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4 November, 2018 10:23:31 AM

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Revolutions devour their own children first

From the very beginning Khondaker Mostaq Ahmed maintained his link with Pakistan and tried to dislodge Tajuddin Ahmad from the post of prime minister but failed
Abdul Gaffar choudhury
Revolutions devour their own children first

In June 1975 I was in Dhaka for a short visit. The country was passing through very uncertain times.

Tajuddin Ahmad was no more the Finance minister. He was not in active politics but had chosen an isolated life. There was rumour that there was some misunderstanding between him and Bangabandhu. I went to his home for a courtesy visit and satisfy my own curiosity about his political life. When we met the first word he uttered was, 'Revolutions devour their own children first'. I asked him why he is thinking negatively about revolution. He said, the country's situation indicates that the revolution we had led is now preparing to devour its own children. He said, 'Bangabandhu is trying to avoid this disaster by creating BaKSAL. But I think it is too late. That's why when he offered me the post of the secretary general of BaKSAL I very politely refused it. I pray to Allah that he succeeds but I have great doubt, whether we can prevent the inevitable which is gathering strength day by day'.
I asked him what will be his future political program. I said, 'The newly formed national socialist party (JSD) offered you to take the leadership of that organization but you also refused that. Then what can we expect from you?' He said, 'I am an observer now, assessing the situation. Then I will decide what to do'. I said, 'Tajuddin Bhai, it will be too late. The country's situation is not good. Anti-liberation forces are getting stronger day by day. There is a rumour that a section of military leaders are not behaving well. The newly formed JSD is not a constructive opposition party. What they are doing in the name of scientific socialism will help the counter revolutionary forces. You have a great role to play now. Either join Bangabandhu to save him or form a democratic opposition so that the anti-liberation forces cannot fill up that vacuum'. He replied, 'I still have great confidence on Bangabandhu's leadership. I hope he will survive this gathering storm also. If he fails then we are all doomed and the saying about revolution will come true'.

I came back to London in July and the next month Bangabandhu was killed along with most of his family members. The main four leaders of the independence movement- Tajuddin Ahmad, Syed Nazrul Islam, Kamruzzan and Captain Mansur Ali along with hundreds of Awami League leaders and workers were arrested. Then just after two months the four leaders were also executed inside the jail. A kangaroo government was formed under traitor Khandaker Mostaq. However, behind the scene the real power laid in the hands of the killers of Bangabandhu who were manipulated by General Ziaur Rahman who was one of the masterminds of the plot. Afterwards it came to surface that this scheme of killing was jointly prepared by CIA and Pakistan Intelligence service.

Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto, the-then prime Minister of Pakistan immediately started telephoning the Middle-eastern governments to give recognition to Mostaq's kangaroo government. Mostaq collapsed within 90 days and Ziaur Rahman appeared from behind the scene. He picked up Justice Sayem as his stooge president. Then he kicked him out and grabbed all the power as president and chief martial law administrator. He re-established relationship with Pakistan, brought all the war criminals including Golam Azam in the country and rehabilitated them in the country's politics and started dismantling the four pillars of independence from the constitution. He changed the constitution arbitrarily from a non-communal to a communal one. He killed hundreds of freedom fighters including Colonel Taher, and Tajuddin Ahmad's prophecy about the role of a revolution devouring its own children became true in no time.

Yesterday (Saturday) we observed the jail killing day throughout the country. The historical importance of this day is gradually fading away. People know these killings are the culmination of a conspiracy against Bangabandhu and the independence of Bangladesh. One day historians will discover that these killings are not a culmination of a single conspiracy. It began in Mujibnagar and is ongoing through the killings of Kibria, Ahsanullah Master and the grenade attack on Sheikh Hasina. And still this conspiracy appears under different disguises at different times. In Mujibnagar before the independence Awami League had three groups. The progressive group headed by Tajuddin Ahmad, the reactionary group headed by Mostaq, and the North-Bengal group a somewhat neutral group headed by Syed Nazrul.

From the very beginning Mostaq maintained his link with Pakistan and tried to dislodge Tajuddin from the post of Prime minister but failed for two reasons. Tajuddin had the support of the party's progressive section as well as the support of Indira Gandhi. The-then sector commander Major Ziaur Rahman also maintained secret liaison with Pakistan and tried to remove General Osmani as the head of the liberation army. For his disobedience several times Osmani wanted to put him to court martial. But Tajuddin intervened and Ziaur Rahman was saved. Even at the last phase of the liberation war Major Zia was suspended along with his jet force and he could not continue his participation in the war.

After the independence Mujib Nagar government moved to Dhaka and in the reconstitution of the ministry Mostaq was cornered. Abdus Samad Azad took over the foreign ministry in reality. When Bangabandhu was released from the prison of Pakistan and came back to his country on 10th January 1972, he brought Dr. Kamal Hossain with him who was in Lahore during the independence war and was criticized by Swadhin Bangla Betar Kendro regularly for his controversial role.

In the reconstruction period of the country Tajuddin wanted that Bangabandhu should remain the head of the state and there should be a national government comprising of all the political parties who participated in the war of independence. But the right wingers in the party on the plea of parliamentary system urged Bangabandhu to become Prime Minister and to form a party government. It was rumoured that Kamal Hossain joined them and persuaded to resign Bangabandhu from the post of the head of the state and become the prime minister.

Some political observers of that time thought that it was a very clever ploy to oust Tajuddin from the Prime ministership and to rehabilitate the Mostaq group in the government. In 1972 the constitution of the country was ready and the next year in 1973. Awami League again came to power with a massive victory in the general election. The cabinet was reconstituted. Dr. Kamal Hossain was appointed as foreign minister in the place of Abdus Samad Azad. Tajuddin remained in the post of finance minister.

The conspiracy against Tajuddin in and out of his party was at its peak when he gave a lecture in Tokyo about the economic situation in Bangladesh. This speech was distorted and placed before Bangabandhu. At first Bangabandhu did not believe it. But an eminent economist Dr. Muzaffar Ahmed Chowdhury who was known as Mac, and was a supporter of Mostaq group and a confidante of Bangabandhu convinced him that those were the true utterances of Tajuddin. The-then American ambassador also met Bangabandhu and convinced him about this matter.

Tajuddin came back to Dhaka and upon the request of Bangabandhu resigned from his post. Dr. Muzaffar Ahmed Chowdhury took the post of finance minister in Tajuddin's place. Those who were the supporters of Tajuddin in the cabinet like Shabauddin Ahmed (information minister) and Mrs. Sarwar Morshed resigned one by one and the supporters of Mostaq like Taheruddin Thakurata and K. M. Obaidur Rahman became powerful in the cabinet.

One day historians will rediscover that a powerful conspiracy was hatched in the 70s to isolate Bangabandhu from his base of power and real associates. His second revolution and his new administrative system BaKSAL was not yet organised then. At that very moment he was killed and his government was overthrown. It came to surface that both Khondaker Mostaq and Ziaur Rahman were very much behind the conspiracies. And behind them was CIA and Pakistani intelligence cliques. At that time our democratic politics was fragile so they could not organize a resistance.

Tajuddin and other national leaders were arrested just after Bangabandhu's killing, so they could not organise a resistance. In fact, Tajuddin and the three national leaders were basically academic politicians. They were not revolutionary leaders though they led a revolution. After the murder of Bangabandhu they could have gone underground and with the old and new leaders of Awami League they could organise a resistance movement. At that time it was almost impossible for some young officers ousted from the army to organize such a blood bath with the help of three empty tanks. If they resisted that coup then military and dictatorial regimes could not last for so long in Bangladesh and the politics of killing would not have been prolonged. From the very beginning the aim of this conspiracy and politics of killing were to destabilize independent Bangladesh and destroy its foundation.

We should take lessons from history. Only the observation of a particular day will not destroy the conspirators and their conspiracies. This is apparent even before the general election in 2018. They appear in our political field in different guises at different times. This time also there are so many traps in front of Hasina government. Our only hope this time is that Awami League and its democratic allies will not step in these traps.

London, Thursday 01 November, 2018

SHK

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Editor : M. Shamsur Rahman

Published by the Editor on behalf of Independent Publications Limited at Media Printers, 446/H, Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1215.
Editorial, News & Commercial Offices : Beximco Media Complex, 149-150 Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1208, Bangladesh. GPO Box No. 934, Dhaka-1000.

Editor : M. Shamsur Rahman
Published by the Editor on behalf of Independent Publications Limited at Media Printers, 446/H, Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1215.
Editorial, News & Commercial Offices : Beximco Media Complex, 149-150 Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1208, Bangladesh. GPO Box No. 934, Dhaka-1000.

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