting, a one-minute silence was observed in memory of Bangabandhu and other martyrs of the August 15 carnage.
While addressing, he said that our only goal is to repay the debt of blood of this great leader. We shall have to build a developed, prosperous, hunger and poverty-free Bangladesh and a just society where each and every citizen would be treated equally, irrespective of caste, creed, gender, religion and language as dreamt by Bangabandhu. Our journey will be based on these ideals. As we mourn the assassination of Bangabandhu, we shall have to take a renewed vow to fulfill the vision of the great people’s leader. At the same time, we must be ready for the sacrifice needed to build a just inclusive society for all. On this tragic month of August, let us strive to repay our debt to our founding father by following his lofty ideals. He asked the students to live up to his lofty ideals. This is the only way we can honour the legacy of Bangabandhu.
Dr Amjad, the Chief Consultant of the Orthopaedic Department of LabAid Hospital, established Amena-Baki Residential Model School and College in remote northern Bangladesh back in 2000. It is the only residential institution in this remote area, 450 km north of capital Dhaka. It was founded with the vision of providing high quality education to the children of the rural area. The institution is run by own fund of the arthroplasty and trauma surgeon, also a freedom fighter, who was injured during the Liberation War in 1971. The multi-faith and coeducational institution offers an opportunity to children who come from poor households. In recent times, Minister for Education Dr Dipu Moni visited the model institution. During her visit, she termed the vicinity of the ideal institution as an educational city.
On the birth centenary of Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman and the 50th anniversary of independence of Bangladesh, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina recognised the war-injured freedom fighter, Dr Amjad, with ‘Swadhinata Padak’ 2021 for his remarkable contributions in social service. He got involved in Bangladesh Liberation War in 1971 at the call of the Father of the Nation. In 1971, Dr Amjad gave leadership in guerilla warfare at 15 Pakistani camps in Dinajpur under Sector No-7. On July 31, he was shot at his two legs by the Pakistani troops in an operation conducted at a village named Bheram in Fulbari.
Dr Amjad has been performing trauma and hip-knee replacement surgery at an affordable cost. In the meantime, more than 4,000 surgeries have been performed under his guidance. From 1981 to 2007, he acted as the Honorary Health Adviser of Bangladesh Muktijodhya Kalyan Trust and till now he has been rendering free treatment to the freedom fighters and comparatively insolvent patients at an affordable cost.
The writer is a columnist. E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org