Yesterday marked the 35th death anniversary of the founding father of the Bangladeshi independence struggle, Mashiur Rahman “Jadu Miah”, my maternal grandfather.
The people are the source of all power.
Today, our movements understand & have experienced the kind of power ordinary citizens across the globe can wield- from electing officers to the highest positions of leadership & political power to passing policies & laws countered by big corporations. History, however, has sparse examples of men already holding political office who remain true to the very people whose faith & admiration elevated them to such positions. That was the heart of my grandfather & the man that the people of Bangladesh lovingly called, Jadu Miah or Magic Man.
As a child, I vividly remember gazing with awe upon a series of pictures which began with my grandfather (Bhaiya Moni, as we called him) conversing with one man on the street. As I imagine the click of the camera continuing during this simple & common encounter, the pictures show more & more of our people gathering around Bhaiya Moni to listen to him speak. The last photo showing droves of people, spontaneously assembled to talk to the venerable Jadu Miah. Even now, so many years after laying eyes upon those pictures, I have a visceral reaction to the memory, in which the meaning of the kind of man Bhaiya Moni was, ignites chills throughout my body.
I dream of you, Bhaiya Moni. I’ve felt & experienced the impact of your love for our people & our country. I continue to see & be moved by your life’s work in all that my mother does & in the lives of my aunts & uncles. Even your grandchildren, we who were lucky to have you in our lives, though far too short & fleeting, and the children of your children who suffer the loss of never experiencing your love and kindness, we, too, embody the strength & courage we know to be the grounding force of your leadership.
There are many who continue your legacy & many more who share the stories of Jadu Mia. We will forever miss you, forever love you but more importantly, forever live your legacy in our hearts, minds & actions.