August 18, 2002
edited by Cyriac Maprayil, UK. Reliance
Publishing House, New Delhi.Rs 135
nationalism, socialism, democracy and secularism as the
foundation stones of the 1972 Bangladesh Constitution,
Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujib inspired millions of his countrymen
to aspire towards these goals. As the first President of the
Peoples Republic of Bangladesh, he was appalled by the greed
and selfishness of some of his countrymen who wanted to hijack
the progress of the country. His aim, on the other hand, was
to modernise the nation with literacy, agriculture and
The book, edited
by Cyriac Maprayil, Hon. Director, International Centre for
Sheikh Mujib Studies, UK, consists of papers read by
representatives of the community at a symposium. Cyriac talks
of Sheikh Mujib as a thinker and a man of action who had a
passion for social justice, while Taifur Rashid, a leading
women’s rights campaigner, talks of the leader and his plan
for empowerment of women. Rashid notes that Mujib was an
advocate of women’s rights who desired to free women from
poverty and powerlessness. Bangabandhu not only desired
representative democracy to take roots in Bangladesh but also
wanted to convert it into participatory democracy, for he
believed in peoples’ empowerment.
M. N. Haque
believes that Islam and socialism were not contrary to each
other to Mujib rather they were complimentary to each other.
That is why he advocated a mixed economy to eliminate poverty.
However, he was a thorn in the eye of the rentier class who
had appropriated the wealth of the nation and had no intention
of sharing it with the rest.