Tuesday, July 10, 2012
In tears, in loneliness
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina and her younger sister Sheikh Rehana, the only two living children of Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, in an emotional moment yesterday at the publication ceremony of Bangabandhu's autobiography "The Unfinished Memoirs". The words spoken by the two sisters at the ceremony brought the audience to tears also. Photo: BSSStaff Correspondent
“The lives of us two sisters remain incomplete. We, who believe in Islam, know that when anyone's near and dear ones die, recitation from the holy Quran and special prayers are offered in their memory. Even if that is not possible, at least their faces are shown to their near and dear ones for the last time. But how unfortunate are we two sisters that we could not even see for the last time the faces of our father, mother and brothers when they were killed in 1975!”
These were the few remarks that Sheikh Rehana, younger daughter of the Father of the Nation, Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, made while speaking at a publication ceremony of the book, 'The Unfinished Memoirs' written by Sheikh Mujibur Rahman and published posthumously. The ceremony was organised by the Awami League.
Rehana's speech had the entire audience at the Bangabandhu International Conference Centre break down in emotion and tears.
Not even Rehana was in control of herself after saying those words. Her elder sister, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, who was seated on the stage as chief guest, rushed to the dais and held Rehana in an embrace for a few moments to make her calm. The effort only led to both sisters giving vent to their pent-up feelings over the tragedy of August 1975. Party leaders and workers could not control themselves either. Many of them were seen shedding tears.
At the beginning of her speech Rehana said she and her sister had nothing left except tears after the assassination of their father and other family members. “We had always wondered whether we could go back to the country or not, whether we could stay in our Dhanmondi house, whether we could visit our Tungipara home. When these thoughts came to us, we burst into tears and our hearts would sink.”
“But we had faith in Almighty Allah and an objective to work for the welfare of the people of the country, to implement the ideology of our father. Today we have been able to publish the unfinished autobiography of our father and now it's the wealth of the people. This history will inspire the younger generation to be patriotic,” Rehana said.
Sheikh Hasina, who too was emotional while delivering her speech, said by reading 'The Unfinished Memoirs' people would learn how deeply and fully a leader could sacrifice his entire life for his country, its people and independence.
The prime minister said it was her mother had who always encouraged her father to write on every incident. Hasina said three more books would be published on their father's memoirs on the Agartala conspiracy case, his China visit in the 1950s and an account of his remembrances.
Among others who also spoke at the function were Mostafa Nurul Islam, Ramendu Majumder, Syed Shamsul Haque, Baby Moudud, Prof Fakrul Alam, UPL proprietor Mohiuddin Ahmed and AL General Secretary Syed Ashraful Islam. The occasion was chaired by Deputy Leader of the House Syeda Sajeda Chowdhury.
'Living incomplete lives, too'
'Living incomplete lives, too' | Bangladesh | bdnews24.com
Tue, Jul 10th, 2012 1:32 am BdST
Dhaka, Jul 9 (bdnews24.com)—Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina and her sister Sheikh Rehana, daughters of the nation's founding father Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, on Monday marked the publication of their father's autobiography with tears.
"The lives of the two of us are incomplete, too," Rehana said in a function marking the publication of "Ausamapta Atmajiboni" and its English version "The Unfinished Memoirs" by Sheikh Mujib at the Bangabandhu International Conference Centre.
"In our religion," Rehana continued, "People offer doa-kalema [special prayers] if any loved one dies. The loved ones of the deceased are shown his/her face for the last time. But we, the two sisters, did not have that opportunity."
"So, our lives will remain insatiable and incomplete," she said.
"But life is going on...will go on," added a sobbing Rehana.
When her speech ended, Hasina left her seat and embraced her sister, with both crying.
The Prime Minister lamented that their mother, who had been killed along with Sheikh Mujib and his kin excluding on Aug 15, 1975 by some members of the army, was not there to see the publication of the book.
The duo had been abroad during the Aug 15 killings.
"I've nothing to say as Rehana has said everything. These are my words, too," Hasina said.
She credited Baby Moudud, an MP from the seats reserved for women, with the publication of the book.
Moudud, also the Social Affairs Editor of bdnews24.com, said: "I don't know where to start. But I knew that this day would come."
"This book is the mirror of time. I think it will get recognition of one of the best books," she said. "We've lost Bangabandhu. His two daughters survived. Now we've got this book."
Cultural personality Ramendu Majumder recited some parts of the book. Prof Mostafa Nurul Islam, writer Syed Shamsul Haque, translator of the book from Bengali to English Prof Fakhrul Alam and publisher Mohiuddin Ahmed, among others, spoke at the function.