The soldiers coup in November 7 is an important and historic event. Prior to 15 August Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibar Rahman was assassinated along with most of his family, four national leaders were killed in jail and then the November 7 coup. The soldiers were led by Colonel Abu Taher.
Taher believed that only a people’s war led by the right kind of political leadership could engage the people in a protected guerrilla warfare that would lead to victory for the fighting Bengali nation. In fact it was only Taher amongst the whole of Sector Commanders that understood the dynamics of the political-military situation of the time.
Due to his left-leaning communist ideas of organising and reforming the Bangladesh Army in the model of the Chinese army he resigned from the Bangladesh Army and joined Jatiya Samajtantrik Dal (National Socialist Party). As Abu Taher’s ideas of a social revolution with a central communist army grew, a mutiny rebellion followed on November 3 1975 amongst senior officers in the army, which Taher quickly took advantage of and created a sense of dissent among ranking Non-Commissioned Officers and regular soldiers. He incited and organised a socialist uprising of the soldiers on 7 November 1975. Zia was forced to arrest Taher under charges of treason and murder. Taher was arrested on 24 November 1975. He was tried by a military tribunal inside the Dhaka Central Jail and was sentenced to death. He was executed by hanging on 21 July.
Although our country has a democratic government, the state could still become ‘more’ democratic. Colonel Taher was a man who not only fought for the independence of our people but he also dreamt of an egalitarian and self-reliant Bangladesh where the army would be a friend of the people and where politicians would not be as detached as they are from the masses.