September 26, 2021

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Indira Gandhi, a true friend of Bangladesh: It is our responsibility to repay our debts

In the absence of Bangabandhu during the difficult period of the War of Liberation, it was an occasion to pay due respect and remembrance to the then Prime Minister of India, Mrs. Indira Gandhi, who was the guardian, true friend of Bangladesh. The good news is that the Ministry of Liberation War Affairs has planned to lay the foundation stone of the memorial in Ashuganj in memory of the Indian soldiers who were martyred in the Great Liberation War.

Liberation War Affairs Minister AQM Mozammel Haque said they were working to ensure that the Prime Minister of Bangladesh Sheikh Hasina and the Prime Minister of India Narendra Modi could jointly unveil the foundation stone. However, the matter has not been finalized yet.

On the occasion of the golden jubilee of independence, the government is organizing a ten-day program at the National Parade Ground from March 18 to 26. Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi is also expected to join the program.

Apart from Modi, three other top South Asian leaders will visit Dhaka this month. Among them are Nepal’s President Vidya Devi Bhandari, Maldives President Ibrahim Mohamed Salih and Sri Lankan Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa. It is learned that they will all give one lecture each on Independence, Bangabandhu or any other subject. Bilateral meetings will also be held.

In this regard, the Minister for Liberation War Affairs told reporters, “We have a project, a memorial in memory of the members of the Allied forces of Bangladesh who gave their lives in this country. This project has already passed. It may be that we can jointly call on our Honorable Prime Minister and the Prime Minister of India to lay the foundation stone of the monument. No decision has been made yet, but there is a possibility. ”

According to Foreign Ministry sources, the video statements of Bhutan’s King Jigme Khesar Namgil Wangchuck and Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau will be released anytime between March 18 and 26. At that time or at different times of the year, Russian President Vladimir Putin, Cambodian President Hun Sen, Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga, Pope Francis, Prince Mohammed bin Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud of Saudi Arabia, Prince Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan of the United Arab Emirates You can give a speech or visit Dhaka. Such an initiative will surely make the golden jubilee of independence colorful and glorious.

Although Bangladesh’s relations with India have fluctuated since independence, there is no denying that victory would not have been possible without our country’s cooperation in the great war of liberation. During the war of liberation in 1971, India gave shelter to one crore people of this country. Provided food, shelter and medical care. Apart from cooperating with the expatriate government, they also provided training and arms to the freedom fighters.

Apart from the people of India, the great man who has made a great contribution behind all this, whose name is associated with the independence of Bangladesh, is the then Prime Minister of India, Mrs. Indira Gandhi. He and his government have helped, as well as he has worked hard to build world opinion for Bangladesh. The Soviet Union, one of the superpowers of the time, played a strong role in the liberation war of Bangladesh due to his sincere initiative. At that time, our war of independence would have been more difficult if the United Nations had not resisted the US aggression on behalf of Pakistan. For all these reasons, our gratitude to the Soviet Union is endless.

Indira Gandhi was a true friend of Bangladesh. Soon after the independence of the country, Bangabandhu requested Mrs. Gandhi to withdraw Indian troops from enemy-free Bangladesh. It is said that a few days before Bangabandhu’s birthday on March 17, 1972, Indira Gandhi told Bangabandhu what gift she (Indira Gandhi) could give to Bangabandhu on this birthday. In reply Bangabandhu said, taking back the army of your country will be a great gift for me.

Mrs. Indira Gandhi, the daughter of Jawaharlal Nehru, one of the most successful Prime Ministers of India, set a unique example in the world with this gift on Bangabandhu’s birthday. After the victory, the complete withdrawal of the Allies did not take place anywhere other than Bangladesh.

Despite providing various assistance from the beginning of the War of Liberation, the Indian Armed Forces became directly involved in the war in the first week of December. The Pakistan army surrendered on 16 December to the Allied forces comprising the Mukti Bahini and the Indian forces. 1,181 Indian soldiers were killed in that battle.

On 9 December, more than 300 Allied troops were killed by Pakistani forces at Ashuganj in Brahmanbaria. That is why the day is celebrated as ‘Ashuganj Tragedy’ Day. That is why it was decided to build a memorial on the side of Dhaka-Sylhet highway at Ashuganj in Brahmanbaria in memory of the martyred members of the Allied forces and for this a project worth Tk. But the implementation of the project was delayed due to delay in getting land. After receiving the land, the project was revised by extending the period in February 2020.

After the formation of the Awami League government, the party that led the liberation war after winning the ninth general election, decided to honor the foreign friends who had contributed to the freedom struggle of Bangladesh. Former Prime Minister of India Indira Gandhi was honored in 2011. Former Prime Minister of India Atal was later honored

Bihari Vajpayee and former President Pranab Mukherjee.

Later, during her visit to India in April 2016, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina handed over a memento to the families of seven veterans of the Indian Armed Forces who sacrificed their lives in the liberation war of Bangladesh.

Minister for Liberation War Affairs Mozammel Haque said, “Honorable Prime Minister who visited India a few years ago has given something as a token in his own hand in honor of those who gave their lives in this country as members of the Allied Forces. The rest could not be given. Since then, these honors have been with us for a year due to coronavirus. ”

He said, “We have a deposit in Bangladesh Bank to give them through our mission. They will be given if the global situation is right. In this situation of coronavirus, India is not interested in taking them now. It is not possible to take them from different parts of India now. When the environment is conducive, they will be delivered. ”

In fact, such a decision should have been made long ago. If the father of the nation had survived, such a thing would have happened long ago. But it is unfortunate that by assassinating him and his family in 1965, the assassins transformed this country into ‘Bangladesh’ in the style and ideology of Pakistan. As a result, in Mushtaq-Zia-Ershad-Khaleda’s ‘Bangladesh’, the father of the nation, his ideals, the war of liberation and his allies have been neglected.

I think the government is fulfilling a national responsibility through such work. Because expressing gratitude is a part of civilized behavior. By giving such work and recognition, the image of Bangladesh will be brightened in the world court. It will be considered as a civilized, elegant and grateful nation.

In this context, I would like to make another demand that a mural or sculpture of Indira Gandhi, a true friend of Bangladesh, should be erected at an important place in the capital on this auspicious occasion of the Golden Jubilee. May our next generation be interested in this great leader, let the people of the country know about her outstanding contribution in the war of liberation and pay homage to her with her.

Bangladesh gained a separate map in 1971 as an independent country of the long-ruled Indian subcontinent. After the partition of India and Pakistan in 1947, the then East Pakistan as a part of Pakistan was ruled for 24 long years. It was during this period that the people of Bengal were deprived of the most rights. One of the challenges was to formulate the economic structure of a war-torn independent country after the victory in the great war of liberation in 1971.

We see a clear outline in the constitution of Bangladesh to address this challenge. In the role of the constitution, four principles of governing the country were formulated. Among these principles, the economic principle is ‘socialism’. That is to say, the principle of building a class non-discriminatory society was adopted in the system of balanced economic distribution. The architect of the country Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman wanted to choose an ideal path to build an independent Bangladesh in the material sense. He has literally adopted the conventional model of ‘socialism’. We see a clear reflection of this in his attitude. In this context, a part of the book written by Abul Fazl Sheikh Mujab: As I saw him (pp. 23-28) can be quoted-

At the invitation of Bangabandhu, on the afternoon of March 20, 1972, Mr. Abul Fazl along with his second son Mr. Abul Manju met Bangabandhu at the former President’s House (the decoration and renovation work of Ganobhaban was not completed yet). During the meeting, Bangabandhu wanted to know from Mr. Manzur. In reply Manju said he does nothing. Bangabandhu expressed interest in giving him a job. But Mr. Monju did not agree and expressed his desire to do business. Bangabandhu then laughed and said, “There will be no business. We will nationalize everything. ”

He also declared that “labor is his art.” Even as the country’s architect, he said, “There will be no business. We will nationalize everything “- not” I “in the statement spontaneously used the word” we “.

Bangabandhu was not in favor of approving private business to build the economic foundation of independent Bangladesh. Socialism is guided by the same ideology. This policy thinks that this private business opens the way for economic class discrimination. Private business creates rich-poor as well as owner-working class in the society. Bangabandhu did not want to give any chance to repeat the suffering that Bangladesh has gained independence to overcome the impact of deprivation. He wanted to establish a people’s republic of Bangladesh. He wants every citizen of independent Bangladesh to demand equal ownership of this country. In this case we can quote from one of his speeches in 1972.

On 2 April 1972, Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman addressed a conference of workers’ representatives in Dhaka. The next day, April 3, the news was published in a daily newspaper published from Dhaka. In that speech, Bangabandhu said, “Political emancipation has no meaning without the participation of the people in the economy.”

In his speech, Bangabandhu further said, “The government is ultimately responsible for establishing a socialist economy in the country for the welfare of the people.” Mentioning that the government has already taken a firm stand through the nationalization of industries, banks and insurance companies, Bangabandhu said, “I believe in the welfare of the workers and the people. We do not want the economy to be held captive by some people in the national interest. To this end, we have started working to create a new economy in the country. ”

He added, “Bangladesh will be a country of farmers, workers and common people. The rich have to get used to the same thing. জানি I know the industrialists are not happy. But from now on the industrialists will have to devote themselves to the service of the nation. Seven and a half crore people of Bangladesh now own property. ”

Earlier in his address to the nation on March 26, Bangabandhu also announced the nationalization of bank insurance, jute industry, textile, sugar industry, large portion of inland shipping sector, abandoned companies with missing assets of more than Tk 1.5 million, Bangladesh Biman and Shipping Corporation. In that speech, Bangabandhu further mentioned, “We have nationalized the industry. They have been done without considering whether they are in the hands of Bengalis or non-Bengalis. ”

Now the question is, what kind of distribution system has he tried to use in implementing the policy of ‘socialism’? We can find the answer to this question in the review of the constitution of Bangladesh.

It needs to be mentioned here that Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman thought that the concept of socialism was not the same for all countries. Socialism can be different as it suits a country’s geographical environment and other materials. In his speech to the Constituent Assembly on November 4, 1972, on the occasion of the adoption of the first constitution of independent Bangladesh, Bangabandhu explained:

Our socialism means a society without exploitation. We do not want to bring socialism out of the world. One country is moving towards socialism in one way or another. In order to establish socialism, one has to gradually move towards socialism by considering the weather, the condition, the attitude, the financial condition of the country, and it has been recognized today. China has not followed the path taken by Russia. ছে It is on the path of socialism with its own environment, with the background of its own nation. Is. Socialism does not happen overnight. (Dr. Anupam Sen, Adi-Anta Bangali: The Past and Future of the Bengali Entity 2011, pp. 16-17).

Bangabandhu’s words ‘our socialism’ are very significant. He is Bengali

Has a far-reaching plan for a socialism suitable for the country. That plan is reflected in the country’s constitution.

In the second part of the Constitution of Bangladesh (Principles of Governance), Article 10 entitled ‘Socialism and Freedom from Exploitation’ declares: “A socialist economic system shall be established for the purpose of ensuring a just and communist society free from human exploitation.” This declaration reflects the initiative to eliminate economic class inequality. We see in this policy a strong intention to ensure equal status of every human being through economic equality. It is pertinent to mention here that the architects of the country had long held that intention of establishing socialism. An example is the perception of the young Sheikh Mujib in 1949:

I am not a communist myself. But I believe in socialism and not in capitalist economy. I think of it as an instrument of exploitation. As long as the economy of this capitalist creation is in the world, the exploitation of the people of the world cannot be stopped. The capitalists are determined to wage a world war in their own interest. It is the duty of the newly liberated people to work together for world peace. Those who have been in chains of subjugation for ages, who have been robbed of everything by the imperialist powers, need to build their own country and devote all their energy to the economic liberation of the people. It is therefore necessary to create public opinion for world peace. (Bangabandhu attended a peace conference in China on October 1, 1949. There he expressed this realization in his unfinished autobiography. P. 234)

We also find a clear support for the above paragraph in philosophical terms. In the state philosophy of the social philosopher Rousseau, we see that he spoke of bringing people together economically to ensure the political freedom of the individual. Because, he thought that if there is economic class gap in the society, then the way of exploitation and rule is open. Economic equality is essential for maintaining the equal dignity of the people. That is why he proposed the idea of ​​a ‘Commonwealth’ system. The intention to protect the human dignity of the people is also seen in the constitution of Bangladesh. The socialism of the constitution is considered as a tool to get rid of exploitation and deprivation as a long-term rule.

We first see the compatibility of Aristotle’s ‘golden mean’ theory with the intent of the said article of the constitution. Aristotle spoke of bringing everyone together in order to close the economic gap between the people of society. That is why he has supported unequal distribution system in unequal society. He spoke of building a balanced economic society by bridging the gap between rich and poor with more people who need more. He called this balanced system a ‘golden mean’ for the society and considered it as justice.

The proclamation of the socialist system in the constitution is also consistent with the just theory of the German philosopher Emanuel Kant. Because in this case the intention of the work is not conditional or result dependent. Because the Bengali nation wanted independence to be free from exploitation. In that case, if the introduction of socialism is a tool of the long cherished dream of the citizens of independent Bangladesh, then there is no doubt that everyone will welcome it. Thus, socialism has been adopted in the constitution as a reflection of the sense of duty. Moreover, there is no obstacle for this intention and work to be established as a universal principle. Because it is natural that the nation exploited in time will want to be free from exploitation.

On the other hand, the egalitarian policy of the famous American philosopher John Rolls directly supports that article of the constitution. This article of the constitution is consistent with its second principle of economic distribution, the principle of diversity. According to the Rolls-Royce principle, every person owns the state equally. Therefore, in the establishment of justice, it is essential to ensure equal opportunity and share for all in economic opportunities. Thus, the distribution policy like Rolls echoes the proposed principles of the Constitution of Bangladesh.

However, it is not reasonable to expect that the economic liberation of the people of Bangladesh following the path of Bangabandhu’s principles and ideals will be realized overnight after independence. Bangabandhu himself has given a clear indication of that. In May 1972, Bangabandhu said at a public meeting of the Red Army: “The problem of centuries of exploitation is before us. It requires hard work and a willingness to sacrifice more. Only then will the foundation be laid for building a golden Bengal. The path of peace and prosperity of future generations will be ensured. I don’t know of any shortcuts to prosperity. ”

But alas, we didn’t give it to him at that time. The ungrateful nation killed his father! We crushed that planted seed of building the golden Bengal of the father of the nation by removing it forever. The father who wanted to give happiness and prosperity to his child-like citizens has to give his life to the corrupt hands of the misguided! Standing on the birth centenary of Bangabandhu, that sin bowed our heads!

But the hope is that the seeds of stagnant economic prosperity germinated in the rock are now on the path to sustainable trees. This is the expectation that this open path of economic liberation of the people of Bengal, as requested by Bangabandhu, will be further nurtured.