President Md. Abdul Hamid called upon the countrymen to make relentless efforts in building the ‘Sonar Bangla’ as dreamt by Father of Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman.
In a message on the occasion of the Homecoming Day of Bangabandhu, he said on the historic January 10 in 1972, the Father of the Nation had returned to independent and sovereign Bangladesh after nine months and 14 days of captivity in Pakistan jail.
Paying profound homage to Bangabandhu, the President said: “Though we achieved ultimate victory on December 16 in 1971 through armed struggle but the true essence of victory came into being upon the Father of the Nation’s return home”.
He said Bangabandhu, a visionary leader, led the nation in every movement including the All Party State Language Movement Council in 1948, Language Movement in 1952, Jukta-Front Election in 1954, movement against Martial Law proclaimed by General Ayub Khan in 1958, Movement against Education Commission in 1962, Six-Point Movement in 1966, Mass Upsurge in 1969 and the General Election in 1970, where Awami League won landslide victory.
Abdul Hamid said though Awami League had won absolute majority in the 1970 general election, the Pakistani rulers were reluctant to hand over power and therefore, the freedom-loving people of the country started non-cooperation movement under the leadership of Bangabandhu.
On March 7, 1971 Bangabandhu delivered a historic speech at Race Course Maidan which was the indirect declaration of independence, he said.
The President said at the mammoth gathering Bangabandhu uttered in his thunderous voice, “The struggle this time is a struggle for emancipation. The struggle this time is a struggle for independence”.
On the fateful night of March 25, 1971, the invading army of Pakistan, as part of their blueprint, committed genocide by launching ‘Operation Searchlight’ with a view to destroying Bangali nation, he said.
Against this backdrop, Bangabandhu declared independence in the early hours of March 26 and called upon the countrymen to take part in the war of liberation and continue fighting until the final victory is achieved, he added.
The President said immediately after the declaration, the Pakistani Junta arrested Bangabandhu from his Dhanmondi residence of road number 32 and confined him to Pakistan jail.
In absence of Bangabandhu, the liberation war was being carried out under his leadership and on December 16, 1971 the Bangali nation achieved ultimate victory, he said.
The President said stepping into the soil of newly independent Bangladesh on January 10 in 1972, Bangabandhu was overwhelmed by feelings of emotion.
He said in front of hundreds of thousands of people gathered at the then Race Course Maidan, “The dream of my life has been fulfilled today. My Sonar Bangla is now a free and sovereign State”.
Bangabandhu was sentenced to death during his imprisonment in Pakistan but he was firm and steadfast in his aims, he said.
The President recalled Bangabandhu as saying, “I will say, while going to the gallows, I am Bangali, Bangla is my country and Bangla is my language. Joy Bangla”.
“Such profound love for country and people is a unique example in the world,” he said.
The anti-liberation forces tried to wipe out the ideal and principle of Bangabandhu and tarnish the image of sovereign Bangladesh through the assassination of Bangabandhu and his family members on August 15, 1975, he added.
But Bangabandhu and Bangladesh now emerged as a unique symbol to the people of Bangladesh, he said.
Abdul Hamid said as long as Bangladesh and the Bangali nation exist, Bangabandhu will remain as the “eternal source of our inspiration.”
Under the dynamic leadership of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, the daughter of Bangabandhu, Bangladesh is now moving towards the highway of development at a tremendous pace, he said.
He said Bangladesh is now being considered worldwide as a ‘role model’ for its development in various sectors including education, health, agriculture, information technology and women empowerment.
“I am confident that with this pace of development, Bangladesh will become a developed country by 2041, in-sha Allah,” he said.
The President said 2021 is the year of the birth centenary of Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman and the golden jubilee of the country’s independence.
He said: “At this juncture, we have to make relentless efforts to build the golden Bangladesh as dreamt by Bangabandhu”.
“Following the path of success in building a ‘Digital Bangladesh’ by 2021, we will be able to move forward with more courage and confidence on the path of building a developed Bangladesh by 2041 – this is my expectation on the Homecoming Day of Bangabandhu,” he said.