Mahatma Gandhi was a magician: Mujibur Rahman
New Delhi: Both Mohammed Ali Jinnah and Lord Mountbatten wanted to become Governor General of Pakistan, Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman wrote in his just-out memoirs in which he mentioned Mahatma Gandhi as a "magician" who had a great capability of casting an influence on people.
Written during Mujib's stay in jail as a state prisoner between 1967 and 1969, "The Unfinished Memoirs" begins with his recollections of his days as a student activist in Kolkata in the run-up to the movement for Pakistan in the early 1940s.
They cover the 1952 Bengali language movement, the first stirrings of the movement for Bangladesh independence and self-rule, and convey the uncertainties as well as the hopes that dominated the time. The last notebook ends with events accompanying the struggle for democratic rights in 1955.
When Mujib's diaries came to light in 2004, it was an indisputably historic event. His daughter, Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, had the notebooks - their pages by then brittle and discoloured - carefully transcribed and later translated from Bengali into English.
Describing about a time "when Muslims were being attacked every now and then" and an occasion when Gandhi did not speak to anyone or give speeches as he did on Sundays, Mujib wrote, "The Mahatma wrote something for the occasion and his secretary read it out. The man was a magician. People cried out immediately, 'Muslims and Hindus are brothers.' The whole atmosphere changed instantly."
Mujib, who was was assassinated in a military putsch on August 15, 1975, cited another instance when rioters pledged not to indulge in violence after Gandhi told them that he would resort to a hunger strike if they did so.
The architect of Bangladesh's freedom, also wrote that just prior to India's independence, Viceroy Lord Mountbatten was helping Congress covertly in all sorts of ways.