ই-পেপার

Mohammad Tarequl Islam

Following the partition of British India in 1947, the new state of Pakistan was born which constituted in two parts, East Pakistan and West Pakistan with thousand miles of distance. The people of East Pakistan (Bangladesh) were the majority of its population, and major economic activities and export income constituted from East Pakistan. But, since 1947 West Pakistan was over-dominant to East Pakistan and people of East Pakistan (Bangladesh) were discriminated against economically and politically. Firstly the Pakistani military regime tried to control the majorities the mother language ‘Bangla’ and attempted to impose Urdu, but they failed due to the language movement during 1952. However, as a consequence of continuous economic discrimination and the control over the political right of Bengali, the people of East Pakistan were highly agitated, anxious, and frantic. To uphold the rights of East Pakistan (Bengali), Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman launched his historic six-point political and economic movement in a national convention at Lahore on February 5 in 1966, aiming at attaining greater autonomy for the then East Pakistan in the backdrop of exploitation and discrimination by the then Pakistani rulers [1]. The historic six-point demand has created the landmark political movement in Pakistan, which forwarded Bengali from administrative autonomy to total independence. Therefore the ‘six-point demand’ is called the charter of Independence of Bangladesh.

The main features of six-point demand are as follows [2]:

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

2. The federal government should deal with only two subjects: Defence and Foreign Affairs, and all other residuary issues shall 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, there should be one currency for the whole country, but effective constitutional provisions should be introduced to stop the flight of capital from East to West Pakistan. Furthermore, a separate Banking Reserve should be established, and separate fiscal and monetary policy be adopted for East Pakistan.

4. The power of taxation and revenue collection shall be vested in the federating units, and the federal center will have no such authority on the issue. The federation will 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 foreign exchange requirements of the federal government 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 militia or paramilitary force [3]

The six-point movement of 1966 has a great significance in the history of the sub-continent which has changed the political map in the region; the demand has created a great political movement in the Eastern part of Pakistan. The six-point program, a charter of demands articulated by the Awami League for removing disparity between the two wings of Pakistan and to put an end to the internal colonial rule of West Pakistan in East Pakistan. But Field Marshal Mohammad Ayub Khan, President of Pakistan, made clear his opinion and rejected the Six Points demand of Bengali. On 8 May 1966,

Bangabandhu Mujib was arrested under the Defence of Pakistan Rules. The 6-8 June 1966, signpost days with great political significance. The total land of East Pakistan supported the Bangabandhu’s six-point program and raised their voice to release the Sheikh Mujib from illegal case and arrest. The six-point demand is the foundation pillar of the freedom of Bangladesh, and Sheikh Mujibur Rahman is the center of the movement.

Considering the history of Pakistan, Sheikh Mujibur was the unparalleled leader who claimed the historical demand in Lahore, not in Dhaka. Therefore we see Sheikh Mujib was highly visionary, a great politician who realized the motive of west Pakistani leaders, then he thought that we have to advance to final movement ‘freedom’. On the other hand, in considering the then political perspectives, six-point demand is a threat to Pakistan, if they fail to fulfill our demand then Bengali would say ‘Good Bye’. So the movement based on six-point demand in 1966 is the seed of independence which has germinated in 1971. Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman a Kerashimatic leader of East Pakistan who pointed out this historical demand in favor of Bangeli, he led all the significant movement in East Pakistan and prepared the nation step by step for an armed liberation movement against Pakistan military.

Finally, in March 1971, Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman delivered the “Declaration of Independence” of Bangladesh, which was the ultimate product of the six-point movement. Bengali was an all-out historic campaign, a great war “Freedom-Fight” under the leadership of Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman. Al last, a nine-month struggle, millions of life sacrifices we achieved a new political flag, a new passport, a new identity, a new independent map ‘Bangladesh’ [4]. Therefore, considering the 24 years history with Pakistan, Bangabandhu’s six-point movement is the milestone of Bangladesh Independence; Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman is the utmost leader of our nationalist and independence movement; architect of independent and father of the nation of Bangladesh. 

Referennce:

1. The Daily Star (2019) Historic Six Point Day Today, June 07, 2019, https://www.thedailystar.net/politics/news/historic-6-point-day-today-bangabandhu-sheikh-mujibur-rahman-1753633.

2.  llah, S.M.A (2019) Nationalism and Autonomy Movement in Rahman (editor) The History of the Evolution of independent Bangladesh, University of Rjshahi, Rajshahi.

3. Banglapedia (2014) Six Polint programme, http://en.banglapedia.org/index.php?title=Six-point_Programme .

4. Rahman (editor) (2019) The History of the Evolution of independent Bangladesh, University of Rjshahi, Rajshahi.  

Writer : Deputy Police Commissioner, Rajshahi Metropolitan Police (RMP), Rajshahi.

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