Tuesday, March 17, 2020

Tribute To Sheikh Mujibur Rahman

Partition Center Tribute
Bangabandhu (Friend of Bengal) Sheikh Mujibur Rahman
MujibBarsha (Year of Mujib) on his Birth Centenary
March 17, 2020
Partition Center Report by
Sabyasachi Ghosh Dastidar
 A Display with Saying on Mujib
Recently a group of volunteers visited Bangladesh to pay homage to Bangabandhu (Friend of Bengal) Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, or Mujib as he was/is lovingly called. To pay tribute they visited his home in Dhaka, capital of Bangladesh, which is preserved as a museum where he was assassinated, along with 26 members of his family including a toddler grandson, by several thugs-claiming-to-be-military-personnel. (Sadly, many of the killers were protected by the Bangladeshi government headed by military general Zia, Pakistan, many Islamic nations, as well as many governments in the West, including America, Canada and England.) 
Hundreds of books are available on Mujib, the Father of the Nation. Many are available on-line as well as in hard copy.
         Sheikh Mujib won the first and only free election in Pakistan’s history in 1970. Yet, he was not allowed to form a government by Pakistani Military and Pakistani Punjab and Sind elites ushering in a nine-month genocide taking 3 million lives and abuse of ¼ million women and girls. Yet Pakistan, U.N. or the democratic West neither asked for trial of the killers nor arrested any of those killers sheltered in their country. This is another example of support of brutality of the “civilized” West!

      Many in the Subcontinent claim that after the rise of Wahabi separatist Islamist identity in Bengal in 1800s (see Ahmed, Rafiuddin, The Bengali Muslims 1871-1906, A Quest for Identity, Oxford University, New York, 1981), if it was the Indian nationalist poet-composer Kazi Nazrul Islam who started to bring Bengali Muslims back to their multicultural nationalist root, it was completed by Bangabandhu Mujib in conjunction with the Language Movement. Mujib also complemented the march of many Bengali nationalists like Raja Ram Mohon, Vidyasagar, Sri Ramkrishna, Rabindranath, Bankim, Nazrul, Sarat, Pritilata, Michael, Surya Sen, Begum Rokeya, Sri Aurobindo, Subhas, Guru Harichand, Lalon, Pranavananda, DwijendraLal, Atulprasad, RajaniKanta and many more. Mujib himself went through a farfetched transformation from a supporter of pro-partition Muslim League in Colonial India to a secularist politician eventually bringing Bangladesh’s independence.
Way to Home Museum
Visit to his home reminded me of events in faraway in Tallahassee, Florida where in 1971 a Bangladesh Freedom Committee was formed to inform American public of Bangladesh independence struggle and of Pakistani genocide. The Committee was headed by Jacob George, a doctoral student from Kerala, India, Tulu-speaking Mr. Rao, a graduate student from Karnataka, India as Secretary, along with Prof. Datta – a Hindu-E Pakistani-refugee-Indian, Prof. Nath – who later became a Dean in Dhaka University, an Iranian, and two Americans. George was disliked by Nixon supporters, and at times harassed by a Pakistani student. During one of the meetings in fall of 1971 at the Florida State University campus, one uninvited Pakistani professor told the group that “we will keep East Pakistan as Portugal is keeping Angola.” Many in the community put bumper stickers printed by the Committee saying “Stop Pakistani Genocide in Bangladesh.” Prof. Nath hearing Pakistan Army’s surrender said, “I am going home,” which he did.
A Crowd at the Entrance
On October 19, 2019 at the Partition Center’s annual conference, tributes were paid to Sheikh Mujib on his Birth Centenary as well as to Mahatma Gandhi on his 150th Birth Anniversary.
      The group visited his home-shrine-museum in Bangla winter of January. As picture taking is prohibited inside the museum, here are some pictures of the area surrounding the museum, as well as a few important places in his beloved Dhaka.
 Flower Offering
Young Visitors
Ghat Steps to the Canal Across the Home
Entrance to the Building
Tribute to Language Martyrs near Dhaka University
At Language Martyr's Memorial

Dhaka Cityscape
Dhakeswari (Goddess of Dhaka) Mandir (Temple)
The National Flower