Today is the second death anniversary of ‘Pallibandhu’ Ershad
Today is the second death anniversary of Hussain Muhammad Ershad, former President of the Government of the People’s Republic of Bangladesh and Founder Chairman of the Jatiya Party (JAP). He died on 14 July 2019 at the Combined Military Hospital (CMH) in the capital Dhaka. In the midst of the epidemic, Japa has taken various programs in compliance with the hygiene rules to observe the day.
On the occasion of the day, top leaders of the party led by JPA chairman GM Quader and secretary general Ziauddin Ahmed Bablu paid homage to Ershad with flowers in front of the party’s central office at Kakrail in the capital on Wednesday (July 14th) morning. Later in the morning, Qur’an recitation started at Kakrail office to seek forgiveness of Ershad’s soul.
The top leaders of the party including GM Quader will address a brief memorial meeting there at noon on this day. Besides, the chairman will inaugurate the distribution of cooked food among 10,000 disadvantaged people at noon at the central office premises.
Japa secretary general Ziauddin Bablu said a delegation led by party MP Barrister Shamim Haider Patwari and former MP Nurul Islam Talukder would pay homage to Ershad’s grave in Rangpur and lay a wreath at his grave. There, Quran recitation, milad-mahfil and food will be distributed among the needy. There is also a program to organize prayer-mahfil in mosques in every district and upazila following a limited range of hygiene rules across the country. Apart from this, as a part of the month-long program, prayer mahfils and commemorative meetings are being organized at the party’s central office from July 1.
Ershad has made a place in history by bringing unprecedented development to the rural life of Bangladesh. The fame of this former president will be immortal in Bangladesh. Having been the Head of State for nine long years, he has contributed to the development of Bangladesh in social, political, economic, sports and cultural fields.
Hussain Muhammad Ershad was born on 20 March 1930 at his grandfather’s house in Fulbari upazila of present Kurigram district. His ancestral home is in Dinhata subdivision town of Cooch Behar district in undivided India. His father’s name was Maulvi Maqbool Hossain. He was a renowned lawyer. His grandfather Maulvi Shahadat Hossain was also a renowned lawyer and he was the first Muslim lawyer in the Cooch Behar region. Ershad’s mother’s name is Majida Khatun.
Ershad was the second of nine siblings and the first of four siblings. His nickname was Guava. He spent his childhood and adolescence in the daytime. He passed matriculation in 1948 from Dinhata High School. After passing the matriculation examination, Ershad left Dinhata and was admitted to Rangpur Carmichael College Intermediate in the academic year 1847-48. While studying in this college, he became equally involved in both sports and literature. In 1950 he graduated with honors from Carmichael College. Later, at the request of his father, he was admitted to Dhaka University (DU) to study MA.
On 1 January 1952, he joined the Pakistan Military Academy in the then West Pakistan Kohat Cantonment. In 1954, he married Raushan Ara Daisy, daughter of the famous Khan Saheb Umed Ali of Mymensingh. Later, when the war of independence of Bangladesh started, he was trapped in West Pakistan. He returned home in 1983. Back in the country, he rejoined the army.
On November 8, 1969, he was promoted to Lieutenant General. When Justice Abdus Sattar declared the dissolution of his cabinet and handed over power to the army through martial law, Ershad took over as the Chief of Army Staff on 24 March 1974 as the Chief Martial Law Administrator.
Two years later, on January 1, 1986, he formed the Jatiya Party and began his political and organizational journey as the party’s founding chairman. After the formation of political parties, he announced general elections in the country. The general election was held on 7 May 1986. In this election Jatiya Party won 153 seats and was able to form the government.
He retired from the army in October 1966. When the presidential election was held on 15 October 1987, Ershad won a landslide victory and became the country’s second president. On November 10, 1966, he addressed the National Assembly and lifted martial law.
Ershad excelled in the history of running the country in development-prosperity-reform programs. His two time-honored slogans are ‘Bangladesh will survive if 6,000 villages survive’ and ‘Heroic freedom fighters are the greatest children of all time in this country’. For the unprecedented development of the village, he received the title of ‘Pallibandhu’ on 6 October 1966 at a large peasant gathering in Sher-e-Bangla Nagar, Dhaka.
Its landmark activities are introduction of upazila system, upgrading all subdivisions of the country to districts, land reform, adoption and implementation of drug policy, establishment of Pathkali Trust, implementation of cluster village program, introduction of Bengali at all levels, supply of electricity to villages, development of garment industry, sending troops on peace missions. And to revolutionize the communication system by constructing 508 major bridges and culverts across the country and constructing 10,000 km of new paved roads.
He declared Islam as the state religion. He has contributed to development, prosperity and reform in all sectors of the country. The way that Hussain Muhammad Ershad has taken place in the minds of the people of Bangladesh through his work will remain immortal forever.