Let us Celebrate the Golden Jubilee of the October 1964 Sudanese Revolution By Mahmoud A. Suleiman

Let us Celebrate the Golden Jubilee of the October 1964 Sudanese Revolution By Mahmoud A. Suleiman

10-17-2014, 11:14 PM

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Title: Let us Celebrate the Golden Jubilee of the October 1964 Sudanese Revolution By Mahmoud A. Suleiman
Author: Mahmoud A. Suleiman
Date: 10-17-2014, 11:14 PM

A Photo of my Classmates, including Ahmed al-Gurashi Taha - at al-Fasher Secondary School
By Mahmoud A. Suleiman
Despite the dearth and lack of what needs celebration and rejoice in the reign of the National Congress Party (NCP) regime led by the tyrant genocidal war criminal Omar al-Bashir, came the month of October with promise of some hope after prolonged despair. October came boding us of the anniversary of the popular event that deserves joyful jubilation by all the people of Sudan. In light of the tragedies, woes and calamities of the senseless civil wars waged by the regime claims to be the protection of Islam and its application but widely known as the direct cause for the displacement that befell the citizens in Darfur and other regions where there does not seem any public event worthy of ovation. Nevertheless, the emergence of the month of October brought about the remembrance of the people's Glorious Revolution in the forefront. The regime forced populations to flee from the ravages of internecine wars into camps for internally displaced persons, refugees and to the Diaspora. The NCP regime is renowned for racism, contemptuousness to others , injustice, corruption, hypocrisy and seeks spread of sedition and the application of the principle of divide, conquer and rule and to putting a wedge among the trial groups in the society and the fragmentation of the social fabric in both rural and urban areas of the Sudanese homeland.
One of the slogans related to the October Revolution was:” Principles of the October will not collapse nor fall apart”. Regrettably, those treasured principles seem descended to the bottom and went unheeded. In that, some started talking about trivial topics such as whether Ahmed al-Gurashi Taha, the first fallen was a martyr or otherwise and whether he belonged to one of the political ideologies –of that kind of ludicrous sterile questions. Sophistical type of questions and inquiries having no value to that great revolution which people considered a treasure added to the stockpiled of the revolutionary struggle of the Sudanese people. However, this makes us to recognise the fact that good things such as revolutions do not last forever if reliant on such individuals. The least description of these questions is that they are the product of minds devoid of any ideas of significant value.

Believe me or not, that the martyr Ahmed Al Qureshi Taha was my colleague and a classmate and we studied in the same class at El Fasher Secondary School and we obtained the certificate of success and the privilege to enter the University of Khartoum in the Faculty of Science in 1963.
The Glorious October21, 1964, Revolution’s merits became missed by some historians who tended to report only the negative aspects that surrounded the Revolution to the degree that the reader finds out that the popular uprising at the time as not something that the Sudanese people to be proud of. Such degree of ingratitude towards the Glorious October Revolution is something sickening and saddening at the same time.
The October Revolution was brewing in the consciousness of the people of Sudan and boiling like a cauldron and the case of people's sense of patriotism was at the furthest extent. The public was eager to find an outlet for the pent-up bona fide Injustice and anger by striking the repressive institutions of the tyrant at the heart.
The October Revolution provided the opportunity for the citizens of the marginalized areas the establishment of political institutions to demand the rights they have been denied. They included the Nuba Mountains Front (NMF), the Darfur Renaissance Front (DRF), the Beja Peoples Front (BPF) and in addition to the Sudan African National Union (SANU) of the Southern of Sudan.
The reasons for the October 21, 1964 Revolution and events are well known. The Revolution was a result of a powerful political movement against the rule of November 17, 1958 military regime, which ruled for six years. The spark of the uprising broke up initially at the students of the University of Khartoum dormitories site in the former barracks of the British army. The exciting political developments related to the injustice of the six years of military rule and in particular the issue of the people of South Sudan and the war that was going on unabated. Trade unions, professional associations, and Khartoum University Students' Union in addition to the components of the Sudanese people in all sectors participated in the revolution. The arbitrary arrests of the Executive Committee members of the Khartoum University Students Union (KUSU) during peaceful seminars on successive days stirred up the revolt. Moreover, the firing of live ammunition with the principle of shooting with intent to kill resulted in the martyrdom of student Ahmed Qurashi Taha, and Babiker Abdel-Hafiz and others sped the outbreak of the revolution. The foregoing events rolled noisy demonstrations in the next day of 24 October 1964 after the funeral prayer in the centre of Khartoum City- Abdel Moneim Square exclusively –against the military regime in which they demanded its demise. All the people of Sudan from all the Provinces participated while residents from nearby localities marched towards Khartoum to earn the privilege of participating in the Revolution.
The merits and the achievements of the October Revolution (OR) were numerous. The most important of those accomplishments include a Transitional National Government (TNG), headed by Mr. Sirelkhatim Khalifa consisted of the political parties, trade unions and professional bodies that ignited and supported the revolution by civil disobedience. Furthermore, the National Transitional Government (NTG) succeeded in running of free fair and transparent general elections in the country a few months later. The two traditional political parties, of the Umma Party (UP) and the National Unionist Party (NUP) won the elections while the ideological parties of the Communists Party (CP) and the Muslim Brotherhoods Islamic Charter Front (ICF) mainly entered the parliament. Perhaps most important achievements of the (TNG) in October was the Round Table Conference (RTC), which managed initially to bring the leaders of the southern insurgency returned to the country. Of the south Sudanese rebel leaders who returned and joined the ranks was Mr. William Deng, who led the SANU Party but sadly, killed in mysterious circumstances. Unfortunately, that incident renewed the rebellion of separatist agenda escalating a fierce insurgency. Nevertheless, the Committee of the twelve members continued to put a happy end to the problem of the south of Sudan, though. Furthermore, the all parties Commission continued its efforts and succeeded in putting the draft constitution of 1968 until the ominous the May 25, 1969 coup d'état came putting an end to the political and constitutional development of the national peaceful efforts and entering the country in a new cycle of violence and malignant political cycle until today!
Other achievements of the October Revolution included the establishment of the Constituent Assembly as a nucleus to the Parliament. The Assembly managed the forming of the committee for writing the Interim Constitution of the Sudan and enabled the Members of the Parliament (MP) from the marginalised provinces to put pressure on Sufi sectarian parties to refrain from transporting potential parliamentary candidates not residents originally in the respective constituency prior to the general elections. as well they succeeded in putting forward their conditions for supporting a particular political party; things never dared to be said before by those former staunch loyalists of the Sectarian religious parties such as Ansars’ Umma Party (AUP) and Khatmiya National Unionist Party (NUP) .
While writing this article now, the 50th Anniversary of the October 21, 1964 Glorious Sudanese Revolution is just around the corner. The upcoming twenty-first of October 2014 marks the fiftieth or Golden Jubilee of anniversary of the Revolution 1964 that put an end to the rule of General Ibrahim Abboud's military junta, which perched on the Sudanese people’s thorax for six years. Therefore, it is incumbent on us not pass the anniversary of this great revolution without relive those memories learn more lessons, take advantage of them in the present and the future of our days.
I am writing about the Glorious Sudanese Revolution of October 21, 1964 in my capacity as a witness to that era. Moreover, I am submitting a testimony to those historical events at all the stages of the popular uprising where I was an active participant with everyone else among the University of Khartoum students and the components of the Sudanese people who were eagerly longing for freedom and emancipation from the clutches and shackles of military dictatorship.
A question arises and poses itself for an answer, as to what achievements accomplished during the 50-year period of beneficial effect on the life of the citizens of the homeland in Sudan. Sadly, military coups punctuated the period after the October Revolution - 41 years out of the 50 years, except for a respite period of time – 9 years – of coalitional quasi-democratic type dominated by leaders of the two religious Sectarian Parties, the Umma Party (UP) and the Democratic Unionist Party (DUP). Otherwise, Sudan remained under other two military dictatorial rules of Jaafer Nimeiri and Omer al-Bashir respectively. It is as though the person posing the question mimics the famous Arab poet Abu El-Tayeb Ahmed bin al-Hussein, nicknamed Al-Mutanabbi, meaning in Arabic the one claiming of being a prophet). Al-Mutanabbi saying O Eid in what manner and condition we were when you came this time was it the same as the past one or you have come with a renewed matter. By our repeating the verse of the famous poet, Abu Tayeb Al-Mutanabbi until it became almost a holy book!
The successive military regimes, including the National Congress Party (NCP), avoided the mere reference to remind the people of Sudan about the October Revolution especially the generations that were not present during that great event. The regimes intended to avoid the possibility of raising the revolutionary spirit in the youth of the present generation.
The Glorious October 21, 1964 has lived in the conscience of the people of Sudan, generation after a generation since it erupted and will continue to be inspirational to people yearning for liberation from the dictatorship shackles to the vastness and emancipation of democracy.
On revisiting the Glorious Revolution of the Sudanese people one tends to get, the impression that the efforts of those lived through the events went unheeded. Furthermore, in the midst of such difficult circumstances knowledge of facts surrounded those momentous events become almost impossible especially after passage of five decades. Nevertheless, the fact remains that the 1964 October Sudanese Revolution was a qualitative and quantum leap in the history of Sudan in particular and that of the region generally. The merits of the October 1964 Revolution reside in its success in toppling a Tyrant military coup de ‘tat regime by people unarmed of any weapon. In that era most of the neighboring countries in the Arab region such as Egypt languish under military dictatorship rule. Some may go to the extremes by saying that the Sudanese people acted as teachers/pedagogue to peoples of the region as to how to get rid of the arbitrariness of the rule of the military junta.
Perhaps the succession of generations lived and saw many regimes democratic and totalitarian ones come and go over the past 50 years. The latter were mostly under military coups. The October glorious in 1964 represented a Bogeyman to the military regimes who felt threatened and scared of its possible repetition. Consequently, the dictatorial regimes, worked hard to ignore celebrating it. Therefore, it is the appropriate time and the opportunity the values of the Revolution to inspire the new generations. Sadly, considerable segment of the new generation has no even the basic facts about the October Revolution or about the first fallen martyr Ahmed al-Qureshi Taha. However, one would not deny that small groups of student associations in a number of universities, or some political bodies and journalists in the centre of the country tended to celebrate solely the occasion.
Nevertheless, the 1964 Sudanese Revolution remained captivating the people in the neighbouring and regional countries at the time as a milestone for popular determination.
In the October 1964, civil disobedience was an effective tool and had enormous impact to the success of the popular Revolution besides the determination of the protestors to go all the way to oust the 17 November military regime. While civil disobedience was instrumental in the success of the October 1964 Glorious Sudanese Revolution, but pairing it with the public protests and the thundering demonstrations had the greatest impact in overthrowing the military junta regime of General Ibrahim Abboud.
Some historians tried documenting the events surrounded the Revolution by focusing on the series of the symposia on the South Sudanese cause. They focused referring to the ‘Round Table Conference for South Sudan Province’ as a harbinger/ forerunner to the Revolution. They reported as saying that the most important of the proposal included the suggestions made by some University of Khartoum academia, where they said: “Do not resolve to federal system for the south; do not resolve to the separatist moves; Yes to autonomy; Launch freedoms, and disseminate facts. The composition of the constitutional committee stated this at the seminar on the future of South Sudan in October 1964.
The old proverb said that popular revolutions planned by visionary intellectuals, carried out by brave heroes, harvested its fruits by cowards and exploited by hypocrites!
The Glorious October21, 1964, Revolution’s merits became missed by some historians who tended to report only the negative aspects that surrounded the Revolution to the degree that the reader finds out that the popular uprising at the time as not something that the Sudanese people to be proud of. Such degree of ingratitude towards the Glorious October Revolution is something sickening and saddening at the same time.
October Revolution was neither a private property nor an achievement of particular entity, individuals or people other than Sudanese people. No one has the right of claiming the monopoly or the ownership of the revolution.
Glory and eternity to our martyrs, freedom and prosperity for the fighters among the people of Sudan; shame and disgrace to the NIF regime and its hypocrite, corrupt Muslim Brotherhood murders. Tipping point has approached in Sudan for ousting the National Congress Party (NCP) regime by the disenfranchised public of the country using all means.
Dr. Mahmoud A. Suleiman is an author, columnist and a blogger. His blog is http://thussudan.wordpress.com/http://thussudan.wordpress.com/http://thussudan.wordpress.com/http://thussudan.wordpress.com/