As a nation we are so unfortunate that we always fail to understand what is right and what is wrong. We have not understood the meaning of freedom and independence. It was more of a dream to many of us.
We are very forgetful in nature. We have forgotten everything we suffered during the war of liberation. No people in the world are so forgetful like us. The USA and UK now are best friends and working as international allies, but the Americans have never forgotten the atrocities carried out by the UK invaders. Let alone important things, the Americans have never followed the Britons even in the fields of sports and culture. Still the Americans do not play cricket; they drive cars on the left-hand side of the road. But it is so shameful for us as a nation that we have forgotten the brutality and genocide committed by the then Pakistani occupation army who burned our houses, ports and cities and demolished bridges. Millions of people were killed and hundreds of our mothers and sisters were raped and killed by them. Similarly, quite a good number of cabinet colleagues of Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman joined Khandker Mustaque Ahmad's government on the 15th of August 1975 when Bangabandhu’s lifeless body was lying on the stairs of Dhanmondi 32 Road’s house.
Bangabandhu was a great man and some of his party men were taking opportunity of his greatness. Mustaque, since the inception of Awami League, was working against Sheikh Mujib in disguise, while other party members were engaged in uplifting their position in the party. They occupied most of the big positions in the party and Bangabandhu allowed it so that they do not join other parties. Bangabandhu always believed in unity. Without a national unity nothing can be achieved.
Not only the members of his party, Bangabandhu wanted to unite all the freedom-loving and democracy-minded people under one umbrella. Bangabandhu knew that the Pakistani vested quarters would not allow Bengalis to rule the country to establish democracy, human rights and rule of law. So he was gearing up to make a final blow to the Pakistani military junta.
After a long struggle, Bangabandhu finally brought the whole nation, irrespective of class and creed, under one umbrella and gave a befitting reply to the Pakistani military rulers and the political clique. In the face of mass movement, military ruler Ayub Khan was swept away and in the general election in 1970 the peace-loving democracy-minded mass people secured victory under the leadership of Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujib. There was unprecedented support for Awami League leader Sheikh Mujib and the Pakistani military junta could not sense the direction of the wind. Even Oxford graduate Zulfikar Ali Bhutto was flooded with euphoria having Pakistan army in his support which inspired the arrest of Bangabandhu, the elected leader of the majority party of erstwhile Pakistan. And it happened what was ought to happen. The war for independence began, the Pakistani Army got a humiliating defeat and a new and independent nation took birth.
Bangabandhu was the only leader in the world who alone gave the birth to a new independent nation. It was Bangabandhu's strong determination to free the people from the exploitation which gave birth to Bangladesh.
His six-point charter of demands is regarded as the building block of independence of Bangladesh. He never compromised with the demand of the people, and that is why achieving the independence became possible. Nevertheless, he had to lose his life! The enemy does not know the valuable blood of Sheikh Mujib is flowing in this soil. They have also forgotten his blood is ruling the country. So the dead Mujib is more powerful than the living Mujib.
However, there were criminals too who got united and in an opportune moment they played the role of betrayers. Every senior leader knew that Mustaque was the cancer in Awami League and he will make a crushing blow to the interest of the nation. Quite a good number of senior leaders kept regular contact with Mustaque. It was clear that the democracy was destroyed with the assassination of Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujib. Those who joined Khandker Mustaque's cabinet were neither the believer of democracy nor did they love Bangabandhu.
That means even in many leaders of Awami League, the oldest party in Bangladesh which played the leading role in achieving the country’s independence, there was a lack of democratic values and patriotism. With the killing of Father of the Nation, the country went a giant step backwards in many ways. Had not Bangabandhu killed, the future of Bangladesh could have been quite different.
Khandker Mustaque was a political criminal and on the other hand Tajuddin Ahmed was a patriotic and honest leader. Tajuddin was dedicated to achieving the independence and Mustaque was engaged in conspiracy to destroy the liberation war in the middle by questioning people that which one you want -- Bangabandhu or independence. You have to choose one. To the young and innocents it was confusing. And creating confusion about the country’s independence was the main motto of Khandker Mustaque so that he could please Pakistani military junta.
All these happened in front of all the leaders working in exile in India. Now the question arises why Sheikh Fazlul Haq Mani too was in side of Mustaque Ahmed. It was alleged that Sheikh Mani was instrumental in ousting Tajuddin Ahmed and getting Mustaque in the forefront of the Bangabandhu’s cabinet.
Tajuddin was vocal for country's interest and frequently he talked against the American PL 480 grant. Tajuddin told the press several times that socialism could not be built with the help of American PL 480 grant and which is why it was easier to remove Tajuddin from the cabinet just before the Bangladesh visit of US Secretary of State Mr. Henry Kissinger. There was popular rhetoric that the relation with America was very important. Moreover, the global order radically changed with the collapse of Berlin Wall on November 9, 1989.
The world is passing through globalisation and the multinational corporations are controlling the global economy. For Bangladesh and its economic development, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina’s pragmatic policy “Friends to all and malice to none” has created extraordinary pace in the development process of Bangladesh. Sheikh Hasina has set a unique example of cooperation before the world. Most of the countries, including the USA, China, Russia, India, Britain, France and Brazil, are keen to invest in Bangladesh.
Sheikh Hasina is illuminating the country but the real tragedy is that a big portion of people in Bangladesh is afraid of the light.