I had been a proud member of Bangladesh Chhatra League and just after the brutal killing of Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman along with the most members of his family in August 1975, we bet our lives to protest the senseless killing. We didn’t allow general Zia for a single moment to run the illegal military administration in peace because of his direct involvement with the design of killing the country’s father of the nation though he was under oath in the name of Almighty Allah to protect the people and the president of the republic. Not in violent way, we had protested that killing in a peaceful manner.
Once we had been violent on 15 August 1976 when a 16-party student alliance comprising students mostly from the extremist student organisations, though most members were not students of Dhaka University, declared to celebrate national mourning day as like rag day, and we had taken it as a challenge.
We declared that August 15 would be observed as national mourning day. All those wayward students later joined ruling BNP supported Chhatra Dal. On the following morning, we took position at all the gates of the Dhaka University equipped with two push carts loaded with Gorjan wood sticks. The University was totally under control of our fellow supporters and activists.
And as expected, the war started at around 10 am when the members of 16-party alliance tried to enter Dhaka University. In the first round, the 16-party alliance was chased away from Dhaka University and later the war escalated to the resident halls. The common students along with the staffs of the halls and canteens took part in the fight and at the end of the day, at least 32 members of the 16-party alliance were injured, but mysteriously none from Bangladesh Chhatra League was injured.
General Zia had tried his best to be a member of the Awami League with a view to taking shelter and to give legality to his illegally grabbed power but it was turned down by the then leadership of Awami League. And being returned vanquished, General Zia, sometimes in around 1978, was assaulted by some angry students. Following that incident, Zia became mad to open up a student front of his own at any cost. He started bribing the students. First, he took both male and female students to a cruise from Dhaka to Singapore. The students were given all kinds of indulgence and they learned to enjoy benefits when they should have been devoted to study. In another occasion, some students of Dhaka University received small guns and pocket money to form a student front for the ruling party of general Ziaur Rahman. But the hand-picked students did not have the courage to brandish the arms in front of us, the dedicated Chhatra League workers.
The three main organs of the government, the Judiciary, the Legislative and the Administration were made corrupt by general Zia only to perpetuate his illegal power. It is painful that a brilliant student came in contact with Zia and became a terrorist. Ovi was the burning example.
BCL’s main strength was the whole-hearted support of the common students who had great confidence in us. They, the common students, knew that we, the members of the Bangladesh Chhatra League, a flag carrier student organization of “Education, Peace, and Progress,” founded by Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman on January 4, 1949, can’t do any wrong. We were immensely enriched with the ideals of democracy, socialism, secularism, and Bangalee nationalism upon which the Independent Bangladesh was founded. We have a revolutionary character. Under any circumstances, we can exert our power of honesty and integrity for the sake of the great causes of the nation.
The main objective of politics is to serve the nation. What nation has given you is of no importance, but what you have done for the nation should be the main objective of your life as a political worker.
Unfortunately, most members of country’s political and student organizations have lost those morals and principles that can encourage them to create a revolutionary character in them, which was essential for nation building works. From my personal experience, I am saying that only a few government officials are working on their own initiative to expedite the fast track projects undertaken by the government of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina. Quite a good number of former students, who are in service or have already retired, were also hesitant to speed up their work for the fast track projects despite several directives from Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina. Their view is, let Sheikh Hasina take the whole responsibilities.
The main objective of Bangladesh Chhatra League was to disseminate the message of independence among the mass population within the shortest possible time as Bangabandhu was increasingly facing various challenges to survive as a nation.
Bangladesh Chhatra League had played a historic role as a front-line fighter in country’s independence war. The tremendous war for the liberation of Bangladesh in 1971 had started with the clarion call of the father of the nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman. The moral erosion and degradation among some of the young generation had started immediately after the independence of the country when illegal arms were available and some young people got involved in unsocial and anti-state activities, which had adverse impact on the society as a whole. Some corrupt people were making their fortune and many others were getting increasingly involved.
Bangabandhu was trying his best to check the rot but under the cover of social unrest, people who were active against our independence in collaboration with the Pakistan army had started conspiracy against the country. And some foreign forces supporting Pakistan military were hatching a deadly conspiracy and finally they were successful in inflicting a crushing blow to the main cause of our independence by killing Bangabandhu. At that time, there was a serious lack of ideologically enriched political forces who could have made the people understand about the country’s unhealthy development. And the conspiracy hatched by the local and foreign intelligence were not understood by the pro-liberation forces including the leaders of student League. And in that situation, we have lost our leader Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman who was the main source of inspiration for the people of Bangladesh.
Now after a long political journey through rough terrain and everyday struggle Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, the able daughter of Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujib, has started a crusade against the corrupt and unscrupulous people who have been working against the country’s progress through infiltrating into the organization. It is unfortunate that when the nation needs a young force to stand firm beside the government in its economic forward march, at that time the nation is experiencing unprecedented brutality committed by the infiltrated anti-liberation forces in the student organisation. The epoch-making student league cannot prevent them. Now the whole responsibility is falling on them. And that is why you need a politically conscious and ideologically strong team in every nook and corner of the country so that the achievements of the present government of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina must not go in vain on the altar of the conspirators.