Six-point reset history’s course second time in 26 years: analysis
By Anisur Rahman
DHAKA, 8, 2020 (BSS) – The course of global history in South Asia was reset for a second time in 26 years with Bangabandhu’s Six-Point declaration paving ways for independent Bangladesh’s emergence, from the same venue from where another great Bengali Sher-e-Bangla AK Fazlul Huq placed the Lahore Resolution for creation of Pakistan.
“Mr Huq’s work was not a strange incident (and) it did not bring for him any danger. But what Sheikh Mujib did was dangerous for him,” said one of Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman’s critics and analyst of political history Professor Sirajul Islam Chowdhury.
Talking to BSS managing editor Anisur Rahman coinciding with the Six-Point Day, Chowdhury commented Bangabandhu had to take risk of being exposed to gallows, while Lahore town was not prepared for hearing the Six-Point either 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 found as well a significant difference between the backdrop of the two proposals of Sher-e-Bangla AK Fazlul Huq and Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman.
“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,” Chowdhury remarked.
The English literature professor-turned-critical analyst of socio-political history, Chowdhury, however, remained respectful to Sher-e-Bangla as well saying, even Pakistan’s founder Muhammad Ali Jinnah had to acknowledge Huq’s popularity and to select 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 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 also commented unless Bangabandhu had floated the Six-Point proposal, “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.
Several other analysts also highlighted the significance of Bangabandhu’s selection of the then Pakistan’s political town of Lahore in hostile soil for declaring the Six-Point proposal instead of Dhaka, which would have been much comfortable for him.
“Bangabandhu actually wanted to demonstrate the extent of his courage to Pakistanis as well,” commentator on political history Dr Mohammad Hannan said.
Hannan said the selection of the hostile soil for Six-Point’s formal announcement 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 . . . it was needed to uphold the Bengali cause and keep the momentum of the movement as well,” Hannan said.
Archival record of Bangbandhu’s Lahore speech, suggest, after explaining the Six-Point, he went on saying that in his campaign for removing discrimination, “I will first catch the ‘fat-bellied’ Khan sahibs and tear off their bellies and then address the anomalies of the government’s administration”.