M. A. G. Osmani

M. A. G. Osmani

General Muhammad Ataul Ghani Osmany, popularly referred to as Bangabir General M.A.G. Osmany (Bengali: মুহাম্মদ আতাউল গনি ওসমানী; 1 September 1918– 16 February 1984) was the Commander-in-Chief (C-in-C) of Bangladesh Forces during the Bangladesh Liberation War of 1971. He equally presided over the significant Bangladesh Sector Commanders Conference 1971 during which the entire Bangladesh Forces were authorized and created.

An officer with the British Indian Army since 1939, he served during WWII in Burma. His unit supported all plans of the Allied services as part of the Army Service Corps, rising to the rank of Major by 1942. He opted to join the Pakistan Army after British departed leaving the two new independent nations of India and Pakistan in 1947 as a Lieutenant Colonel. His career was checkered, he had disagreements with his superiors over issues regarding the unprofessional conduct and rules below norms that were practiced during recruitment and treatment of Bengali personnel during both British rule and to an extent also in Pakistan.

Osmani earned a reputation as a highly principled and honest officer, and retired as a Colonel in 1967 as the DDMO in GHQ Pakistan. A legend among Bengali servicemen for his willingness to stand up against higher command for legitimate concerns, his name carried honour and prestige. After retirement, he was welcomed into politics in his area under the leadership of Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman. He later joined the Awami League, and was elected MNA in the 1970 Pakistan general elections from Sylhet. During a meeting at Mujib's residence during late afternoon hours on 25 March 1971, Osmani, also one of many, advised Sheikh Mujib regarding the terrible plight that ensued, and to declare independence of Bangladesh through mass media and move to a secure location.

He was elected as C-in-C of Bangladesh Forces in 1971 by all the Bengali officers, who were the principal participants during the early inception of the independence declaration on March 26, 1971. This was ratified by Bangladesh Government in exile on April 10, 1971. In April 1972, General Osmani, the C-in-C, retired as the first full General (four star) of Bangladesh Forces, which was replaced by Bangladesh Army, Bangladesh Navy and Bangladesh Air Force. And three separate chiefs were selected on 7 April 1972 along with their Headquarters. Thus 'General M A G Osmani' is the only historical name whose name appears first in the honour boards of the three services as C-in-C between 12 April 1971 to 7 April 1972.

After serving in various government posts during 1972-1975 until his resignation, he was also active in politics during 1977-1984 as the head of Jatiya Janata Party until his death.

Read more about M. A. G. Osmani:  Education, Military Career, Entry Into Politics, Leadership During Bangladesh Liberation War, Role in Bangladesh Liberation War, Osmani As C-in-C: Leadership Style, Strategy For The Campaign, Action and Reaction: June - September 1971, The One Two Punch, Post-independence Activities, The Jatiya Janata Party, Family Life, Death, Legacy