Bangabandhu's Six Points were the Foundation of the Independence of Bangladesh

The six-point demand played a very significant role in the history of our liberation war


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Bangabandhu's Six Points were the Foundation of the Independence of Bangladesh


The six-point demand played a very significant role in the history of our liberation war.

On June 7, 1966, the nation's liberation charter was stained with the blood of martyrs. Later, at the beginning of the mass movement in 1969, under the leadership of Bangabandhu, in the historic elections of 1970, we attained independence in exchange for an ocean of blood with the people's mandate. The freedom of Bangladesh flowed deep into Bangabandhu's heart. He had no other thought beyond liberty. He showed the way to free Bangladesh from the chains of subjugation by enduring imprisonment, oppression, and torture.

The people of Bangladesh went on a general strike on June 7 against the Pakistani ruling party led by the Awami League, demanding independence and the release of all political prisoners, including Bangabandhu. Dictator Ayub Khan wanted to enslave the Bengali nation. Bangabandhu proposed six points for the emancipation of Bengalis in the agenda of the convention of opposition parties held in Lahore on 5 February 1966. The meeting president, Chowdhury Mohammad Ali, did not agree to discuss the six points. On February 11, Bangabandhu returned home and gave details in a press conference at Dhaka Airport. 

Six points were adopted as the party program in the working committee meeting of the Awami League on 20 February. The Six Points became so popular that this booklet was kept in every household in Bangladesh. Dictator Ayub called Bangabandhu a 'separatist' by criminalizing the six-point offer and incited and tortured the Awami League with the National Defense Act. On the call of the Awami League, protest day was celebrated in the whole area on May 13. Public support for the six points was expressed at the rally on the protest day. When the party's newly elected general secretary, Tajuddin Ahmad, was arrested, the organizing secretary, Mizan Chowdhury, took over as acting general secretary. During the June 7 strike, the angry people of Bangladesh demanded freedom and the release of all political prisoners, including Bangabandhu. June 7 was the starting point of our independence movement.

The six-point demand raised by Bangabandhu is not a 'liberation charter' or a Bengali 'demand for survival'; Rather, it is the foundation of Bangladesh's independence. In the context of June 7, i.e., the six-point day, the aspect of the Bengali nation's abandonment, struggle, and protest comes to the fore. On this day in 1971, the Bengali nation gave their lives in the six-point demand movement; the streets were stained with blood, more than six hundred people were arrested, and countless people were tried. Bangabandhu did not remain the leader of Awami League or any other party after making the six-point demand; Became the sole leader of our Bengalis. Later, the Bengali right to self-determination and freedom movement, post-independence politics, and politics all revolved around one person: Bangabandhu. He was no longer a person; he became an institution.

The historical six points are: 

1. The Constitution should provide for a Federation of Pakistan in its true sense based on the Lahore Resolution and a Parliamentary form of government with the supremacy of a Legislature directly elected based on universal adult franchise. 

2. The federal government should deal with only two subjects: defense and foreign affairs, and all other residual subjects should be vested in the federating states. 

3. Two separate but freely convertible currencies for two wings should be introduced; or, if this is not feasible, one currency for the whole country should be introduced, but effective constitutional provisions should be introduced to stop the flight of capital from East Pakistan to West Pakistan. Furthermore, a separate Banking Reserve should be established, and separate fiscal and monetary policies should be adopted for East Pakistan. 

4. The power of taxation and revenue collection should be vested in the federating units, and the federal center would have no such power. The federation would be entitled to a share in the state taxes to meet its expenditures. 

5. There should be two separate accounts for the foreign exchange earnings of the two wings. The federal government's foreign exchange requirements should be met by the two wings equally or in a ratio to be fixed. Indigenous products should move free of duty between the two wings, and the constitution should empower the units to establish trade links with foreign countries. 

6. East Pakistan should have a separate military or paramilitary force, and Navy headquarters should be in East Pakistan. 

Politicians from West Pakistan and non-Awami League politicians from East Pakistan rejected the proposal. It was also rejected by the President of the All-Pakistan Awami League, Nawabzada Nasarullah Khan, the National Awami Party, Jamaat-e-Islami, and Nezam-e-Islam. However, the movement had strong support from the population of then East Pakistan. 

Mujib, who would not become Bangabandhu until three years later, was placed in detention under the Defense of Pakistan Rules on 8 May 1966. The reason was not hard to understand: Field Marshal Mohammad Ayub Khan, President of Pakistan, declared his opinion on the Six Points. He told the country that the purveyors of the Six Points would be dealt with in the language of weapons. 

Ayub Khan was not the only individual who spotted a threat to Pakistan's unity should the Six Points be acknowledged. His soon-to-be-out foreign minister, Zulfikar Ali Bhutto, challenged Mujib early in the year to a public debate at Dhaka's Paltan Maidan on the Six Points. Tajuddin Ahmed, Bangladeshs first Prime Minister, accepted the challenge on Mujib's behalf. In the event, Bhutto did not turn up. 

Why is the SixPoint Program called " The Charter of Freedom to the Bengali Nation? From 1947 to 1971, East Pakistan experienced a historic period that witnessed many painful events in this region. 

?7 June 1966 is a red-letter day in the history of the freedom movements of the people of Bangladesh. On this historic day, the struggling people of this country took a firm and solemn vow to achieve their self-determination under the able and dynamic leadership of Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman. 

On February 6, 1966, some newspapers in West Pakistan referred to the claim that the six-point demand was made to separate Pakistan into two parts. On February 10, Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujib held a press conference and answered it there. He returned to Dhaka on February 11. At the airport, he presented the six-point brief to the journalists.

Later, the executive committee of the Awami League passed six-point demands, which were accepted in the council session. It was decided to spread this claim widely. It was agreed that the party's leaders would tour East Pakistan and present this demand to the people. A pamphlet written by Bangabandhu on the six-point demand was published under the party's general secretary's name. This demand is presented through leaflets, brochures, posters, etc.

On June 7, Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman wrote in his diary about the hartal: 'After 12 o'clock, the news was received that the hartal had taken place. People went on a spontaneous strike. They support six points and want freedom. They want to live; they want to eat; they want personal freedom; they want the fair demands of the workers; they want the farmers to live. The proof of this was in this strike.

On June 10 and 11, 1966, in the working committee meeting of the Awami League held under the chairmanship of Acting President Syed Nazrul Islam, students, workers, and the general public were thanked for expressing their support for the six points by holding a hartal. The success of this hartal is proof that the people of East Bengal want autonomy, and for this, satisfaction was expressed in the meeting.

Bengalis made no fewer claims and promises from 1947 to 1965. The six-point demand of 1966 is a stunning summary of what Bengalis have been yearning for a century and a half. Bengalis of East Bengal spoke out against this neocolonialism and took to the streets. The heat has also spread in the markets, fields, ghats, and roads. There was little talk about those deprivations and indignities in the academic field of the school. Millions of words, slogans, marches, political poems, essays, novels, and dramas, economic-political about-night academic words, and theories are contained in silence only by these six points. The six points are a short expression of Bengali's long-held ideas about the state, democracy, and self-esteem.

One such political demand of Sheikh Mujibur Rahman is six points. He captured the aspirations of his people, the long-standing demands, in a nutshell. A great leader is like a poet. He expresses the unspoken words of his people. He dreams and dreams come true. He hypnotizes like a poet.

The extent to which the Six Points had increased the acceptance of Sheikh Mujib and the Awami League was evident from the NAP pamphlets after the June 7 hartal. The NAP pamphlet described the strike as unprecedented in Pakistan's history. There was no need for picketing, and no one even thought about volunteers - yet on the morning of June 7, lakhs of people were seen as volunteers, with a strong oath on their faces, a deep confidence in their strength - no frown, no policy could sway them. But after the killing of Ayub Sarkar, the mass Six Point Movement was halted by arrest and imprisonment. However, its response and Mujib's acceptance can be seen in the mass upheaval of the 1970s.

The six-point movement-struggle was the original Bengali movement-struggle for self-establishment and fair share movement. In the later history of Bangladesh, including the six-point movement, all the previous movements-struggles are known as nationalist movements-struggles, so the six-point movement is also called the movement to break the shackles of Pakistan. This is true, given the birth of Bangladesh in 1971. But in the Pak-India war of 1965, this movement was a systematic movement, as proved by the Pakistan-backedness of the Bengalis of East Bengal. The six-point demands were raised within the framework of the state of Pakistan.

In the political history of Bangladesh, the six points of Awami League and Sheikh Mujibur Rahman were a political demand that most profoundly translated the aspirations of the Bengali population of East Bengal during the Pakistan period. This is not the most significant significance of the six-point demand and this demand-centered movement!

On May 8, 1966, Sheikh Mujib was arrested under Section 32 of the National Defense Act after speaking at a meeting organized in Narayanganj. The governor of East Pakistan used to tell reporters, "As long as I am the governor, Sheikh Mujib must remain in jail." The 6-point program became widespread after the arrest of Bangabandhu. People are encouraged to establish mass movements in processions. Around eight hundred people were captured by Monem Khan. The Awami League started a strike in support of Bangabandhu's release and 6 points. The governor issued section 144 in case of clashes between the students and the police. Chants were raised: 'I will break the jail lock and bring Sheikh Mujib.' The 'Agartala conspiracy case' was issued against 35 people, with Sheikh Mujib as the main accused. The people of East Bengal became agitated due to strong resistance.

When Awami League put up strong resistance against the 'Agartala conspiracy case,' many were martyred by police torture. Dhaka University student society formed 'Sarbadliya Chhatra Sangram Parishad' and started the 11-point movement. The first martyr of this movement was university student Asaduzzaman; later, school student Matiur Rahman was martyred. The teacher at Rajshahi University was martyred. Shamsujjoha. In 1966, Bangabandhu sought autonomy for East Pakistan through six points. In five years, he became the architect of the independent country. Independence from six points was a history of glory.

Source: Hiren Pandit

Bio: Hiren Pandit is an essayist, researcher, and columnist based in Dhaka, Bangladesh. He can be contacted at hiren.bnnrc@gmail.com 

 


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