Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina today said the nation is obligated to repay Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman’s blood debt by materializing his dream of building the “Sonar Bangla” or “Golden Bengal”. (BSS)
“In his March 7 speech Bangabandhu had said if necessary he would shed his blood (for the country) . . . eventually he gave his blood,” she said in a discussion coinciding with the National Mourning Day.
The premier added: “Today, the nation will have to repay his blood debt by materializing his dream of building a hunger and poverty free ‘Sonar Bangla’”.
Bangladesh Awami League organized the discussion to mark the Father of the Nation’s 44th martyrdom anniversary and National Mourning Day at Bangabandhu International Conference Centre (BICC) in the capital.
Sheikh Hasina said her government by now succeeded in elevating the country’s status to a dignified level in the global arena as it was relentlessly working to build a poverty free Bangladesh for the past 10 years to materialize Bangabandhu’s dream.
“We are progressing rapidly in our efforts to offer people a better and developed life,” the premier said.
She said Bangladesh by now became one of the world’s fastest growing economies with its higher GDP growth, increased per capita income, declining poverty, inflation control capacity and food security.
Awami League’s Advisory Council members Amir Hossain Amu and Tofail Ahmed, Presidium members Begum Matia Chowdhury, Mohammad Nasim, and Advocate Abdul Matin Khasru and General Secretary and Road Transport Minister Obaidul Quader were among the senior leaders to address the discussion.
Party’s joint general secretaries Jahangir Kabir Nanak and Abdur Rahman, organising secretary AFM Bahaudddin Nasim, central executive members Professor Merina Jahan and Advocate Azmatullah Khan, Dhaka city unit leaders Sheikh Bazlur Rahman and Shahe Alam also spoke on the occasion.
Awami League’s Publicity and Publication Secretary and Information Minister Dr Hasan Mahmud and its Deputy Publicity and Publication Secretary Aminul Islam moderated the function.
The party leaders demanded effective steps to unmask the behind the scene masterminds and plotters of the August 15, 1975 carnage accusing slain Ziaur Rahman as one of them.
They simultaneously demanded complete execution of the Bangabandhu Murder Trial verdict exposing to gallows the fugitive culprits bring them back home.
Sheikh Hasina, also President of Awami League, said Bangladesh has gone far away from Pakistan in terms of development, saying, “Bangladesh’s economy is much stronger than Pakistan.”
Due to the advancement, nowadays one (US) dollar is equal to Taka 80 and Pakistani Rupee 160 which was Pakistani Rupee 60-65 and Taka 160 in 1972-73, she continued.
“It was possible as Bangladesh had achieved independence from the Pakistani occupation forces under the dynamic leadership of Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman,” Sheikh Hasina, elder daughter of Father of the Nation said.
The defeated forces of the Liberation War of 1971 and their local collaborators had assassinated Bangabandhu and most of his family members on August 15 in 1975 as part of the long conspiracy, she said.
“Bangabandhu was assassinated at a time when people were feeling eased with progressing of the country towards development by securing 7 percent growth in GDP after rebuilding the war ravaged country in his only three and a half years of tenure after facing various conspiracies,” she added.
In this context, she said, the then political leaders had failed to realize the conspiracy, adding, “If they (political leaders) could realize it, the assassination of Bangabandhu could not be happened.”
She said those who killed Bangabandhu and the four national leaders in their desperate effort to erase all spirit of the Liberation War “didn’t want to change the people’s lot in this country” though the independence came under his leadership to change the lots of every downtrodden people.
Referring to the interview of “Col. Faruque and Rashid (two killers of Bangabandhu) with BBC, the Prime Minister said that BNP founder Ziaur Rahman was involved in the incidents of August 15, 1975 in which Bangabandhu and most of his family members were assassinated.
“In the interview, they (Col. Faruque and Rashid) said they went to Ziaur Rahman to get his support before killing Bangabandhu when Ziaur Rahman gave such a signal that he would be with them,” she said.
Narrating the brutal killings, Hasina said after taking the helm of the country, Zia rewarded the killers with appointing them at foreign missions.
Terming the 15 August as the most stigmatized day in the country’s history, the Prime Minister said, “We lost our parents on this day, but the nation lost their great leader who freed the people from subjugation to end their sufferings from exploitation and deprivation.”
“There was no reason of killing Bangabandhu except destroying the spirit and ideology of the Bengali nation,” she said, adding that the evil forces perpetrated the carnage to take revenge on Bangabandhu for his uncompromising approach for realizing the legitimate rights of the people.
A pall of gloom descended on the Bangabandhu International Conference Centre and tears rolled down the audience’s cheeks as the Prime Minister repeatedly became emotional while describing the memories before and post-August 15, 1975 mayhem and her struggle to place the country on the track of Bangabandhu’s ideology.
After capturing power, Sheikh Hasina said, Ziaur Rahman left no stone unturned to prevent them from coming back home.
The premier said Sheikh Rehana first joined the rally organized in Sweden in 1979 in protest against Bangabandhu killing.
Later, an inquiry commission was constituted comprising Nobel laureate Sharon Bright and British parliament member Sir Tomas William to investigate the killing of Bangabandhu murder.
But Ziaur Rahman didn’t allow them to come to Bangladesh, she said.