The Sixth and Seventh Banknote Issues of Bangladesh

Figure 24

Sheikh Mujibur Rahman was born in Tungipara, India, on 17 March 1920. The son of a landowner, Sheikh Mujib studied law and political science at the universities of Calcutta and Dhaka. While practising law, he co-founded the Awami League in 1949 and was secretary of the League from 1950 to 1971. A charismatic leader, with other members of his party he agitated for reform within East Pakistan and led the independence movement of Bangladesh. Prior to the declaration of independence, Sheikh Mujib was interred by the Pakistanis, but on Bangladesh winning the war against West Pakistan he was released and became Prime Minister. Adored by his people for leading the struggle for independence, and for placing his own life at risk, he was given the honorary title of ‘Bangabandhu’, which means ‘friend of Bengal’. After three years as Prime Minister he declared himself ‘President for life’ and instigated a one-party state. However, his failure to maintain the economy and the implementation of his dictatorial rule led to opposition from the army and he, and most of his family, were assassinated on 15 August 1975.

© Peter Symes