As I returned from Shaheed Minar, where we paid our respects to the late freedom fighter Bulbul Mahalanbeesh, the memories of 1971 engulfed my mind. I couldn’t help but recall how Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman’s thunderous call united Bengalis to join the war of independence, culminating in the birth of Bangladesh as a heroic nation. However, despite 53 years of independence, there are still descendants of those who opposed the liberation war, refusing to acknowledge Bangabandhu and his remarkable leadership.
The pain intensifies when I think about the brutal assassination of Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman and his family members by those evil forces. It is even more heart-wrenching that these enemies of Bangladesh continue to show disrespect to Bangabandhu’s surviving daughters – Sheikh Hasina and Sheikh Rehana – who miraculously survived the August 15, 1975 massacre.
Upon her return to Bangladesh in 1981, Sheikh Hasina, Bangabandhu’s surviving daughter, was denied entry into her father’s residence at Road Number 32 in Dhanmondi, Dhaka, where the blood of her dearest family members stains every corner. She was not even allowed to offer prayers inside that house. This extreme cruelty and demonic behavior by military dictator Ziaur Rahman is a shame for all of us.
Furthermore, the enemies of Bangladesh refused to allocate land for Bangabandhu’s daughters, who gifted us this nation and the pride of independence. The fact that they were denied even a house in their own country simply because they were the daughters of Bangabandhu is an example of sheer injustice.
In 1996, when Awami League came to power, a house in Dhanmondi (House # 6, Road # 21) was allocated to Sheikh Rehana, Bangabandhu’s daughter. However, in 2005, when BNP came to power by forming an alliance with war criminal Jamaat-e-Islami, they cancelled the allocation, forcibly evicted her, and turned the property into a police station. This act of notoriety is a stain on our nation’s history.
On the other hand, the government readily allotted a huge house inside Dhaka Cantonment to Khaleda Zia, the widow of General Ziaur Rahman, for just one taka after his assassination in 1981. Despite the subsequent government’s removal of Khaleda Zia from the Cantonment house due to ethical reasons, BNP used this situation for political gain.
These instances reveal a stark contrast in how the respective governments treated Bangabandhu’s daughters and Khaleda Zia. It was a clear message from BNP-Jamaat that they wanted to humiliate Bangabandhu’s family and show their hatred towards him.
Sheikh Rehana tried to challenge the eviction from her house, but justice was delayed for years. Eventually, when Awami League returned to power in 2009, she voluntarily handed over ownership of the house to the Ministry of Public Works, bringing an end to the ordeal. The pain of this dark chapter in our history is evident in the words of Sheikh Rehana, who chose to live with the honor of being the daughter of the Father of the Nation.
This story of injustice and sighs reflects one of the saddest episodes in the history of independent Bangladesh, where the tears of Bangabandhu’s two daughters mingle with the dry soil of our beloved nation. It is essential to shed light on these injustices and ensure that such cruelty is never repeated, for the sake of a truly united and harmonious Bangladesh.
Source: The Eastern Herald