Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, the Father of the Nation of Bangladesh, had been a life-long crusader for establishing world peace.
When the people of Asia, Africa and Latin America were fighting a tremendous battle for the cause of their rights and liberty, Bangabandhu with his thunderous voice stood by them and announced that “the world is divided into two parts – one is exploiter and the other is subject to exploitation.
I am with the oppressed people of the world.” And the World Peace Council (WPC) was proud and delighted to award him the Julio Curie Peace Prize on this day 47 years ago.
WPC President Mr Ramesh Chandra came here in Dhaka and conferred the award upon Bangabandhu at a grand ceremony.
Bangabandhu’s works and activities suggest he never forgot to show respect even to his enemies. The enemies used to talk in the language of arms while he habitually talked upholding peace, liberty and democracy.
He never indulged in politics of violence; not even when he was passing a crucial moment in his life on 7 March, the day he made the historic speech for the Bengalis giving them the directives on what to do and what not to do in achieving liberation.
At that time the Pakistani generals were talking about the probable use of tank, cannon and fighter planes to demolish the entire area of Ramna Race Course field. And they were ready to crack down on the rally where millions of people were present to take the last directives from their leader.
The generals were saying if anything goes against the ‘integrity of Pakistan’, they would readily start crackdown, Even they were saying that there will be nobody to rule or none to be ruled.
That means they did not want a single man or woman to be alive to speak in Bangla. Just at that moment, Bangabandhu was talking in the language of peace and he was pressing to hold the National Assembly in due time to make a constitution.
As an elected leader of the majority party of Pakistan, he was supposed to be invited by the president to take oath as the Prime Minister of Pakistan and the National Assembly was supposed to be called with a view to making a constitution for the country which Pakistan did not have since its inception in 1947.
Bangabandhu remained calm and resolute in dealing with the generals who were just looking for opportunities to impose martial law again in Pakistan which they were habituated with.
But Bangabandhu handled the situation maintaining utmost tolerance for peace. He knew that the Pakistani blood-thirsty generals had already been intoxicated to have blood.
During his long struggle, Bangabandhu was dedicated himself to political, social and the economic emancipation of the oppressed people of the world. In Pakistan, democracy had never been practised since its inception in 1947.
Beginning from it first governor general Mr. Muhammad Ali Jinnah, Liaquat Ali Khan to military generals Iskander Mirza, Ayub Khan and Yahya Khan, everybody was against the will of the people and was the enemy of democracy.
From the dictatorial rule of western-educated Barrister Jinnah to Bhutto and Yahya, Bangabandhu was relentlessly carrying on peaceful democratic movement to establish democracy, human rights and the rule of law.
He was successful in achieving the goal of peace. But a sustainable peace has not yet been established in the world. Bangabandhu’s followers will achieve it for Bangladesh under the leadership of his daughter Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina.
Sharif Shahab Uddin is Editor-in-Chief, Bangladesh Post.