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Sheikh Mujibur Rahman

Sheikh Mujibur Rahman

Why in news?

  • Recently, Bangladesh postponed the celebration of the birth anniversary of Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman (1920-1975) on 17 March due to the global coronavirus outbreak.
  • Sheikh Mujibur Rahman was the founding leader of Bangladesh and the country’s first Prime Minister.
  • He is referred to as Sheikh Mujib or simply Mujib, the title ‘Bangabandhu’ meaning ‘friend of Bengal’.
  • Prime Minister Narendra Modi was expected to attend the celebrations.

About Sheikh Mujibur Rahman

  • Before joining politics, Rahman studied law and political science in Kolkata and Dhaka, and agitated for Indian independence.                    Sheikh Mujibur Rahman
  • In 1949, he joined the Awami League, a political party which advocated greater autonomy for East Pakistan.
  • A popular leader in East Pakistan, Rahman played an important role in the six-point movement and the Anti-Ayub movement.
  • In 1970, his party secured an absolute majority in the Pakistani general elections, the country’s first, winning more seats than all parties in West Pakistan, including Zulfikar Ali Bhutto’s Pakistan Peoples Party.
  • The election results were not honoured, leading to a bloody civil war, and Sheikh Mujib declared Bangladesh’s independence from Pakistan on March 26, 1971.
  • The declaration coincided with a ruthless show of strength by the Pakistani military, in which tanks rolled out on the streets of Dhaka and several students and intellectuals were killed.
  • India under then Prime Minister Indira Gandhi provided full support to Rahman and Bangladesh’s independence movement, resulting in the creation of a sovereign government at Dhaka in January 1971.
  • Rahman, who had been arrested and taken to West Pakistan, returned to Bangladesh after being freed in January 1972.
  • For the next three years, Rahman held the new country’s prime ministerial post, and became a celebrated icon in India as well, admired for his moving speeches and charismatic personality.

Demise

  • On 15 August 1975, Rahman was killed in a military coup along with his wife and three sons, including 10-year-old Sheikh Russel.                    Sheikh Mujibur Rahman
  • His daughters, the current Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina and her younger sister Sheikh Rehana, survived as they were abroad at the time.
  • In 2010, Bangladesh hanged five ex-Army officers convicted of assassinating Rahman, almost 35 years after he was killed.

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