Mr. Tajuddin Ahmed wished to maintain contact with us even after he was sacked
Although we did not support Mr. Tajuddin Ahmeds policies during the liberation war but we respected him as he had many adorable qualities. After getting the news of his dismissal, the same evening I went to his official residence to see him.
He was winding up to leave the official residence. We sat down in the lawn. As I was living after our meeting he said, "Will you see me if I want meet you in future?" I was a bit surprised but replied, "I have no problem from my side." We decided to remain in touch discreetly.
One day I was in the office. Suddenly to my surprise Mr. Shirajul Islam Choudhary, the elder brother of my father-in-law an eminent intellectual and journalist and the editor of one time Pakistan Today moved in. I stood up to welcome him and said, "Kakku, what brings you here? You could send a message, I could have gone up to your place myself". He took his seat. An aged person so he looked tired.
"I came for some specific reason. That is why I came personally. Mr. Tajuddin wants to see you urgently". Mr. Tajuddin and Kakku were related. Mrs. Tajuddin and Mrs. Choudhury were sisters.
"Where?" I asked
"At Tati Bazar". He said.
"Ok I and Nur will come tomorrow after lunch". I said. After taking a cold drink the left.
Nextday at the appoinated time we arrived at his Tati Bazar residence. Mr. Tajuddin was waiting. We both were well known to Mr. Tajuddin. In a room up stairs we started our meeting.
"How do you see the prevailing situation in the country?" Mr. Tajuddin asked as we settled down after exchange of greetings.
"The country you have made has no darth of problems I think." I replied.
"It is you who have made the country independent". Mr. Tajuddin countered.
"Is that so? Nobody knows more then yourself that we did not want to get our independence in this way."I replied. Mr. Tajuddin was quite. I continued,
"Tajuddin Saheb, dont you agree that our contentions of 1971 are now being proved to be correct one by one? However, lets not talk about the past.Tell us now why did you called for me"? I asked directly.
"This country needs to be saved". He said.
"Ofcourse. But how?" I asked.
"People can have total emancipation through socialism". Said Mr. Tajuddin Ahmed.
"It can be debated. Lifelong you have done bourgeois politics and now you want to establish socialism how can it be possible? Why shall people bleave you? Beside, Awami League is also a bourgeois organization. Why sheikh Mujib no one can establish real socialism with such a party? I am sure you also realise it by now. The biggest problem is the way you have defamed socialism, people of this country will be horrified with the term socialism for years to come. More over, after moving around all over the country the experience I have gathered that our people are not fanatics but they are religious. You people have not succeeded to ensure the acceptability of your four principles among the people. When I say people I do not mean the people of Dhaka, Chittagong or Khulna. I talk about the 95% of people who still live in the rural areas. I am not sure how much socialism can achieve but one thing I am convinced that you can not under estimate the people of this country. You just can not impose anything from the top. Human beings are made of flesh and blood. They have both worldly material needs as well as spiritual needs. They are not machines. Ignoring this fact anything done would be temporary. However, please tell us about your political programe. You are an enlightened person. We may not agree with your political philosophy but trust us, we consider you as a well-meaning person. However, I must make one point clear. If India had helped us. She did it for her own interest. Even then as a nation we shall ever remain grateful. But how can India and Soviet Union be considered favorable forces in our endeavor to make Bangladesh a genuinely independent and prosperous country? That would be going against their interest. You are some how weak about them it is almost known to every one. We want to know about this from you directly. According to the socialist philosophy, socialism can only be implemented under the leadership of the proletariats. Which is your party? That we must also know". Mr. Tajuddin Ahmed gave a serious hearing to what I said. This was the first time we were talking serious politics. Maj. Nur was a silent listner.
"Are you all so conscious about politics?" He asked.
"I do not know what do you mean when you say you all. But a major section of the armed forces are definitely politically conscious". I replied.
"I am pleased to know that. I can see some silver living over the dark clouds now. Well gentleman, I believe in socialism as a political philosophy. But application and the ways and means to implement socialism necessarily are different and depend on the objective conditions of a particular society or a country. India is a democratic country. The application of socialism in India is not the same as that of Soviet model. Democratic India had supported our liberation war on principles and it can also be said about the Soviet Union. Soviet Union is also providing all out support to other nations of the world to free themselves. Indo-Soviet opposition is now being organized basically by the imperialist and the fundamentalist forces. Do you think this conspiracy will bring any good to the nation?" Mr. Tajuddin finished his interesting submission.
"Sir, the sentiment and belief of the people I had talked about can hardly pronounce the word Fundamentalist and Imperialist forces etc. What to talk about their understanding of the meanings of these terms. They say what they feel from their own experience. Such debates are all restricted within the drawing rooms of the urban intellegentia. They form not even 1 to 2 % of the people. We firmly believe that India in not a democratic country in real sense of the term. Under the cloak of democracy for last 25 years or so there had been a rule of one party and to be more precise one family. Mrs. Indira Gandhi has taken full advantage of the situation to dismember Pakistan as a step ahead in fulfilling the cherished dream of Akhand Bharat of Pandit Jawharlal Nehru and Mahatma Gandhi. She was well supported. But now the central government of India can no way accept that independent Bangladesh becomes a viable self-supporting prosperous nation. Rather attempts would be made to strangulate our economy with that of India to perpetuate their political control. That means our country should be like that of Bhutan or Sikkim, so that they can point towards the burning nationalist movements within India and say that no nation in this region can become a viable entity seceding from the Indian Union. They have to remain under the domination of the Union. If they can make Bangladesh a dependent territory or a vassal state then the other national liberation movements are bound to loose momentum. On the other hand should we succeed then those burning nationalist movements will turn into prairie fire and the Indian Union will disintrigate within no time. The dream of Akhand Bharat will just evaporate. Where the member states of Indian Union themselves are being exploited and oppressed under the center, what good it would be for us to be a vassal state? On the contrary should Indian Union a creation of the colonialists in the recent past reverts back to its historical configuration then it would be beneficial not only to Bangladesh but to all the nations of this subcontinent. The nation states which existed since ages were forcibly brought together to create Indian Union by the alien invaders for their colonial exploitations. And against this legacy of forced unification today this region is still bleeding. Durable stability and prosperity of the people of this subcontinent can only be attained through resolving this unresolved national question in the correct historical perspective. There is no other alternative. India is a multinational country and that is a historical fact". After hearing my submission Mr. Tajuddin said that further deliberations need to be made on this subject in future. He also identified Jatiyo Shamijtrantik Dal (JSD) to be his political vehicle. In reply I said, "JSD today is definitely playing the vanguard role in anti government movement. They are also talking about scientific socialism. But are these break away youth leaders of Awami League truly socialists? Is JSD under this present leadership can be called a party of the prolitatiates? Most of these leaders have bourgeoisie or party bourgeoisie back ground. Only future can perhaps say how much they have declassed themselves. But there is no justification to consider JSD as a proletarian party at this stage". This is how our meeting ended that day. Before leaving we decided to meet soon again.
From the ideological point of view a section of JSD leadership also considered Soviet Union to be a socialist state and India as a democratic country. They were of the opinion that India and Soviet Union were friendly and supporting forces for the national emancipation and implementation of socialism. Such views were somewhat similar do that of Mr. Tajuddin Ahmed. But most of the rank and files of JSD were anti Indian. This paradox was also a major reason for the degeneration of JSD at a later stage. We knew that even the JSD leadership was devided on the policy regarding India. After the meeting with Mr. Tajuddin a question arose in our mind. Does then India create any substance in the rumour that JSD was the B team of Awami League? If that is not the case then how could JSD accept Mr. Tajuddins leadership? We have to find out the answer.
One day we went to Narayanganj to meet Col. Taher. While discussing various issues we tried to find out the relation between JSD and Mr. Tajuddin. Col. Taher personally thought there is no relation with Mr. Tajuddin party wise. This made the issue more complicated. May be Col. Taher does not know about it or Mr. Tajuddin is maintaining his contact with some leaders in the JSD high command through via media which has been kept secret from others for some reasons. One of us also inquired from Mr. Shajahan another central leader of JSD. Mr. Shajahan also gave similar reply, Mr. Tajuddin has no relation with JSD party wise.
After a few days we had the second meeting. In that meeting we discussed mostly on India-Bangladesh relations. In the context of our previous discussion I said,
"India will never accept three things in Bangladesh:
1. Bangladesh develop an independent viable economy.
2. Bangladesh become an Islamic state.
3. Bangladesh and West Bangal merges together as an independent country.
As we asked his views on these points. Mr. Tajuddin said,
"India relatively is a mini super power in this sub-continent. If we ignore this reality then Bangladeshs existence will be in danger. For our survival we have to maintain a cordial relation with India." As an example he sighted Nepal and said,
"Indias economic relation with Nepal in very deep. Nepals economy is virtually dependent on India. But India is not interfering in the independence and sovereignty of Nepal?" In reply I said,
"Nepal is a Hindu state. As far we know India has a big say in the internal and external policies of Nepal and has tremendous influence on its national politics. But how can you equate Bangladesh with Nepal? Bangladesh is a country of over 100 million people predominantly Muslims. We are a small country but a big nation. This is a reality. This nation fought a bloody liberation war to come out from the exploitation of the Pakistani ruling junta, not to be dominated by India. If we exist we exis with our separate identity and total independence. This is the aspiration and commitment of the people. Do you think that India no matter how big and powerful it may be can ever dare to turn Bangladesh into Sikkin, Bhutan or Nepal should we succeed to orgainze the people with nationalist sentiment? A truly democratic and popular government can heighten the nationalist spirit and unite the people as one and turn Bangladesh into a fortress against any external threat or aggration. And dont you think that every nationalist should work for that?" Mr. Tajuddin did not say anything in reply. One thing became very clear from these two meetings that Mr. Tajuddin surely had some weakness about India and some bindings that he does not want to cross. Why such weakness? What were the bindings? He never revealed that to us in our meetings. We also did not embarrass him any further discussing about India in our subsequent meetings.