2020 is the 100th birth year of the father of our nation, the greatest Bengali of thousand years, the leader of our War of Independence, Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman. That’s why from 17th march, 2020 to 17th march 2021 has been declared as the Mujib Borsho (Mujib Year). We have got a great chance to expose the ideology and philosophy of Sheikh Mujib in front of the world. As a developing country that might provide a bold role for Bangladesh’s identity and tourism industry as well.
Many tourists visit Shakespeare’s birth place Stratford in England. They visit South Africa for Nelson Mandela’s residence and political memories. In our neighborhood country India, the father of their nation Mahatma Gandhi’s residence is a major tourist attraction. Yearly around 1 million tourists visits India and among them 46% definitely visit Mahatma Gandhi’s habitat. It not only generates profit for India but also promulgates Mahatma Gandhi’s ideology in front of the whole world. In this context, we lag behind though having a prolific leader like with Sheikh Mujib.
The birth place of Sheikh Mujib Tungipara, his childhood life, student life, political activities, days in prison, declaration of independence, fate of 15th August these all could attract tourists and researchers from national and international territory. It is our responsibility to provide the opportunity to the world to know Sheikh Mujib and understand his philosophy. Through international publications, documentaries, cinematographs we can spread Sheikh Mujib’s ideology to all over the world. Everyone should know his sacrifice that led to the independence of Bangladesh. Ministry of Information and Bangladesh Parjatan Corporation can jointly promote his actions in front of the International boundary.
Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujib was the dream maker of tourism industry in Bangladesh. He himself established Bangladesh Parjatan Corporation on behalf of Presidential declaration no. 143 in 1973. He has visited every corner of Bangladesh for gaining local supports. Through it, he came to discover Bangladesh’s immense natural beauty. In 1970 he visited Moheskhali Island, and expressed to open his own resort there. Visiting Sylhet in 1969, he named Sylhet as the Kashmir of the East. He then understood the importance of Sundarban. That’s why he started afforestation and demotivate to cut down plants. Back then during monsoon, total transportation system depended on water way and Sheikh Mujib had enjoyed it. He never felt tired seeing the beauty of villages.
From his own written, Osomapto Attojiboni (Unfinished Diary), we can see his eagerness to visit tourist places. Before independence of British India, he visited Delhi for the first time in 1942. He had a penny after the program though somehow he managed to visit Delhi’s Red fort, Nizam Uddin Darbar, Qutub Minar. And his description of those places are beyond words. He not only visited those places, but also took them with him and kept in his mind. From his another book, Amar Dekha Noya Chin, we came to know about his interest in mega projects. China then had started to build their nation in a full-length speed. They had invented various technical tools and machineries. Their roads were neat and clean, tourist spots were historic and informative. After independence he visited china, for their support to rebuild Bangladesh. Early in 1975 he visited London. He saw double decker buses there and showed interest to import those kind of vehicles in Bangladesh.
UNESCO has declared Sheikh Mujib’s 7th march speech as a World’s Documentary Heritage. Except him only Martin Luther king and Nelson Mandela have earned such prestige. We can showcase it to attract international tourists and researchers. “This time the struggle is for our freedom. This time the struggle is for our independence” is the best appreciation for Bengali till now. Then why don’t we promote it. His attire like Black qurta, white Pant and Pajama, black bold framed power glass is our significant of peace and independence. We can spread that speech on behalf of worldwide persecuted, refugees and guiltless people.
Along with Dhaka University, many more public universities have published research papers on Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman. But the number is really low in other language or outside of Bangladesh. Only Calcutta University has a course on him. Here Bangladeshi Government needs to play an important role. Publishing articles, documentaries, biographies on various languages may draw attention of worldwide researcher to Sheikh Mujib. Right now corona pandemic is crushing the whole world. That’s why everyone is dependent on internet and online sources. Here we can represent Sheikh Mujib widely through video, images and cinemas. Hard to believe, but even after 48 years of independence not a single movie has been made exclusively on Sheikh Mujib. But if you search for Mahatma Gandhi, a thousand movies are available on the internet.
It is a responsibility of every single Bangladeshi to promote Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman on the international arena. We cannot keep ourselves distant from it. Mujib Borsho (Mujib year) is the year to spread Mujib’s ideology to every corner. Bangladesh as well as our tourism industry could be highly benefited through it.
Writer: Fazzley Shahid Monon
Student, Department of Tourism and Hospitality Management
Hazi Muhammad Muhsin Hall
University of Dhaka
Cell no: 01720656995.