Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Bangladesh, Sheikh Hasina

Sheikh Hasina was born on 28 Sep 1947. She is the eldest of the five children of Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, the founding father of Bangladesh and wife of an Internationally reputed nuclear Scientist, M.A.Wazed Miah.
Sheikh Hasina's political career started as a student activist in Eden College in 1960. While at Government Intermediate college, she was elected vice-president of the College students' Union for the term 1966-67. Her opponent was the leftist student leader Motiya Choudhury, who much later joined Awami League and became a member of Hasin's Cabinet.
At the University of Dhaka Hasina was a member of the Chatra league (the student wing of Awami League) and secretary of the Rokeya Hall unit. During the Liberation war in 1971, then a young mother, was held under in-house arrestwith her mother, brothers, sister and her son. Sheikh Mujibur Rahman was imprisoned in west Pakistanduring this period. After liberation , Hasina's involvement in politics was minimal as Sheikh Kamal, her brother, was touted as Mujib's successor.

But her political life and personal destiny was irrevocably altered on the fateful night of 15 Aug, 1975, when her father and almost her entire family including her mother and three brothers were assassinated in a coup d'etat by a section of disgruntled officers of the Bangladesh Army, some of whom were freedom fighters during 1971.Sheikh hasina and sister , Sheikh Rehana were on a good will tour of West germany at that time,Hasina then sought refuge in United Kingdom and later in India. She was exiled to New Delhi, India until 17 May, 1981 when she was allowed to return to Bangladesh.

Whileliving in self exile in India, Sheikh Hasina was elected the president of Bangladesh Awami League in 1981. After she returned to the country, the President Ziaur Rahmanwas assassinated in another coup in May ,1981. The following year, Genneral H.M.ershad captured power through a bloodless coup and declared martial law. In 1983, Hasina formed the 15-Party alliance to launch a movement to oust Ershad from power. She was in and out of prison throughout the 1980s. Her Party, along with the Bangladesh National Party, led by Khaleda Zia, was instrumental in the movement against the military rule . In 1984, Hasina was put under house arrest in february and then again in Nov. In March, 1985, she was put again under house arrest for three months.

In 1990, Hasina's 8-party alliance was instrumental along with another BNP-led alliance finally removed Ershad from Power.