Rise of Political Awareness in Young Mujib’s Mind
Sheikh Mujibur Rahman was very keen to know about everything and fond of studying a lot. His father used to buy a lot of books and he used to read out history, geography, English, Bangla, religion, science, literature, the stories about legends and the repression committed by the British regime to Mujib.
According to his daughter Sheikh Rehana, “Little Mujib was curious about everything, asking one question after another to his father, who also answered all his queries. He used to read out the stories of legends, religion, science to him. My grandfather and father Mujib were like friends. While they could share everything without any reservation, their relationship didn’t miss out on mutual respect. My grandfather never resisted his child from undertaking any feat.”
So, while teenager Mujib was recovering from his eye operation, he used the period very prudently and instinctively. He used to attend meetings in the evenings. As that was the time of the Swadeshi Movement. It spread to every part of Madaripur and Gopalganj. Purna Das of Madaripur was the name of fear for the British and the teenage Mujib was impressed by him. He, in his ‘Unfinished Memories’, wrote: “Boys who were still in their teens flocked to join it. When some of the party people saw me attending their meetings regularly, they became interested in me. I began to harbour negative ideas about the British in my mind. The English, I felt, had no right to stay in our country. We had to achieve independence. I too became an admirer of Mr (Subhas Chandra) Bose and started to travel back and forth between Gopalganj and Madaripur to attend meetings. I also began to mix with the people in the Swadeshi Movement. That the then SDO (Sub-Divisional Officer) of Gopalganj had cautioned my paternal grandfather, Khan Saheb, is a story I came to know later.”
In 1938, when Sheikh Mujib was a student at Gopalganj missionary school, Sher-e-Bangla AK Fazlul Huq, the Chief Minister of Bengal, and Huseyn Shaheed Suhrawardy, the Minister of Commerce, visited Gopalganj for a public meeting. However, local influential Hindu leaders vowed to protest their visit as they formed a coalition government with Muslim League. However, Mujib who was just 20 led a group of students and made the event successful avoiding any clash. To Mujib, there is no communal view about Hinduism or Muslim as he used to play, sing and hang out with everyone irrespective of religions, castes and races. Suhrawardy was so impressed by the leadership and organizational qualities of Mujib that he noted down his name and address and gave him his Kolkata address. Not only that he sent a letter to Mujib thanking him for making the event successful. Then he continued communicating with Suhrawardy, who is famously known as the legend of democracy.
Mujib from his childhood was very committed to his own people. He started serving in jail from his high school life. He remained in custody for seven days as he went to rescue one of his friends who was captured and tortured by some local people, which ended up with a clash.
In 1941, after passing the matriculation exam, Sheikh Mujib became fully active in politics, regularly visiting Suhrawardy in Calcutta, attending and giving speeches at public meetings and rallies, and forming Muslim Student League in Madaripur. He was getting very close to Suhrawardy. Mujib was very much influenced by his ideologies.
There is no doubt that the political consciousness of Sheikh Mujibur Rahman was instinctive from an early age. Before he became fully active in politics, he rushed doors to doors, gathered experiences and understood the people’s sufferings and exploitation by the British. These eventful experiences helped him developed his leadership from a young age and made him committed to devoting his whole life for the sake of the freedom of the people. And thus, Mujib who was the apple of eye of his family became the Architect of the Bengali nation.