S Ahmed Fahim, NSTU Correspondent 17 Mar, 20
The father of Bangabandhu, Sheikh Lutfar Rahman was a ‘serestadar’ in the civil court of Gopalganj.Mujib, the third among six brothers and sisters, had his primary education in the local Gimadanga School. His early education suffered for about four years due to eye ailments. He passed his matriculation from Gopalganj Missionary School in 1942, Intermediate of Arts (IA) from Calcutta Islamia College in 1944 and BA from the same college in 1947.
Bangabandhu showed the potential of leadership since his school life.
During the 1946 general elections, Sheikh Mujib was deputed by the Muslim League to work for the party candidates in the Faridpur district.
After partition (1947), he got himself admitted into the University of Dhaka to study law, but was unable to complete it, because he was expelled from the University in early 1949 on the charge of ‘inciting the fourth-class employees’ in their agitation against the University authority’s indifference towards their legitimate demands.
Sheikh Mujibur Rahman was one of the principal organisers behind the formation of the East Pakistan Muslim Students League (1948).
In fact, his active political career began with his election to one of the three posts of joint secretaries of the newly established East Pakistan Awami Muslim League (1949) while interned in jail.
In 1953, he was elected general secretary of the East Pakistan Awami Muslim League, a post that he held until 1966 when he became president of the party. It was due to Mujib’s initiative that in 1955 the word ‘Muslim’ was dropped from the name of the party to make it sound secular. It is indicative of his secularist attitude to politics that he developed after 1947.
To give full time to the organizational affairs of the Awami League, Sheikh Mujibur Rahman resigned from the cabinet of Ataur Rahman Khan (1956-58) after serving for only nine months.
During the regime of general Ayub Khan, Mujib had the nerve to revive the Awami League in 1964, though his political mentor (guru), Suhrawardy, was in favour of keeping political parties defunct and work under the political amalgam called National Democratic Front for the restoration of constitutional rule in Pakistan.
Mujib, after all, was already quite disillusioned about the concept of Pakistan.
The impression that he got as a member of Pakistan’s Second Constituent Assembly-cum-Legislature (1955-1956) and later as a member of Pakistan National Assembly (1956-1958) was that the attitude of West Pakistani leaders to East Pakistan was not one of equality and fraternity.
Sheikh Mujib was one of the first among the language movement detainees (11 March 1948).
Sheikh Mujibur Rahman grew in political eminence in the early 1960s.
Through his captivating organising ability, he was able to retrieve the Awami League from intra party politics and exits of a number of factions from the party’s mainstream.
A magnetic organiser, Sheikh Mujib had established his full command over the party.
In 1966, he announced his famous six-point programme which he called ‘Our’ [Bangalis’] Charter of Survival’.
A sedition case, known as Agartala conspiracy case officially named as State vs. Sheikh Mujibur Rahman and Others, was brought against him along with 34 others. Majority of them were Bangalee officers and servicemen in Pakistan Air and Naval forces. They also included three senior Bangalee civil servants. As Mujib was already in prison he was shown arrested as number one accused. He was charged with conspiring against the state of Pakistan together with the other co-accused.
According to the allegations, Sheikh Mujibur Rahman and the other accused were secretly planning to separate East Pakistan by force with the help of India.
The counter-offensive move, however, proved to be counter-productive. The trial of the case in a special tribunal in the Dhaka Kurmitola Cantonment stirred up Bangalee emotion and sentiment against Pakistani domi.