The 69th birthday of Sheikh Rehana, younger daughter of Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman and Bangamata Sheikh Fazilatun Nesa Mujib, is being celebrate today. She was born on Sep 13 in 1955, at Mitford Hospital in Dhaka. She is the younger sister of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina.
Bangabandhu's entire family except his two daughters was brutally assassinated by some disgruntled army men on the fateful night of Aug 15, 1975. Sheikh Rehana was in West Germany with her elder sister Sheikh Hasina at that time. She was placed under house arrest in Dhanmondi along with her family by the Pakistan Army during Bangladesh Liberation War.
Sheikh Rehana, dubbed as "Chhoto Apa", inherits a simple lifestyle from her father Bangabandhu.
She married Professor. Dr. Shafiq Ahmed Siddique and they have three children – a son and two daughters. Their son Radwan Mujib Siddiq is working in an international organization and a trustee of Awami League's research wing Centre for Research and Information (CRI), daughter Tulip Siddiq is a Labour Party MP of British Parliament and youngest daughter Azmina Siddiq Ruponti is working as Global Risks Analysis Editor of London-based the Control Risks.
Sheikh Rehana often accompanies Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on her official trips including the state funeral of Elizabeth II, Queen of the United Kingdom in 2022 and Coronation of Charles III and Camilla in 2023 and the G20 Summit in New Delhi.
Sheikh Rehana is credited to make the first global call for justice against Bangabandhu killers for her 1979 speech.
She raised the demand at an international conference in 1979 in Sweden's Stockholm as the first international call for justice against the assassins of Bangabandhu and four national leaders who was killed in safe custody in Dhaka central jail on Nov 3, 1975.
On May 10, 1979, she turned the global attention to the darkest chapter in the country's history through a speech at an All-European Bakshal conference, participated by European country heads, the UN chief, and international NGO high-ups in Stockholm.
At that time, Sheikh Hasina was in Delhi and she had sent her younger sister who was in Europe to raise voice for global pressure on the then military backed Bangladesh government after Bangabandhu's assassination.
That incident goes down in the annals of history as the voice for global pressure – on the then-Bangladesh government – was raised through that emotion-choked rendition.