Bangabandhu’s outstanding leadership in world media


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Bangladesh independence struggle and Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujib context is unique and exceptional in history because he got a clear idea about the future dark days of the Bengali nation in the early stage of being ruled under a religious and ethnic state called Pakistan. As a result, under his leadership, the nationalist spirit turned into nationhood and the struggle to establish a nation state began since the birth of Pakistan.

The leader of a very backward state in this part of the world, Bangabandhu, shining like the sun, easily grabbed the attention of the world. From the sixties, the international media became curious about Bangabandhu’s leadership. As a result, the world-renowned media regularly sent their representatives to Dhaka to collect news about the six-point movement for autonomy, the mass uprising of 1969, the elections of 1970 and the unforgettable events of the 1971 liberation war. Often the news came out with box items or Bangabandhu’s picture on the cover

Among the names given by the media about this undisputed leader of Bengali were – ‘Bengal’s New Hero’, ‘Hero of East Pakistanis’, ‘Mujibur: The Virtual Ruler of East Pakistan’ and ‘Undisputed Leader of Bengalis’. Thus the multidimensional qualities of Bangabandhu’s leadership have emerged. Bangabandhu had a strange magical power of mobilizing public opinion against the ruling class. He also had foresight, sacrifice, integrity, leadership skills and courage. Let’s take a look at some magnet areas of foreigner evaluation.

■ Regarding the 1970 election, reporter Gavin Young of the London Observer noted—

The poor neglected crores of people of East Pakistan this week (Nov 70) chased away the shadow of their terrible natural (cyclones and floods) calamities and re-emerged in a grim form in politics. In just three weeks, they overcame the spiritual shock by placing the burnt effigy of Sheikh Mujibur Rahman in front of them and won a thrilling political victory (in the 1970 elections).

— History of the Bengali War of Liberation : Part I

■ In the December 9 issue of the New York Times under the title ‘Undisputed Leader of the Bengalis’, Ralph Blumenthal wrote—

“For two decades, he earned people’s support for the party, created people’s confidence.”

■ Since March 1, 1971, East Bengal has been ruled mainly under the orders of Bangabandhu. He gained the right to rule Bangladesh through absolute victory in the 1970s elections. Arnold Zeitling wrote in the March 1 issue of the US Washington Post under the title “Mujibur: Virtual Ruler of East Pakistan”-

“East Pakistan was being ruled on Sheikh Mujib’s orders from the two-storeyed house number 32 in Dhanmondi.”

■ Several journalists of the New York Times came to Dhaka at this time. One of them is Tillman Durdin. On March 5, 1971, he wrote in the newspaper titled ‘Hero of the East Pakistanis’-

“He is very cheerful and lively in person “

■ After Bangabandhu’s March 7 speech, the BBC reported that the speech was only comparable to Abraham Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address. On the other hand, according to Reuters, there is no such well-planned and well-constructed speech to guide a revolution and a state. According to Time magazine and AFP, through this speech, Bangabandhu gave instructions for war and independence.

■ Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman announced the independence of Bangladesh as a result of the attack of Pakistani forces on unarmed Bengalis on the night of March 25, 1971. He made the announcement before he was arrested in the early hours of March 26. A few Chittagong workers of the then state-controlled Betar held the first program in a small center at Kalurghat as a safe place. Bangabandhu’s declaration of independence was broadcast for the first time on that occasion. Chittagong Awami League General Secretary MA Hannan read the Declaration of Independence in the name of Bangabandhu.

The situation in Dhaka on the night of March 25, 1971 and the arrest of Bangabandhu were published in the news of at least 25 countries of the world on March 27. AFM Sayeed published a compilation of foreign media reports on the Declaration of Independence in his book ‘Bangladesh Declaration of Independence: Facts and Witnesses’. According to that compilation, the BBC news then said—

“Newspaper reports from Calcutta revealed that East Pakistan leader Sheikh Mujibur Rahman had called for public resistance from a secret radio station.

According to Voice of America news—

“Pakistan forces have launched an attack on Dhaka. Sheikh Mujibur Rahman sent a message asking for cooperation from the whole world.”

The report in The Statesman of Delhi was as follows—

“Bangladesh declares independence, Sheikh Mujibur Rahman’s move to protest military operations. In a speech broadcast over a secret radio, Sheikh Mujibur Rahman renamed the eastern part of Pakistan as independent Bangladesh.”

The UK’s Guardian newspaper said—

“The independence of East Pakistan was announced by Sheikh Mujibur Rahman from a secret radio station called ‘The Voice of Bangladesh’ immediately after President Yahya Khan’s radio address to the nation on March 26. His announcement was read by another person.”

■ The March 28 edition of the London-based Observer published an article by Cyril Dunn under the headline ‘Bengal’s New Hero’. Bangabandhu highlights Sheikh Mujib’s unique style of organizing the Bengali nationalist movement, the strength of his rhetoric in interpersonal communication, and his ability to motivate people. He writes—

“The Sheikh has relied on the people. mobilized public opinion through speech.”

■ Bangabandhu’s release from a Pakistani prison in 1972 and his stopover in London to meet the British Prime Minister dominated the Western media. A report in the New York Times of the United States states—

“Thousands of people clapped their hands along the eight-mile route in the bone-chilling winter on the motorcade to the presidential palace, and were showered with rose petals from a low-flying airplane. After releasing Sheikh Mujib two days ago, Pakistan government sent him to London. From there, British Royal Air Force’s Comet aircraft carried him and landed on time at New Delhi’s Palam Airport at eight o’clock in the morning. As he stepped out of the plane, he was greeted with the sound of ‘Jai Bangla’. He responded by waving his right hand. After firing a 21-gun salute at him from a nearby field, the soldiers took their positions on the tarmac for the ceremony. Prime Minister Indira Gandhi and President V V Giri and other senior Indian officials and officials of the Bangladesh diplomatic mission in New Delhi greeted him. Mrs. Gandhi and others garlanded him with marigold flowers “

■ Bangabandhu returned to Dhaka on 10 January. Clare Hollingworth’s report published in the Daily Telegraph newspaper of Billet the next day reads—

“Sheikh Mujibur Rahman yesterday told a gathering of one million people at the Dhaka Racecourse that his new country Bangladesh is now independent and will remain independent forever.”

In June 1972, the report of the Sunday Times of the United Kingdom said—

“The situation in which Sheikh Mujib took charge of the country, the way he has mastered it, is undoubtedly commendable. “

■ Perhaps the most significant commentary on Bangabandhu was printed in what was then the world’s most influential periodical. On April 5, 1971, Newsweek magazine produced a report on Bangabandhu. This was the cover story for that issue. The report was prepared with the photograph of Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman. Where Bangabandhu’s March 7 speech is presented as a pure poem. Also said,

The author of this speech is a poet of politics – Poet of Politics.

In the post-independence period, Bangabandhu was undertaking one rehabilitation program after another in war-torn Bangladesh. His political foresight and outstanding success in rehabilitation impressed and amazed international media and experts. How was Bangabandhu’s very short reign in the newly independent Bangladesh, there is a lot of evidence from the numerous reports and pictures published in various local and foreign newspapers of that time.

Mahabub Alam
Mahabub Alam
I am a committed educator, blogger and YouTuber and I am striving to achieve extraordinary success in my chosen field. After completing Masters in Anthropology from Jagannath University, I am working as Chief Accounts Officer in a national newspaper of the country. I really want your prayers and love.

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