Truly yours August 15: The Darkest Dawn Was it beginning of a mission?
Mohammad Ali Sattar
The early dawn of August 15, 1975 was easily the darkest dawn in the post liberation history of Bangladesh. The event that no one could imagine had its face bared in the ugliest way. The early autumn dawn was ominous in so many ways. The evil forces which gathered in places of the capital city were small in number (as today’s terror actors). They befooled the nation, the guards who were supposed to be on call round the clock, were also undone by the truant soldiers of the darkness. Go back to March 25th 1971. The sleeping nation was attacked by the occupation forces and the worst genocide took off that night in Dhaka and spread out across the country. But that happened in different contexts, on different grounds. It was geo-political war between two nations. It was a planned genocide to suppress the voice of the mainstream populace of a nation. It was again a part of the global game of hegemonic quarters. But August 15 episode had a widely separate angle. Internal reactionary forces, backed up by global actors who were against the creation of Bangladesh, had been powerfully active and prepared the ground for this assault. The assault on the architect of Bangladesh and his family – was the final outcome of a larger blue print of planned annihilation. The corporal removal of the leader along with the members of his family was a violent message to the peace loving people of this land. The message delivered in the most ugly way had plenty to say. It said that Bangladesh will not be let in peace; it will be always dragged to the previous masters and tethered to its system of anarchic doctrines of governance.
So it was basically the force against the liberation of Bangladesh. This force was a new school of thoughts. The thoughts were explicable. This group, who did not benefit from the freedom of Bangladesh, now inked a plan to draw out some sort of ‘linking’ arrangement to remain a greater part of Pakistan. In whatever capacity or formation, Bangladesh would be considered as a union partner or federation state etc., of greater Pakistan. At least that’s what Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto hinted at many a time before and during the war of liberation.
The party of the conspirators decided early on that the only citadel that has to be destroyed and razed is Bangobondhu Sheikh Mujib. His towering personality, imposing demeanor, his gradually expanding influence over the region, recognition of the international community etc., were reasons for worry to any power in the region and the world.
I believe, and strongly so, that he had already shown his prowess to the world leaders by that time. From US to Japan – the world leaders were focused on him. Immediate neighbors like India, Pakistan and China – all must have felt ‘heavily’ uncomfortable by the way this ‘Mujib’ was marching ahead with his principles, movements and appeal.
They all watched with awe the poor man’s leader, a third world politician leading a nation to freedom. The gradual development of political and constitutional history of Pakistan (and the events in East Pakistan) was interesting for any student of history- mainly those who took interest in histories of national movement around the world.
Therefore, Mujib and Bengalis was already a target long before the birth of Bangladesh, long before Mujib was freed from the dungeons of Pakistan and long before he was finally killed.
The local elements who took part in the gruesome murder that dawn, was handful of those disturbed and ‘ ambitious’ soldiers who believed otherwise. But apart from the global involvement and interest in his assassination, we should also make out who were the other locals involved in this murder. There may be other big names that were well aware of the conspiracy and the act. There may be few more who were actually involved in this dreadful act.
It is sad and frustrating when we find that staunch anti-Mujib elements have changed hues and are now shamelessly talking big. We know the groups/parties and individuals who had praised the changes of 1975. History is replete with facts, after all, Bangladesh is still very young and whole generation of pre and post 1971souls are fresh and alive to testify any event of history.
The dark forces are not yet out of action. They killed Bangbondhu not JUST to eliminate him; they removed him to kill the Bengali nationalism and a free Bangladesh. They have come out to strike at Sheikh Hasina time and again.
They will strike all over again whenever there is another obscure dawn.We must seriously ponder over the event (Aug 15) once again. Was the killing assignment of August 15 a beginning of a mission? – A mission to eliminate the Bengalis and independent Bangladesh? Let us start the researching today.
Mohammad Ali Sattar is a journalist, columnist and peace activist.