The sun upright at noon
No other prime minister in the world has had to wait 34 years, that's almost three decades and a half, to glean judgement on the gruesome murder of family members, let alone a father, a mother... the list is long and painful and agonizing.
The time it took to free the nation of a burden inflicted by power politics is more easily said than conceived. A person who began his career in 1975 retired with full honours. A young lady who got mehendi on her hand the day the house at Road No. 32 was soaked in blood became a proud grandmother much earlier. A business house celebrated its silver jubilee nine years back.
Sheikh Hasina and her sister Rehana are an embodiment of patience. One had the power to misuse if she chose to. The other had a powerful sister. Many lesser influential people have abused even their limited standing. We often help our rickshaw-puller to lift his rickshaw across a road divider to find a way out from the traffic jam ahead. We misuse our power.
She had such faith in the Almighty and such confidence in the people (she put her heart where her mouth was) that she along with her sister chose to take the longest path through our judiciary, lest someone should bark from the wings that the trial, albeit of self proclaimed killers, was conducted in haste. She cannot afford to live with that sort of stigma. This was their father, their mother, brother, brother, brother, sisters-in-law, kith and kin.
In a state of numbness and shock, cry for justice, and resolve to bring the culprits to book, the sisters felt such pity for the killers, all of them employed as sworn servants of the government, that they decided that the defendants must be given all possible opportunity to explain to the nation why they committed the most heinous crime in history that included the shooting at close range a ten-year old. That being ensured only since 1996, a wait of 21 years, only after the loathsome, wicked and immoral 'indemnity law' was rescinded, the killers curled their tails and their collective audacity fizzled out. They had no answer to the query of the sisters and the nation at large, for their sinister mission was steeped in conspiracy, greed, and lust for power, laced with total lack of morality.
Unthinkable perhaps in most countries, but the trial of the father, family and fraternity of an incumbent prime minister began at the lowest court to begin its arduous journey of twelve years. Unimaginable perhaps almost anywhere in the world, but a country had to wait for so long to bring the killers of none other than its incumbent president to justice. Despite the irritating 'embarrassing' hiccups especially during the rule of anti-liberation forces, the decisive Supreme Court verdict came just before noon on 19 November 2009. I have not seen my Bangladesh more united than this since independence. Seldom has the sun been so upright at noon.
The father and the president of the country was also the architect of Bangladesh, the father of the nation, voted as the greatest Bangalee of all times, blessed as Bangabandhu (friend of Bengal) at a people's rally by the people in 1969.
Bangabandhu did not fall from the sky as do many leaders, who pounce upon a nation. He emerged from the mass. He represented the people. He has been in the forefront of any movement, big or small, that urged the authority, civil or military, demanded of the ruling class to recognise the rights of the people, his people.
He was always outspoken about the rights of the Bangalees of the then East Pakistan, a philosophy manifested in his six-point demand. Delving into the demands may give insight to our younger readers why Sheikh Mujibur Rahman of Tungipara became Bangabandhu and Father of the Nation. The 6-point movement was a Bengali nationalist movement in the then East Pakistan spearheaded by Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, which eventually led to the liberation of Bangladesh. The movement's main agenda was to realize the six demands put forward by the East Pakistan Awami League in 1966, to end the perceived exploitation of East Pakistan by the West Pakistani rulers.
He was not flawless. No human being is. But his sincerity of purpose and honest direction for the people is adorned with love for the country and truth. The trial was of those who conspired and killed such a man, his family and colleagues, a process that neo-conspirators tried to keep in abeyance by promulgating evil laws. The hand of justice is longer than the aims of egotistical rulers.
Let us raise our hands in prayer to Allah subhanu wa ta'ala in humble gratitude to thank Him for this day when a nation has been sanctified to be able to complete the trial of the killers, and seek further His divine blessings to mark this momentous judgement as the beginning of the end of all political killings, coups, and unconstitutional accession to governance at all levels. The nation has learned the hard way that no murder or offence can go unpunished. The people and the law have their own ways of sending the culprits to the gallows.
(R) thedailystar.net 2009