Five decades ago the people of Bangladesh bestowed the title of Bangabandhu on Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, who would later lead the nation to freedom, for the supreme sacrifices he had made for the Bangalis.
The then DUCSU vice president and Sarbadaliya Chhatra Sangram Parishad president Tofail Ahmed announced the title on behalf of the people at a mass rally after the father of the nation was freed from jail in the Agartala conspiracy case.
Since then, the greatest Bangali of all time has been known by that title which, in Bangla, means the friend of the people.
Bangabandhu had spent most of his youthful days in the jail of Pakistan for the emancipation of people. No other leader made such sacrifices for the people.
Recalling the event, Tofail, the current commerce minister said Bangabandhu was put on trial as the main accused in the conspiracy case. At that time, a council was formed with students and other people.
"I was its coordinator and spokesperson as the DUCSU VP," Tofail said. "That is why I was the president of the historic rally at race course."
He said on February 21, 1969 the council gave a 24-hour ultimatum to the then Pakistan government to free Sheikh Mujib unconditionally and he was eventually released on February 22.
"Around a million people raised their hands in unison at a grand public rally at Race Course Maidan (now Suhrawardy Udyan) on February 23, 1969, and conferred the title of Bangabandhu on Sheikh Mujibur Rahman," Tofail said on Friday, reports BSS.