Saturday 10, December 2022

Historic six-point had reset history: analysis

News Desk: The course of South Asian history was reset for a second time in 26 years after Indian sub-continent’s partition as Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman declared the Six-point in 1966, paving ways for independent Bangladesh’s emergence, analysts said.

Political history analyst Professor Sirajul Islam Chowdhury said Bangladesh’s founder made the declaration from the same venue where another great Bengali Sher-e-Bangla AK Fazlul Huq had placed the Lahore Resolution for creation of Pakistan in 1940.

He said the history kept the task of leading Bangladesh’s independence struggle for Sheikh Mujib while, despite being courageous it was not possible on “the Tiger of Bengal’s” part to do it.

“Mr Huq’s work was not a strange incident (and) it did not bring him any danger. But what Sheikh Mujib did was dangerous for him,” he said in a recent interview with BSS managing editor Anisur Rahman coinciding with the Six-Point Day.

He said Bangabandhu had to take risk of being exposed to gallows, while “Lahore town either was not prepared for hearing the Six-Point in 1966, unlike the case of Lahore Resolution in 1940”.

But, he said, the 1966 Six-Point appeared as a giant step for the “freedom of Bengalis” in Pakistani state-structure, while the 1940 Lahore Resolution was thought to be the “freedom charter” for Indian Muslims.

Chowdhury as well found another significant difference between the backdrops of the two proposals.

“Mr Huq’s proposal was not his own proposition (and) he just read it out the background of Six-Point was different because, as a matter of fact, the proposal was Sheikh Mujibur Rahman’s own proposition,” he said.

The English literature professor-turned-critical analyst of socio-political history, Chowdhury, however, remained respectful also to Sher-e-Bangla saying, even Pakistan’s founder Muhammad Ali Jinnah had to acknowledge Huq’s popularity and to nominate him to be Lahore Resolution’s proposer.

Chowdhury said what Sher-e-Bangla did by tabling the Lahore Proposal was “expected” and nothing unusual, while he assumed that being a young Muslim Leaguer at that time Sheikh Mujib himself must have supported the move.

“But when Sheikh Mujib unfolded the Lahore’s second (historic) proposal, he did a courageous job, stepping into a dangerous path this is very, very true,” he commented.

Chowdhury added: “Nobody got the job done by him (Bangabandhu); the question of it does not arise either.”

He said unless Bangabandhu had floated the Six-Point, “he would not become a leader of such stature, he would remain as one of several other leaders”.

“The Tiger of Bengal (Sher-e-Bangla) was no less courageous but it was not possible for him to lead the movement for establishing independent Bangladesh, it was a task that awaited Sheikh Mujibur Rahman,” Chowdhury said.

Another analyst supplemented Chowdhury about the significance of Bangabandhu’s selection of the then Pakistan’s political town of Lahore, a hostile soil, for declaring the Six-Point instead of Dhaka, which would have been much more comfortable for him.

“Bangabandhu actually wanted to demonstrate the extent of his courage to Pakistanis as well,” commentator on political history Mohammad Hannan said.

Hannan said the selection of the hostile soil was also crucial since West Pakistan’s influential leader Khan Abdul Qayyum Khan had threatened to wage a bloodshed if Bangabandhu go ahead with the Six-Point, exposing Pakistan’s existence to a stake.

“Bangabandhu preferred to accept Qayyum Khan’s challenge,” he said adding that it was needed to uphold the Bengali cause and keep the momentum of the movement as well.

Archival record suggests after announcing the Six-Point at a public rally in Lahore, Bangabandhu went on explaining his campaign strategy, pointing out the discriminations and anomalies in Pakistan.

“I will first catch the ‘fat-bellied’ Khan sahibs (in an appearant reference to Qayyum Khan) and tear off their bellies and then address the anomalies of the government’s administration,” Bangabandhu had said.


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