Bangabandhu’s unique struggle even in the face of death

Bangabandhu declared independence. He knew the Pakistanis would not let him live. However, he was staying at the house number 32 at the risk of his life. The undisputed leader of seven and a half crore Bengalis never ran away to avoid arrest in his long political career. He cannot allow the separatist movement to smear the Bengali liberation struggle. An article published in the New York Times on January 18, 1972 quoted Bangabandhu as saying, ‘I knew that the Pakistani army had plotted to kill me. If I leave the house, my Bengali will be blamed for throwing a grenade in my car and killing me. On that pretext they will torture and kill my people.’

After the independence of Bangladesh, Bangabandhu said in an interview to BBC journalist David Frost after being released from Pakistan prison, ‘I thought, if they get me, they will not kill my poor people. I knew they would fight to the end. I told them, you will fight every inch. I told them that this might be my last order. But they have to fight till they get freedom.’ The New York Times article published on January 18, 1972 wrote, ‘At 10:30 PM on March 25, Bangabandhu sent a recorded message to Chittagong, the main message of which was, “Whatever I do, resist the Pakistani army.” From now Bangladesh is independent.’

The New York Times also wrote, ‘Between 12:00 and 1:00 a.m., a group of soldiers surrounded house number 32. There was a sound of mortar fire nearby. The soldiers continued to fire into the house, shooting and killing a security guard who stood blocking their way on the stairs. At this time, Bangabandhu came out and asked to stop firing. He also said, ‘Why are you shooting? If you want to kill me, I am here, shoot me, why are you shooting my people?’ A major then informed him that they had come to arrest him. Then he called the family together and kissed each one saying, ‘They may kill me, I may never see you again. But my people will be free one day. My soul will find peace in seeing it.’

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