Government Policy

Who was Sheikh Mujibur Rahman? A Short Biography of Bangabandhu, Father of the Nation

Sheikh Mujib, shortened as Mujib, was the founder of independent Bangladesh. He was the former President of Bangladesh and later became the Prime Minister of Bangladesh for four years, from 1971 to 1975. However, Mujib was assassinated on August 15, 1975.

 

Sheikh Mujib was the man who united the whole of Bangladesh to fight against the then oppressive West Pakistan. He is the man who worked behind the independence of Bangladesh. His popularity and contribution to the country, for the people, named him “Bangabandhu,” which means “Friend of Bengal” in English terms. Indeed Mujib was an altruistic friend of all Bangladeshis.

 

However, Bangabandhu was the leading figure of the county as well as the political party Awami League, which was an East Pakistan (currently Bangladesh) based party. Certainly, Sheikh Mujibur Rahman gets the credit for the liberation war movement, which eventually gets us freedom from West Pakistan. As the then Pakistani government started discrimination towards East Pakistan, Mujib became the active voice to protest all the injustice. However, he had to go to jail multiple times due to his bravery.

 

The birth of Bangladesh was impossible without Bangabandhu. Hence, Mujib is considered as the ‘Father of the Nation’ which is termed ‘Jatir Pita’ in Bengali.

 

Besides his contribution to the country, Mujib was a family man too. Mujibur Rahman married his paternal cousin Fazilatunnesa when he was 13. Together they had five children, Sheikh Hasina, Sheikh Rehana, Sheikh Kamal, Sheikh Jamal, and Sheikh Rasel.

 

Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujib’s family

 

A short Biography of Sheikh Mujibur Rahman

 

Sheikh Mujibur Rahman was born on 17 March 1920 at Tungipara. He started going to school at the age of nine and entered into class three. However, he had leadership skills from an early age. In his school days, he organized a student protest to remove their principal. But his potential leadership expanded when he was admitted into the University of Dhaka. However, he could not continue the study as the University expelled him due to the charge of ‘inciting the fourth-class employees.’

 

Early Political Activity

 

Mujib became politically active in 1940 after joining the All-India Muslim Students Federation. Later in 1943, he switched to the Bengal Muslim League. In 1946, he became the general secretary of the Islamia College Students Union. He obtained the BA degree in 1947. During that time, Mujib conducted his political activity under Suhrawardy. Eventually, he became the most prominent student political leader.

 

Young Sheikh Mujibur Rahman

 

Activity During the Language Movement

 

On 21 March 1948, Muhammad Ali Jinnah imposed Urdu as the state language for East Pakistan. Mujib immediately started the movement against this decision. However, before the Jinnah’s declaration, there was some chaos against the Muslim League, which eventually led to a Dhaka strike on 11 March 1948.

 

Sheikh Mujib and other student protesters were arrested during the strike and later released on 15 March. After that, he was in and out of jail multiple times. However, he received two years of imprisonment in early 1950 because of his leadership role.

 

Despite staying in Jail, Bangabandhu organized protests by issuing instructions from the Jail, which turned to the state Bengali Language Movement. Mujib was released on 27 February 1952.

 

Foundation of the Awami League

 

Mujib joined with Maulana Bhashani and Yar Mohammad Khan to form Awami Muslim League and left the Muslim League. Later he was elected as the joint secretary of the East Bengal unit. After that, Bangabandhu worked on expanding the organization to the grass-root level.

 

Mujib was elected as agriculture minister during A. K. Fazlul Huq’s government. However, he was arrested again as he worked on organizing a protest against the central government’s decision to dismiss the United Food Ministry. However, this time he was arrested briefly. Later he served as the second Constituent Assembly of Pakistan from 1955 to 1958.

 

Six-point movement

 

After Suhrawardy’s death in 1963, Sheikh Mujib became the head of the Awami League, the largest political party in Pakistan. Eventually, Mujib became the key leader to stand against President Ayub Khan’s Basic Democracies plan.

 

In 1964’s election, Sheikh Mujib supported Fatima Jinnah instead of Ayub Khan, which cost him one-year of imprisonment. However, during these days, the oppression of the Bengali people increased exponentially. Continual denial of democracy led Mujib to proclaim 6 points titled ‘Our Charter of Survival’.

 

Movement Against Ayub Khan

 

Shortly after the six-point movement, Sheikh Mujibur Rahman was arrested along with 34 Bengali Military. The incident is famously known as Agartala Conspiracy Case. Further, a massive student protest took place against the conspiracy case. And, eventually, the Pakistani Government dropped the charges and released all detainees.

 

Later Mujib joined an all-parties conference in 1969 and demanded the acceptance of his previously raised six points. However, Ayub Khan, the then president of Pakistan, denied any acceptance of six points and made all efforts to diminish the Bengali terms from everywhere. Later Mujib declared East Pakistan’s name as Bangladesh. The declaration increased the unrest across the country.

 

1970 elections

 

A general election took place on 7 December 1970, and Awami League won the election massively with a clear majority. However, the opposition Zulfikar Ali Bhutto opposed providing greater autonomy to Mujib. This incident eventually led to the demand for an independent country.

 

Historical 7th March Speech

 

On 7 March 1971, Sheikh Mujib made a clarion call to the mass people of this region to stand against the Pakistani occupation forces to achieve desired independence. The historical speech of the 7th March encouraged millions of people to fight for an independent country.

 

7th March Speech Bangabandhu

 

After that, Yahya Khan banned Awami League and imposed martial law, and told the Pakistani Army to arrest Bengali leaders along with Mujib.

 

Declaration of the independence of Bangladesh, and Liberation War of 1971

 

To curb the Bengali nationalist movement of the then East Pakistan (today’s Bangladesh), the Pakistani army carried out a planned military operation with the codename ‘Operation Searchlight’ on the 25th March of 1971. Numerous civilians were brutally killed and injured in this genocide.

 

Before getting arrested on March 26, 1971, at midnight, the father of the nation, Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman declared the independence of Bangladesh. Then he was taken to West Pakistan by a platoon of Pakistani Comando Soldiers. In the meantime, following the bold leadership of Bangabandhu, the liberation war of Bangladesh started. Bangabandhu was imprisoned until 8 January 1972.

 

Reforming Bangladesh

 

After returning to the independent country, Bangladesh, Sheikh Mujib started working to reform a broken country. He took steps for economic policies and foreign policies to reform the country from zero.

 

Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman

 

Recognitions

 

After the independence, Mujib was featured in Time Magazine. In 1973 at a Non-Aligned Summit, Cuban Leader Fidel Castro entitled Mujib’s personality as the Himalaya. Sheikh Mujib’s speech on 7 March 1971 was recognized as the world’s documentary heritage by UNESCO.

 

Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman could not breathe for a long time in the independent country. On 15 August 1975, Father of The Nation was brutally assassinated by a group of junior army officers. They did not even spare Mujib’s family and his personal staff.

 

Source: United News of Bangladesh