Saturday, 6 August 2011

Malcolm X, Dr. King Jr.& Bangobondhu:Three Great Catalysts of Our Time

Malcolm X, Dr. King Jr.& Bangobondhu:Three Great Catalysts of Our Time
by Naznin Seamon on Monday, August 15, 2011 at 2:19am ·

“But all the time
I’se been a-climbin’on,
And reachin’ landin’s,
And turnin’ corners,
And sometimes goin’ in the dark
Where there ain’t been no light.
So boy, don’t you turn back.
Don’t you set down on the steps
’Cause you finds it’s kinder hard.”
                                                        ______“Mother to Son”; Langston Hughes

No, neither Malcolm X, nor Martin Luther King, had given up their dreams. They had encountered numerous obstacles, yet they held their aspirations alive for the freedom and equal rights of the Black people in America. Obviously, there are many differences between them about how they wanted to pursue their goals that mainly enable one to see their distinguished, unique personalities. Despite their polarized points of view, it is important to reconsider and credit the above two icons based on their ethical beliefs that is to attain the absolute right for the African Americans to lead life as human beings rather animals with sense of freedom, dignity and pride.
            Many great souls have had sacrificed their lives to save their nations being oppressed by others. However, few had guided their nations towrads freedom by inflaming the underlying current of anger that had concentrated deep down for a long time, but fear, lack of united effort, and most of all, need of a pioneer who can initiate the backfire, nail the coffin once and forever had held them back. One such leader is Bangabondhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman who in his own strange way of absolute humanity, humbleness, consideration and undoubted boldness had leaded his nation to respond back to its’ oppressors not with violence, rather by reciprocating attitude. His maneuver touched the entire nation offering sparks in their thoughts that guided them to impel independence.
            Though it is a known fact that people with power have exploited other groups of human beings throughout the world, the inhumane brutality against the African Americans is one of the prime examples that points to one’s consciousness about how the white power had abused, tortured Black people not only physically, but mentally, economically and socially for centuries. It also had taken countless black souls to rise against this white aggression, to protest and demand their rights. Among them, Malcolm X and Martin Luther King Jr. are two pivotal roles who had contributed to shake white people’s kingdom in the Civil Rights era.
            Exactly the same way Pakistan had exploited the Bengali nation; in cases even more drastically. They exhibited their aggression on the nations’ language, religion, unique characteristics, economy, social norms and values. Their goal was to paralyze the population by fearful, violent behavior and deprivation of rights. Many great leaders had protested this type of subjection of the nation and encountered tremendous brutality and tormentation of the Pakistani Govt. However, among those leaders Bangobondhu had stood up with his unique quality of love and devotion, fearless resistance power, instant decision making ability. Thus, aided by the support and co-operation of other leaders and the nation in general, he was able to crack the rigid wall of Pakistani ruling system.
            Despite their contributions, unfortunately, one of them is well regarded, and most importantly, well known throughout the world, while the other is not been credited as his work demands. Because of the fact that Malcolm X had exhibited aggressive mood and tone against the injustice done to the African Americans, many had portrayed him as an anti force than a key figure of the Civil Rights Movement. At the same time, some had justified his advocacy for violence pointing out to his childhood.
            Bangobondhu used a firm tone throughout his political carrier though he did not want to choose turbulence. Therefore, he waited to the last minute to announce war against Pakistan until the rights of Bengali nation was pushed to the corner without any home remaining. Despite of winning the majority in the Parliament, raising various vile causes they exhibited reluctance to let him be the Prime Minister of the then East Pakistan, thus the rise of a deprived nation. British had exploited Bengal, India in a great sense for 200 years, but in only 25 years of oppression, Pakistan had employed even the last bit of brutality, barbarism against Bengali people.
            Both Malcolm X and Dr. King criticized the white dominated government for their careless effort to minimize or resolve the issues that had generated the Civil Rights Movements. They blamed the government for not keeping promise given to the African Americans. Malcolm X criticized African Americans for sending the white Presidents saying: “It was the black man’s vote that put the present administration in Washington, D.C. Your vote, your dumb vote, your ignorant vote, your wasted vote put in an administration in Washington, D.C., that has seen fit to pass every kind of legislation imaginable, saving you until last, then filibustering on top of that” (27). On the contrary, in an effort to prove the contradictory images provided by the Constitution as well as so called Liberal Presidents, Dr King asked: “So the question is not whether we will be extremists, but what kind of extremist we will be. … … Will we be extremists for the preservation of injustice or for the extension of justice?” (77).

            Being aware of Pakistan’s wretchedness, Bangobondhu, on March 7th had decided to address the nation where he stood before anxious eyes and uttered the most significant words of behind the birth of a nation. According to Faruque Chowdhury, former High Commissioner of Bangladesh, if Bangobondhu had directly declared the Independence in Racecourse, it might have considered as a segregated effort like Biafra of Nigeria which might offer hindrance getting international support. However, it was a pretty straight forward declaration of Independence maintaining diplomacy not to be too direct, yet not indirect either.  Freedom loving Bengali people knew the meaning of his address where he strongly announced the Independence of Bangladesh. He also had told the nation to get ready with whatever they had to start the fight. In his 18 minutes long speech, he mapped out the nation’s future act to earn its’ freedom. He also suggested carrying on the fight until they are free if he was unable to direct them further due to Pakistani conspiracy though on March 23rd, from his residence where people from all over the country gathered, he once again affirmed the nation that there was no walking back until or unless freedom has been earned. Before getting arrested two nights later, he finally spoke to the nation mentioning his message be possibly the last contact with the nation and there again, he ordered the nation to do everything to become independent.
            Malcolm X suggested an active, expeditious action to his audience. In contrast, Martin Luther King slowly infused his thoughts to the people so they would have a better grasp to think, rethink and justify. Both of them, however, agreed that there is no time to waste any more. They both demonstrated flashback to the slavery pointing out how their previous generations had toiled themselves. Malcolm X presented a transparent and vivid picture addressing his audience. He stated: “Three hundred and ten years we worked in this country without a dime in return – I mean without a dime in return. … It got rich because you made it rich” (“The Ballot or the Bullet”, 32); while King says: “Three hundred years of humiliation, abuse and deprivation cannot be expected to find in a whisper” (2). They both had portrayed the same picture of exploitation of the blacks by the whites, just in slightly different tones.
            Bangobondhu, in his political carrier had pointed out the inequalities offered by the Pakistani Government which made them unsettled and uneasy. Therefore, Pakistani Government’s eyes were always on him. He was arrested over and over and spent quite a significant amount of time in jail but without fear, or compromise. There was no concession in his world when it came to Bangladesh and its’ people. The greed of power, threat of life, in fact, nothing impacted his saying ‘Joy Bangla’. Bangobondhu had sacrificed his entire life fighting for the freedom of Bangladesh and its’ people. Though he remained imprisoned the entire period Bangali people have fought and faced tremendous obstacles and unexplainable brutality of Pakistani soldiers and their Bangladeshi collaborators, they kept moving holding the spirit of ‘Joy Bangla’ and the dream of a free land sketched by Bangobondhu. In fact, ‘Joy Bangla’ became the motivating slogan of the freedom fighters.
             After being the President of an independent country he on one hand, reached every corner of the world to attain acceptance as a newborn nation from different countries, while on the other hand, closely focused to develop the war-broken country. Unfortunately, he had to start from the scratch. On December 16th, knowing that they had lost the war, Pakistani army even destroyed all the money in the bank. Yet, aided by great devoted leaders and dedicated people he managed to walk towards the progression on the
country. In 1845, Lucius C. Matlock in a review of Frederick Douglass’s Narrative of the Life had asserted that “From the soil of slavery itself have sprung forth some of the most brilliant productions, whose logical levers will ultimately upheave and overthrow the system” (African American Literature, preface, 27). Long after slavery had been abolished, such brutality and dehumanization of human beings continued. Fortunately, from the germ of slavery emerged many talents and leaders to overcome these obstacles. Slavery, though abolished, continued to begat more and more brilliant and devoted souls to bring social, political, economical justice to the black people. As a whole, these people sacrificed their time and lives to bring back humanity to the people who were deprived of many human rights. Without any hesitation, it can be asserted that, Malcolm X and Martin Luther King Jr. are two of those great souls in history who suffered from many hindrances to prove the first Amendment to be true: “All men are created equal”. Regardless of their different strategies, they are the two true icons of humanity as well as the catalysts of the Civil Rights Movement.
            The same way, there were many leaders who contributed to the Freedom Fight of Bangladesh. 30 million had sacrificed their lives; more than 2 million women were physically abused. People from top to bottom except for the collaborators had contributed to earn the Independence. Bangobondhu was the driver behind the wheel of this journey. He was the force, the motivation, energy, dream maker of the nation. He is not only the catalyst of ’71, he is the father of the nation because of his contribution to the country. He never surrendered to the Pakistani even when they dug his grave next to his cell. He never gave up his dream of free Bengali nation. He never compromised with the hope Bengali people had seen in him. He was the savior whose only dream was to build a independent, proud, educated nation. His goal was to give the nation the rights they had been deprived of since the separation. Thus, Bangladesh and Bangobondhu are equivalent.
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Malcolm X, Dr. King Jr.& Bangobondhu:Three Great Catalysts of Our Time

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