Monday, November 26, 2012
[chottala.com] Sheikh Mujib's Unfinished Memoirs
Sheikh Mujib's Unfinished Memoirs
Sheikh Mujibur Rahman is a villain for many Pakistanis. One sided history books tell us that Mujib was a traitor who broke Pakistan with the help of India. We read in our history books that All India Muslim League was formed in Dhaka in 1906 but, we don't know why the Pakistan Army surrendered to Indian Army on December 16, 1971, in Dhaka?
We tried to cover the black spots of our history with lies but the The Unfinished Memoirs of Sheikh Mujibur Rahman have negated all the official history books taught in our schools and colleges.
This autobiography reveals that the traitor Mujib was actually an active worker of Pakistan movement since his school days. He wrote the truth about himself in his memoirs. He never hid his role for the creation of Muslim League in his hometown Gopalganj in 1939.
He even accepted that at one point the Bengali leader Fazlul Haq refused to submit to the leadership of Muhammad Ali Jinnah in 1941. At this stage the Muslim League started a campaign against Fazlul Haq and Mujib was part of that campaign. He was with Jinnah, not with Fazlul Haq. He was among those young workers of the Muslim League who used to sell a Pro-Pakistan weekly newspaper Millat on the streets of Dhaka.
It is important to note that he wrote this book when he was imprisoned in Dhaka jail during a dictatorial regime under General Ayub Khan. He narrated some important events of the Pakistan movement very honestly. He also exposed the dishonesty of Viceroy Lord Mountbatten, whom, he wrote, was helping the congress party covertly in all sorts of ways against the Muslim League.
He was in the jail of a military dictator at that time but he never tried to please the Congress which was ruling India in those days.
This book is a first-hand account of politics in Pakistan from 1947 to 1955 which was full of intrigues and conspiracies. I think this book is a great source of history for the young generation of Pakistan. It tells us about the communal violence that broke out after the division of India in 1947. One day Sheikh Mujibur Rahman saw that hundreds of Hindus were attacking a Mosque. He cried out "Pakistan Zindabad" with some other young Muslims and started resisting the Hindu mob by throwing bricks.
Why then did this soldier of Muslim League leave the party of Muhammad Ali Jinnah immediately after the creation of Pakistan?
Young Sheikh Mujib was very disappointed when the then prime minister of Pakistan declared in the legislative assembly that people of East Pakistan must accept Urdu as their State language. Young Mujib came out on roads on March 11, 1948, against this declaration.
He was not opposing Pakistan. He was only defending his language which was his political right but he was arrested. Mujib was released on January 21, 1949. Muhammad Ali Jinnah was no more and Mujib left the Muslim League.
He joined the newly formed Awami Muslim League under the leadership of Hussain Shaheed Suharwardy. Within five years Awami League swept Muslim League from East Pakistan and Sheikh Mujibur Rahman won the election from Gopalganj in 1954, taking oath as the provincial minister for Agriculture.
The Muslim League government in centre never accepted its defeat and dismissed the United Front Government in Dhaka. Sheikh Mujib was again arrested.
His memoirs are unfinished but we must accept some historical realities as the ultimate truth in our own interest.
I will not quote any Bangladeshi or Indian writer to point out some historical realities. I will quote only Pakistani writers. When Sheikh Mujibur Rahman was arrested in 1954, Army Chief General Ayub Khan was preparing his officers for a military coup. The first Chief of General Staff of Pakistan Army Sher Ali Patudi wrote in his autobiography that Ayub wanted to interfere in politics and had once stated to him: "The bloody politicians and civilians were useless, corrupt and inefficient."
Legislative assembly asked GHQ to increase the recruitment of Bengalis in army. Patoudi tried to implement the orders of assembly but Ayub was not interested. When Mujib was writing his memoirs in jail, the former Chief Justice of Pakistan Muhammad Munir was the law minister of the Ayub regime.
He wrote a book From Jinnah to Zia in 1979 claiming that Ayub Khan had suggested that he should talk about separation with some influential Bengali leader. One day the Law Minister Munir spoke to a Bengali Minister Ramizudin. His reply was prompt and straight. He asked me whether I was suggesting secession. I said yes or something like confederation or more autonomy. Ramizudin said: "Look here we are the majority province, and it is for the minority province to secede because we are Pakistan."
Why did Ayub dislike Bengalis? Because Bengalis supported Fatima Jinnah against Ayub in the presidential election in early 1965. Sheikh Mujibur Rahman was the chief polling agent of Fatima Jinnah in Dhaka.
The fact is that it was not Sheikh Mujibur Rahman who wanted to break Pakistan. He only demanded provincial autonomy in 50s and 60s, but our military regime tried to silence his voice by throwing him in jail. He never abandoned the political struggle and participated in the first general elections of Pakistan in 1970. Awami League emerged as a majority party but the military regime of General Yahya Khan refused the transfer of power to Awami League. Sheikh Mujibur Rahman was arrested and a military operation was started.
What happened in this operation? I will quote only few lines from the book A Stranger in My own Country by Major General(R) Khadim Hussain Raja who served in Dhaka between 1969 and 1971. He wrote that on March 10, 1971, Lieutenant General Niazi spoke to senior officers in operations room of Dhaka.
Niazi became abusive and started talking in Urdu. He said: "Main iss haramzadi qaum ki nasal badal donga. Yeh mujhey kia samajhtey hain?" He threatened that he would let his soldiers loose on their womenfolk. The next morning a Bengali officer Major Mushtaq went into the bathroom at the command headquarter and shot himself in the head.
I can quote more books by other Pakistani writers who accepted that our soldiers not only massacred Bengali Muslims in big number, but they also followed the orders of General Niazi and raped women. I will stop here.
I just want to say that the Unfinished Memoirs of Sheikh Mujibur Rahman is the historical evidence that Bengalis never broke Pakistan but they actually created Pakistan.
In fact political intrigues and blunders of military dictators broke Pakistan. We forced Bengalis to take arms in their hands to defend their women. It's time now to apologise officially from people of Bangladesh.
Remember that only brave people accept their mistakes. It's time to show some bravery by accepting our mistakes and apologising to Bangladeshis. Our apology will not weaken Pakistan but will strengthen Pakistan.
The writer is Executive Editor, Geo TV Pakistan. He read this paper in the launching ceremony of The Unfinished Memoirs held in Islamabad, November 21.
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