Rahman (1920-1975), Sheikh Mujibur
Also known as Bangabandhu (“Friend of Bengal”), he was among the founders of the Awami League in 1949, party in which he served successively as Secretary, Secretary General and Chairman. In 1970, he was elected a Member of the National Assembly of Pakistan, leading his Awami League to a dramatic victory, a key event in the process that would lead to the break-up of Pakistan and the emergence of Bangladesh, which he is considered as the founding national figure. His call for a five-day hartal (strike or protest) following General Yahya Khan’s decision to postpone the venue of the newly elected National Assembly, planned on March 3, 1971, allowed Awami League militants to take over the streets of East Pakistan and resulted into the death of several non-Bengalis. He was taken prisoner soon after by the Pakistan Army and released in January 1972 by Zulfikar Ali Bhutto. He appears to bear little responsibility for the atrocities committed by the Bengali Liberation army, the Mukhti Bahini, while he was jailed. He became the first Prime Minister of Bangladesh, and then President, but was assassinated in Dhaka, during a coup d’état in 1975.