Ami Bangladeshi

Ami Bangladeshi

Ami Bangladeshi

Hope of a Nation

Euphoria on a winter morning in 1972 was everywhere in newly declared Bangla Desh. People planted the seeds of their own dream. The nation’s schools and colleges that shut down for nine whole months opened with new hopes that students will get the best education to face the challenge of a new born nation. Bangla Desh (yet to change to Bangladesh) enjoyed the winter sun of the first day of new year in 1973.

But the dark cloud of student protest that started in 1972 against the US non-cooperation and non recognition of Bangla Desh culminated with a Hartal on January 2, 1973. The country stopped functioning. It was like a new born jumped out of the crib to fight. On January 2 police protecting the USIS center in Dhaka abandoned the building to student protesters. Saunders and Hoskinson (National Security Council Staff of President Nixon) asked Kissinger for a decision on whether to release a $30 million grant for Bangladesh, or wait to signal U.S. concerns regarding events in Bangladesh. Kissinger elected to wait.

A second opportunity came with the visit of Prime Minister Mujibur Rahman to the White House with President Ford on Tuesday - October 1, 1974 at 3:00 p.m. Summary of this visit published by the US State Department on October 5, 1974 read:

“SUMMARY: BANGLADESH PRIME MINISTER SHEIKH MUJIBUR RAHMAN'S VISIT HAS SERVED TO CONFIRM BANGLADESH/U.S. GOOD RELATIONS BUT BENGALEES DID NOT FULLY UTILIZE IT FOR ITS PUBLIC RELATIONS VALUE. MUJIB APPEARS TO HAVE LEFT THE U.S. SATISFIED WITH HIS RECEPTION AND TREATMENT.

AN OPPORTUNITY LOST. AT THE SAME TIME, LITTLE PRESS AND PUBLIC ATTENTION WAS GENERATED BY MUJIB'S VISIT, REFLECTING THE REALITY OF SHORT MEMORIES AND BANGLADESH'S LOW NEWS PRIORITY. IN PART, HOWEVER, THE BENGALEE SIDE FAILED TO MAKE THE MOST OF ITS OPPORTUNITIES. MUJIB AND HIS PARTY FAILED TO DRAMATIZE PUBLICLY THE INTENSITY OF BANGLADESH'S CURRENT DIFFICULTIES. THEY WERE SELECTIVE IN THEIR TREATMENT OF THE PRESS: MUJIB GAVE AN INTERVIEW TO REPRESENTATIVES OF THE WASHINGTON POST, BUT NOT TO OTHERS. MUJIB DID NOT MEET THE PRESS CORPS AFTER HIS MEETING WITH FORD, BUT LEFT IT TO KAMAL HOSSAIN. THE NEW YORK TIMES, NEWSWEEK AND TIME ALL HOSTED SOCIAL EVENTS FOR THE PRIME MINISTER IN NEW YORK, BUT LITTLE HAS APPEARED IN THE PRESS BEYOND TWO-LINERS AND A PHOTO OF MUJIB EMBRACING THE PAKISTANI AMBASSADOR, SAHABZADA YAQUB KHAN, WHICH PROVIDED THE SINGLE DRAMATIC MOMENT OF A BENGALEE-HOSTED WASHINGTON RECEPTION.”

Prime Minister Mujibur Rahman ushered in a disaster. The hope of a newborn nation that could have taken off with the help of the most powerful and the richest country just dwindled. Whatever talent Mujibur had, Bangladesh could not reap it because of his tragic assassination. The military governments and subsequent destructive democracies that followed Mujibur’s death kept on putting nails on the coffin.

Hope of Bangladesh still remains a mirage.

Robin

Carmel, California

Note: Some materials were taken from the US Department of State publication

 

No hope Robin

No hope Robin.Everywhere is frustration.We need to vanish our dui begum and their adapted sons of bitches.

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