Bangabandhu’s six points and the first self-sacrifice of Bengalis in the freedom struggle

The heroic Bengali nation, which roared in protest against the torture and oppression of the exploiters, is forever in danger, forever in misery. Through the ages, they have been vocal against injustice and have made their glory known. Even though they were unequal in strength, they did not bow down to the British. The misrule of the Pakistani exploiters, the oppressed Bengalis protested against the injustice. Through the Har Na Mana movement of 52, they established the right of their mother tongue with fresh blood on the streets. Slowly progressed towards independence movement.

On August 14, 1947, a state called Pakistan was born on the basis of two nations. Two provinces of that state. One is East Pakistan, the other is West Pakistan. Distance was not the only disparity between the two provinces from birth. Distance was everywhere from thought-consciousness, culture, use of language. Ever since the birth of Pakistan, their colonial exploitation and rule over the Bengalis living in East Pakistan was going on. The first blow to the Bengalis came from Pakistan’s reckless discrimination and recognition of Urdu as the state language of Pakistan instead of Bengali as the state language, ignoring the majority of the people.

A fire of anger started burning against this exploitation and oppression of the Bengalis by the Pakistani government. According to the information published in various writings and interviews of historians and politicians, the undisputed leader of Bengali Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman participated in a convention of the combined opposition parties in Lahore on February 5 and 6, 1966, in continuation of the expression of Bengali anger, and on February 5, 6-point demands were raised with the aim of protecting the people of Bengal from discrimination. But the president of the convention Chowdhury Mohammad Ali refused to discuss the six-point demand. Not only that but the next day on February 6, many national newspapers of that time carried news calling Bangabandhu as a separatist. Bangabandhu was surprised and shocked by this incident. He boycotted the said convention and on February 11 returned to the country and presented the details through a press conference and called a meeting of the working committee of Awami League on February 20. In that meeting, 6 points presented by Bangabandhu were unanimously approved and 6 points were accepted as party program.

In the National Conference of Bangladesh Awami League to be held on March 18, 19 and 20, 1966, a six-member ‘sub-committee’ was formed under the leadership of Bangabandhu to promote and publish the six-point demand. It was decided to print and publish a booklet entitled ‘Our Demand for Living: Six Point Programme’ in his name. Later, when the book was distributed among the activists, there was a huge response. Since then, Bangabandhu campaigned as a 6-point hawker in the fields and ghats of Bengal to get recognition of the 6-point demand as the demand for the lives of the people of Bengal.

In a very short time, Bangabandhu supported this demand to be recognized as a people’s demand. Bangabandhu was arrested on May 8, 1966 under the Security Act. After the arrest, on the one hand farce in the name of justice and on the other hand led by Awami League this farce justice and Bangabandhu’s freedom from prison came to the streets of Bengal students. The movement of working people is connected with the student movement. The fire of the movement spread.

On June 7, 1966, intense mass movement in favor of 6-point demand started across the country. On this day, Manu Mia, Shafiq, Shamsul Haque and 11 Bengalis were martyred in the strike called by Awami League in Tongi, Dhaka, Narayanganj by the police and EPR. One of the most glorious chapters of Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman’s political life is his leadership in this 6-point movement. Sheikh Mujibur Rahman started mass communication all over Bengal with the aim of organizing public opinion in favor of 6 points. At that time, he was repeatedly arrested in Sylhet, Mymensingh and Dhaka during mass communication. In the first three months of 1966, he was arrested 8 times.

The students are determined to form an organized movement to free Bangabandhu, the undisputed leader of the Bengalis of Pakistan. The Pakistani military government was frightened and forced to withdraw the charges brought against Bangabandhu on 22 February 1969. The ambassador of Bengali liberation was released. Despite hundreds of tortures, imprisonment and oppression, Bangabandhu did not withdraw from the demand of Bengali independence. Instead, he ordered them to unite more and continue the movement to implement the 6-point demand for their lives. The mass uprising of 1969 took place through this movement. Awami League leader Sheikh Mujibur Rahman was awarded the title of ‘Bangabandhu’ through the 6-point movement. Then in the 1970 elections, the Awami League and the Bengali nation won a huge victory. As a result of this movement, the election of 1970 and the liberation war of 1971. In continuation of this, independent Bangladesh was born on the world map through victory in the Great War of Liberation in 1971.

The blood shed from the heart of the Bengali nation during the June 7 strike, this is the first blood donation of the Bengalis for the freedom movement. Through this self-sacrifice, they informed the Pakistani oppressors that Bengalis are ready to give their lives in the struggle for freedom. No one can claim them in the future. On this day, June 7 is observed as the historical six-point day in memory of the martyrs. Bangladesh Awami League and various political parties who believe in the spirit of the great liberation war observe the day with due dignity.

Anti-independence circles in the name of a heinous conspiracy to change history by killing the Father of the Nation in 1975. Bangabandhu’s contribution in the liberation war, the historic 6 points of the Bengali liberation charter, 69 people’s uprising, all the history became unknown and unknown to the Bengalis. Many of the young generation do not know what was Bangabandhu’s historical six points.

Which was in six stages

1: Constitutional structure and nature of the state: The constitutional structure of the country should be such that Pakistan will be a federation-based union and its basis will be the Lahore proposal. Government will be parliamentary type. The power of the Legislatures shall be sovereign and shall be elected by direct popular vote on the basis of universal suffrage.

2 : Powers of the Central Government: The powers of the Central (Federal) Government shall be limited to only two areas – namely, national defense and foreign policy. In all other matters the powers of the Member States shall be absolute.

3 : Currency or Monetary Power: Either of the two following proposals may continue to be adopted with regard to currency:- (a) Two separate, but freely exchangeable currencies for the whole country shall be in existence. or (b) there can be only one currency for the whole country under the existing rules. But in that case, effective system should be kept in the governance system so that the way of capital smuggling from East-Pakistan to West-Pakistan is closed. In this case separate banking reserve for East Pakistan should also be created and separate fiscal or monetary policy should be introduced for East Pakistan.

4 : Powers relating to Revenue, Taxes, or Duties: The States of the Federation shall have sovereign powers to levy taxes or duties. The central government will have no power to levy any taxes. However, a part of the state revenue will be available to the central government for meeting the necessary expenditure. The Central Government’s fund will consist of the share collected at the same rate as the percentage of all taxes of the Member States.

5 : Powers on Foreign Trade: (a) Separate accounts of the foreign trade of each State of the Federation shall be maintained. (b) Foreign exchange earned through foreign trade shall be under the jurisdiction of the States. (c) The foreign exchange requirements of the Center shall be met by the States at equal rates or at any rate agreed upon by the States. (d) There shall be no customs or fiscal barriers to the movement of domestic goods between Member States. (e) The regime should empower member states to send their trade representatives abroad and enter into trade agreements in their own interest.

6: Power to form regional army: In order to protect regional unity and governance, member states should be empowered to form and maintain paramilitary or regional army under their authority.

These six points announced by Bangabandhu are called by some as Magna Carta and by others as the charter of Bengali liberation. Awami League advisory council member, 14 party coordinator and spokesperson Amir Hossain Amu said that 56 percent of Pakistan’s population, Bengalis, could not enjoy their independence since the birth of the country called Pakistan. A kind of colonial rule and exploitation was imposed on East Bengal and used as a tool of exploitation. Realizing and identifying this issue, Bangabandhu formulated six-point demands as a way to get rid of Pakistan’s misrule. And to implement this demand of Bangabandhu, 11 Bengalis committed suicide in the strike of June 7, 1966.

Many people think that the blood that spilled from the heart of the Bengali nation during the June 7 strike is the first blood donation of Bengalis for the freedom movement. Through this self-sacrifice, they informed the Pakistani oppressors that Bengalis are ready to give their lives in the struggle for freedom. No one can claim them in the future. On this day, June 7 is observed as the historical six-point day in memory of the martyrs. Bangladesh Awami League and various political parties who believe in the spirit of the great liberation war observe the day with due dignity.

Only some political organizations including BNP do not observe it. Awami League General Secretary Obaidul Quader’s comment on this matter – Those who deny the milestone of independence on 7th June i.e. 6 points do not believe in the values ​​of the liberation war. And I think that those who do not want to accept the unclouded truth of history will one day be thrown into the dustbin of history, on the way to being all ready – just waiting for time.

Author: Former Vice President of Dhaka Journalists Union and Executive Member of Central Committee of Bangladesh Awami Jubo League.