Friday, 14 June, 2024
Friday, 14 June, 2024

Receiving the Joliot-Curie Peace Medal of Bangabandhu

Hiren Pandit
  02 Jun 2024, 21:25

Exactly 51 years ago , on May 23, 1973, the Father of the Nation, Bangabandhu, was officially awarded the Peace Medal ' Joliot-Curie'. Not only was the Father of the nation awarding the medal, but the World Peace Council also awarded Bangabandhu the title of World Friend.

On October 10, 1972, at the meeting of the Presidential Committee of the World Peace Council in Santiago, the capital of Chile, it was decided to award the Joliot-Curie Peace Medal to Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, the father of the Bengali nation.

On May 23, 1973, World Peace Council Secretary General Ramesh Chandra handed over the Joliot-Curie Medal to Father of the nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman at the Asian Peace Conference in Dhaka.

In his speech that day, Bangabandhu spoke about the oppressed people worldwide. After the beginning of the journey of the World Peace Council in 1949, peace medals were awarded in 1950. After the death of the French physicist Frédéric Joliot-Curie in 1958, the Peace Medal was renamed the Joliot-Curie Peace Medal in 1959.

This medal is given to those who oppose imperialism-fascism and the establishment of humanity and world peace. Fifty-one years after Bangabandhu received the Julio Curie Medal, establishing a war-free world was impossible. Nowadays, it is sometimes heard that the socialist Soviet Union is no longer in existence! No Cold War, no superpowers!

A world of eccentricity has been created! The question arises as to whether the non-aligned movement can have an effective plan now. So, the need for the peace movement is now over! It is not relevant to discuss this misleading information.

Against the emancipation of oppressed nations and working people of the world. Now, the world is not much. They are aggressive, argumentative, and extreme nationalist; they are sometimes racist, rapists, and religious militancy in various forms. Sometimes neofascists. Afghan-Taliban is next to home in today's world. Some distance away is Palestine, Ukraine. It's all a game of warlike politics. In the United Nations Security Council, warlike politics is played in the name of the human rights charter or international law. The decision is no longer! Still, one by one, many countries recognize Palestine's independent state formally.

The People's Struggle in the United Nations General Assembly is on the way to victory. Today, the peace movement is more important than ever in the country for such a victory of the peace and freedom-seeking people. For such a tremendous struggle, Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman was awarded the Julio Curie Peace Medal by the World Peace Council.

After Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman received the world-famous Julio Curie Peace Medal, Bangabandhu and his family were killed in 1975. In the later attempts to erase Bangabandhu's name from history, the ancient and genuine organization associated with the Julio Curie Peace Medal, the World Peace Council, and the Bangladesh Peace Council was neglected. World Peace Council Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur on May 23, 1973, for taking the lead in establishing an independent state of Bangladesh in return for the self-sacrifice of millions of martyrs and honouring countless mothers and sisters through a bloody war, for outstanding efforts to establish peace in the post-war period and for expressing solidarity in the anti-imperialist struggle of various countries around the world, Bangabandhu was awarded the world-famous Julio Currie Peace Medal.

Bangabandhu's receipt of this medal was the first international recognition of his vast struggle. Considering the world politics and global status of that time, receiving this medal was a matter of great pride for the individual Bangabandhu and the entire Bengali nation. In the presence of 200 representatives of the Peace Council of 140 countries of the world, the decision was taken to award the 'Julio Curie Peace Medal to Father of the Nation Bangabandhu. All those at the meeting agreed to award the Julio Curie Peace Medal to Bangabandhu, considering his lifelong politics and leadership in the Bangladesh Liberation War. Given that, the World Peace Council announced the name of Bangabandhu as the medal recipient on October 10, 1972.

Julio Currie is an honorary medallist of the World Peace Council. French physicist Jean Frédéric Julio Curie died in 1958. His wife's name is Irene Currie. They are both Nobel laureate scientists. Irina's parents are Nobel laureate scientist couple, Pierre Curie and Madame Curie. Later, the World Peace Council named their peace medal the 'Julio Curie' medal in 1959. His wife was also a Nobel laureate.

They enriched the World Peace Council with part of the Nobel Prize money. Because of this, the medal became permanent in the name of Frédéric Joliot-Curie and Irène Joliot-Curie. One hundred sixty-seven world elites have received this medal.

Among the medal recipients are Bengali Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, Czechoslovakia's Julius Fucik, Spain's Pablo Picasso, Chile's Pablo Neruda, America's Paul Robson, Turkey's Nazim Hikmat, America's Martin Luther King, Egypt's Kamal Abdul Nasser, Soviet Union's Leonid Brezhnev, Tanzania's Julius Nyerere, Cuba Fidel Castro, South Vietnam's Ho Chi Minh, Chile's Salvador Allende, Palestine's Yasser Arafat, South Africa's Nelson Mandela, Mother Teresa, poet and politician Pablo Neruda, Martin Luther King, India's Jawaharlal Nehru and Indira Gandhi, among many world-class political leaders, artists-literature and peace. The devotees Many of these awardees also received the Lenin Peace Prize.

On May 23, 1973, at the South Plaza of the Bangladesh National Assembly in Dhaka, the medal was presented to Bangabandhu by the then General Secretary of the Assembly, Mr. Ramesh Chandra. On that occasion, General Secretary of the World Peace Council Ramesh Chandra said, 'Bangabandhu is not only of Bengal, he is of the world, and he is the friend of the world.

'Bangladesh Shanti Parishad’ is the leading organisation to organise this rare commemoration programme of Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman. At that time, the general secretary of this organisation was a prominent journalist and communist leader, Comrade Ali Aksad. Initially, as a member of the World Peace Council, the Bangladesh Peace Council organised the Asian Peace Conference in Dhaka on May 23, 1973.

Many political leaders, distinguished guests from home and abroad, diplomats, and people from all walks of life participated in this Asian Peace Conference held in independent Bangladesh. This historic peace conference was a significant event in the politics of Asia at that time. This was because of the Cold War between the capitalist United States and the socialist Soviet Union. The idea of the Non-Aligned Movement, born in Belgrade in 1961, became very popular worldwide. Among those who were at the top of this non-aligned movement were the then leader of Yugoslavia, Marshall Tito, Sukarno of Indonesia, Gamal Abdel Nasser of Egypt, Jawaharlal Nehru of India, Kenneth Kaunda of Zambia, Nkrumah of Ghana, Fidel Castro of Cuba, Houeri Boumedine of Algeria and others.

Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman was at the forefront of this non-aligned movement for peace. As a result, Bangabandhu's contribution to the peace movement was at the international level.

Why did the World Peace Council then nominate Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman to be awarded the Joliot-Curie Peace Award, known as the 'Political Nobel Prize'?

By all accounts, Bangabandhu's leadership in our great liberation war was not the only consideration. Instead, Bangabandhu led the struggle for world peace in various ways, from World War II to the establishment of independent Bangladesh. This is easily understood by looking at his past life. During the national language movement, he was imprisoned for a long time and became ill. He was released from jail on February 27, 1952. In October of that year, the 'Peace Conference of the Asian and Pacific Regions' was held in China. Bangabandhu participated in this peace conference. He also exchanged views with peace leaders from 37 world countries at this conference.

In their writings, many have mentioned Bangabandhu's outstanding role in the China conference in the struggle for peace. Bangabandhu also participated in the World Peace Council conference in Stockholm on April 59, 1956. Bangabandhu said, 'World peace is the principle of my life. I am with the oppressed, exploited, and freedom-fighting people, wherever they are. We want peace to be maintained everywhere in the world; it should be consolidated.

Today, when the situation in Palestine and the war in Ukraine are changing the political map of the whole world, this war is gradually taking the form of another world war, when the whole world is rushing towards a terrible economic recession While Myanmar's military junta has imposed more than a million Rohingya refugees on Bangladesh. At the same time, Afghanistan's terrorist militant Taliban group has created a security risk for the entire South Asia and the entire world. Then, Bangabandhu's contribution and teaching in the struggle for peace became very relevant. Bangabandhu has taught the people of the world with his blood that the people cannot be kept in demand for long by force of arms.

He taught with his life that the only alternative to peace is peace. The Julio Curie Medal was introduced primarily to encourage tireless workers opposing imperialism and fascism and to pursue humanity and world peace. In 1949, the French physicist J. Frédéric Julio Curie introduced the award. During his lifetime, the name of this medal was the 'Medal of Peace.' Julio Curie realized that atomic energy could be used for destruction rather than peace. The horror of the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki in 1945 inspired him to vow peace. To establish peace in the world, he established the World Peace Council in 1949 in consultation with the famous scientist Albert Einstein, British professor JD Bernal, artist Pablo Picasso, actor Charlie Champlin, famous Chilean poet and writer Pablo Neruda, Turkish poet and politician Nazim Hikmat, Russian Ilya Erenburg. 1950 Czechoslovakian writer Julius Fubik was the first to receive this award. Sheikh Mujibur Rahman was given this medal for his lifelong struggle for peace.

At least two of Bangabandhu's sayings - such as - the world today is divided into two parts, 'One part exploits, and the other part is exploited; I am for the exploited' or 'I will not bow down to imperialism even if my fate is like that of Allende of Chile', making clear his pro-peace and anti-imperialist stance. His involvement and cooperation with this organization were strengthened by his participation in the 1957 Peace Conference in China. In 1973, Bangabandhu, who stood for peace at the Dhaka Conference, said, "You fellow-minded representatives of the world peace movement have awarded me the Julio Curie Peace Medal." I am grateful for this honour. But at the same time, I also strongly feel that this honour is not for any individual. This honour is given to the martyrs who sacrificed themselves in the freedom struggle of Bangladesh, the brave soldiers of the freedom struggle. Julio Currie Peace Medal for the entire Bengali nation.

There are 75 million people in my country. Because we believe in the welfare of all the exploited and oppressed people of the world instead of all kinds of arms race, we desire the friendship of all the countries and nations of the world. We believe in friendship with all, enmity with none, peaceful co-existence. So, we have been pursuing an active, neutral foreign policy outside of military alliances. Not only the government's policy but strengthening international peace and solidarity is one of the precepts of our constitution. You must know that our constitution is built on the four pillars of nationalism, democracy, socialism, and secularism. Based on this idea, we want to establish an exploitation-free society.

After Bangabandhu, Sheikh Hasina has created immense potential in Bangladesh today. Bangabandhu's philosophy and politics were to uphold humanity - her prudence and determination took her from a statesman of a newly independent third-world country to a world leader. The day of realization that this is a rarity for this nation returns every year. The Bangladesh government has decided to award the Peace Medal in the name of the Father of the Nation, Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, the pioneer of world peace.

The Cabinet has approved the 'Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman Shanti Padak Policy, 2024' draft for awarding medals. Any person or organization at the domestic or international level will receive a medal named 'Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman Shanti Padak' for their contribution to peace in several fields. This medal will be awarded every two years. The medal will be awarded to one person or institution each time. According to the policy, the monetary value of this medal will be one lakh US dollars. It will accompany an 18-carat gold medal weighing 50 grams and a certificate.

If a person or organization at the domestic or international level contributes to the establishment of world peace, takes effective initiatives and contributes to the resolution of war, takes effective initiatives to establish peace in conflict situations, makes an essential contribution to the establishment of human rights, plays an influential role in creating a world free from hunger and poverty and only those individuals or institutions that contribute to the overall welfare of the state and society through sustainable social environmental economic development can be nominated for the Bangabandhu Peace Medal. Considering these issues, the Bangabandhu Shanti Medal Awarding Jury will select a national or international level person or organization to award this medal every two years.

As per the policy approved by the Cabinet, the name of the person or organization nominated for this medal will be announced on the occasion of the Father of the Nation's birthday and National Children's Day every March 17.

Then, the prize will be awarded on or around May 23. The possible date for awarding the medal is May 23 because Bangabandhu received the Julio Curie Medal for his contribution to world peace. The pride of the Bengali nation, the absolute friend of the world's humanity, and the Father of the Nation, Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, was the undisputed leader of the freedom-seeking, oppressed, and hardworking people of the world. This vision for the liberation of the oppressed people has fought a lifelong struggle to establish equality, freedom, and democracy.

The Prime Minister always says we do not want conflict or war. We want peace in the whole world. Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, the mother of humanity, the privileged daughter of the father of the nation, Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, the pioneer of world peace, is working continuously to establish peace in the lives of the ordinary people following the path shown by her father as one of the politicians of the world assembly. This visionary of peace and humanity is the earnest successor of the Father of the Nation, Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman.

The author is an essayist, researcher and columnist

 

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