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let the legacy of Bangabandhu guide us

As we observe the 42nd anniversary of Bangabandhu’s most cruel and gruesome murder we are humbled by the memory of the man but for whose lifelong devotion for the cause of the Bangalis of the then East Pakistan an independent Bangladesh would have never been realised at the moment in history that it was. His devotion for the toiling masses, his undaunted pursuit of their cause for political rights, his pride for the cultural heritage of the people and his empathy for the poor condition of their lives all converged in his person to make for a soft and caring representative of his people on the one hand and a most courageous and determined advocate of their rights and freedom on the other.

He was in his prime of life, in his mid-fifties, when he was so brutally killed. He had just fulfilled his life’s dream of freeing his people and giving them an independent country. He was now working to lead them towards a development that would benefit the toiling masses who so selflessly followed his every word. He was perhaps also dreaming of spending a little bit more time with his family — now grown with grandchildren from her elder daughter and the two newlywed wives of his two sons. But that was not to be.

Not only that the assassins killed the Father of our Nation but also his life’s partner, Fazilatunnesa Mujib, two sons and their wives and the third son, a child of mere 10, Sheikh Russell. That his two daughters — Sheikh Hasina and Sheikh Rehana — escaped was only a matter of luck as they were abroad.

The brutality of the act, the ferocity of the mission and the coldblooded nature of its execution truly boggles the mind. How could this happen and why? And here the executioners’ brief must have been the undoing of the independent Bangladesh, for nothing in Bangabandhu’s life and work could provoke such cruelty. So our Founder’s fault was in founding the Bangladesh that we today are so proud of.

There is of course the deep mourning at his sad and bloody demise. There is also the sense of gratitude for the fact that his life’s work has left us free. But, thirdly, there is the task of making his sacrifice become truly worthy and the killers aim a total failure by building the Sonar Bangla of his dreams.

Legacy of Bangabandhu can only be a democratic and prosperous Bangladesh and nothing else.

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