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11 January, 2008 Text and News by Kamrul Ahsan Khan |
Simin Hussain Rimi, daughter of the Late Tajuddin Ahmed, first Prime minister of Bangladesh, came to Canberra last Sunday to speak in the ongoing series titled Itihash Kotha Koy – History Speaks.
The initiative was born out of concern over attempts to distort and destroy Bangladesh’s history. After decades of such distortion, the time has come to fearlessly speak the truth and reinstate pride at the core of our national psyche. It was also born out of a belief that a nation misled by lies, ruined by immorality and corruption will never be able to stand up as a sovereign, self-dependant and confident power.
Simin Hussain’s speech reminiscing the life and politics of Tajuddin Ahmed provided the perfect role model for a patriot who would inspire a new generation of leadership. She recalled how her father led a simple lifestyle and was willing to commit himself to the cause of liberation and Bangladesh at the cost of spending less time with his family.
Rimi said that Tajuddin’s commitment was unwavering even in the face of conspiracies hatched by Khandakar Mushtaque and his cohorts. Reminding the audience that the same people killed Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman and his family, Rimi said it is imperative that the nation learns from history on how to identify friend and foe.
But, she lamented that Tajuddin’s contribution has not been properly evaluated until now and the time has come to reveal the story of Tajuddin to inspire a new generation to fight the reactionary, communal and anti-liberation forces in Bangladesh. Rimi also quoted from her book “Itihasher Pata Theke”, a compilation of Tajuddin’s speeches.
It was a great opportunity for the local community to meet Rimi and hear her stories of how her father led the liberation movement to success. It was his unique quality as a great organizer and an inspirational leader which helped the leaders of the interim government in 1971 to lead the liberation forces in the absence of Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman.
Local community leaders, who spoke after Rimi, said that visionary leaders like Tajuddin need to come forward to lead the nation. Bangladeshis need to find intelligent and courageous individuals who need the people’s encouragement and support to achieve the nation’s demand.
The speakers urged listeners to not only focus on the corrupt in the country, but also recognize the honest and sincere leaders and activists in the country who can bring progress and prosperity.
They also said that it was the responsibility of the state and the public to research Tajuddin’s life which would have helped enlighten generations of Bangladeshis to use his example for their political lives.
The speakers also appreciated Simin Hussain Rimi’s efforts to compile Tajuddin’s life story in the form of his interviews, speeches, diaries and important highlights of his illustrious life. She also took the courageous step of revealing the details of the jail killings by meeting and interviewing numerous jail mates of Tajuddin and jail officials.
This work is crucial in understanding the loss of Tajuddin to the national life and how the country has lost its desired direction after the assassination of Bangabandhu and the jail killings.
The community leaders said story of Tajuddin needs to be narrated at this crucial juncture for Bangladesh as the current leadership is inadequate in providing the vision and leadership to reach the dreams of an independent Bangladesh. Bangladesh needs courageous, dedicated, sincere and committed leaders like Tajuddin ahmed and speakers urge all social and political activist in Bangladesh and also non-resident Bangladeshi to uphold and follow Tajuddin Ahmed as role model in our patriotic work.
The discussion was moderated by Kamrul Ahsan Khan and was attended by a large presence from the local Bangladeshi community. Those participated in discussion programe were namely Mr Joinal Abedin, Dr Kamaluddin,Anamul Bhuiayan.Dr Nilufar Jahan. Sahadat Hussain Manik,Dr Mainuddin, Nahida Bhuiyan, Dr Ajoy Kar, Dr Parag Das & Mr Mostaque.
Special thanks was given to Mr. and Mrs. Parag Das for hosting the event.
The discussion was followed by a screening of a documentary on the life of Tajuddin Ahmed titled “AN UNSUNG HERO” directed by Tanvir Mokammel. Few copies of the DVD were also distributed among the community members courtesy of priyoaustralia.com.au Sahadat Manik.
The first discussion on the series paid respect to the Father of the Nation and tried to reveal the historical background of his assassination. The second installment in the series sought to engage the new generation in the future of Bangladesh and discussed the assassination of the four national leaders by right-wing and anti-liberation forces, backed by ‘foreign forces’, in November 1975.