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ED: The day of grief that is August 15

  • Published at 07:43 pm August 14th, 2021
bangabandhu sheikh mujib
The historic speech of the Father of the Nation of Bangladesh, Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman in Bangla at the 29th general assembly of the United Nations (UN) on September 25, 1974

No matter how tough things got, Bangabandhu never gave up, and he never gave in to despair

It has been 46 years since that fateful day, and yet, the nation still reels from the terrible events of August 15, 1975. For all of Bangladesh, this is a day of deepest grief, and one that can never be forgotten.

By now, the tragedy of that day is known to all. The Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, on that day, was assassinated in his home, along with his family. This brutal and cowardly act stunned a nation. Bangladesh grieved for the man who brought the nation into being, freeing our people from the oppressive forces of the Pakistan army. The loss of the Father of the Nation is a loss that Bangladesh can never recover from. In fact, it is a loss of incalculable magnitude.

Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, who was born in Tungipara in Gopalganj district on March 19, 1920, devoted his life to politics and the betterment of the people. The achievements of his illustrious political career are too numerous to mention. He never walked the easy road; rather, he always fought for justice no matter how much the odds were stacked against him. He did not fear persecution, imprisonment, or death, because for Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, the big picture was always paramount, and it was due to this strength of character, combined with vision, idealism, and political acumen, that he was able to lead our people to victory, culminating in the birth of the nation of Bangladesh.

It is a matter of unspeakable tragedy that Bangabandhu was not able to actively steer forward or enjoy independent Bangladesh for too long a period, being killed less than four years after Bangladesh achieved victory. A nation was thrown into crisis at the loss of this great leader. Many have vied for power in the subsequent years, but it takes more than a politician to determine the course of a nation -- it takes a great statesman, a true leader who can give voice to the aspirations of a people, putting his individual wishes and ambitions aside. Our Father of the Nation, Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, was that rarest of leaders.

In 2020 and 2021, we have been observing Mujib Year -- the centenary of Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman’s birth. This year also marks 50 years of Bangladesh’s independence. This is a year of taking stock for Bangladesh. We must not only plan smartly for our future as a nation, but we must also reflect on, and uphold our history, for it is in our history that our identity as a nation lies. Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman dreamt of a prosperous, peaceful, and successful Bangladesh long before the nation won the war and was recognized in the world arena. We have been slowly and steadily working towards that dream, and on this day of mourning, we renew our pledge to uphold that vision.

This year has not been an easy one for Bangladesh, or for any country, for that matter. A pandemic ravages the globe, and we are faced with challenges of a magnitude we have never faced before. Much of the progress made in the past years has been undone by this pandemic, but we can take inspiration from Bangabandhu’s spirit to soldier through this crisis. No matter how tough things got, Bangabandhu never gave up, and he never gave in to despair. Many times, the odds were against him, but he always kept faith in the people of Bangladesh, and our ability to prevail, and emerge victorious. On August 15, the day the Father of the Nation was taken away from us, we honour his memory, and once again vow to keep fighting for all that he believed in.

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