1913Published on March 7, 2018
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has urged the nation to debar anti-liberation forces and perpetrators of crimes against humanity from returning to power, as she addressed a public rally coinciding with Bangabandhu's historic 7th March speech anniversary.
"Those people who have faith in War of Liberation and spirit of independence and development should remain united (also) against those who ate up the public money and orphans' fund and killed people," she told the rally at Suhrawardy Udyan, the scene of Bangabandhu's 7th March address.
The premier added: "Those who committed crimes against humanity, murders and looted public property and sanctity of the mothers and sisters should not come to power again."
Sheikh Hasina, also the ruling Awami League president, urged all to recall her party's stance for humanity, saying "we work for humanity".
She urged the party leaders and workers to reach out the people in every village and neighbourhoods to explain the development projects which were already implemented as well as those await implementation.
"Awami League is working for the welfare of the people of each and every class --- peasants, labourers, blacksmiths, potters, fishermen, Dalits, Harijon and transgender and every downtrodden people," she said.
The government, the premier said, created scopes for people of every social and professional backgrounds, age groups, women and service holders so they could lead a decent life.
The premier said the continuation of the current development pace was crucial for Bangladesh's graduation to a middle-incoming country by 2021 and a developed one by 2041.
Deputy Leader of the Jatiya Sangsad and Awami League presidium member Syeda Sajeda Chowdhury, party's Advisory Council members Amir Hossain Amu and Tofail Ahmed, presidium members Matiya Chowdhury, Sheikh Fazlul Karim Selim, Mohammad Nasim, Advocate Sahara Khatun, Faruk Khan, Joint Secretary Jahangir Kabir Nanak, organizing secretary Khaled Mahmud Chowdhury, central committee member Mirza Azam and Mayor of Dhaka South Sayeed Khokan, among others, addressed the meeting.
AL general secretary Obaidul Kader gave the welcome address while renowned poet Nirmalendu Goon recited his poem "swadhinata shabdati kibhabe amader holo". Publicity Secretary of the party Dr. Hasan Mahmud conducted the meeting.
The celebration of the day came this year with an extra significance with UNESCO recognition of Bangabandhu's 7th March 1971 address as a Memory of World Heritage.
The premier said the significance of March 7 would always remain unfading in the life of the people of Bangladesh as it featured with the call for their economic emancipation alongside political freedom.
"Bangabandhu gave us the political freedom and was assassinated as he started his expedition for economic development. So, it's our responsibility to fulfill his dream," she said.
Sheikh Hasina said being a victorious nation the Bengalis would live in the world community keeping its head high and go ahead with own dignity.
She paid her rich tributes to the Father of the Nation, four assassinated national leaders, freedom fighters and individual foreigners and countries while extended supports for Bangladesh's liberation.
Sheikh Hasina said Pakistani rulers declined to hand over power to Bengalis despite their victory in 1970 elections. Bangabandhu could realize the Pakistani rulers' intention but he preferred to contest the polls to take peoples' mandate before his last fight with the junta.
She said Pakistani rulers had hatched conspiracy several times to kill Bangabandhu but he went on with his mission and in that historic speech called upon people to wage non-cooperation movement against the rulers.
"Being imbued with his call the Bengalis turned their homes as forts . . . the Bengalis obeyed his directives word by word and fought until the victory was achieved," the premier recalled.
Sheikh Hasina said a few persons collaborated with Pakistani force in committing genocide, torching homes, raping mothers and sisters but the Bengalis eventually liberated the country from the clutch of the Pakistani junta.
Sheikh Hasina said Father of the Nation dedicated his entire life to change the fate oppressed people and their political, cultural and economic freedom.
The prime minister said Bangladesh was a state of Pakistani but after the independence within three and a half years of his tenure, Bangabandhu made it a dignified country spearheading a massive rebuilding campaign.
Sheikh Hasina said Bangabandhu was brutally killed along with most of his family members at a time when country's economy was completely stable and people were preparing for reshaping their future.
The prime minister said anti-liberation forces usurped power after killing Bangabandhu. Bangabandhu had brought the war criminals to book, she said and regretted that the post-1975 rulers shared the state power with anti-liberation forces.
A country can never progress when anti-liberation forces take control of the state. Bangladesh could not go forward after the anti-liberation forces took power in the past as they were used to lick the boots of Pakistanis and ruled the country in line with the Pakistani spirit, she said.
Sheikh Hasina said the post-1975 rulers made their frantic strides to erase the country's real history. For long 21 years they didn't allow the people to play the historic March 7 Speech of Bangabandhu, she said.
Chhatra League, Jubo League and Awami League leaders and workers played the speech defying numerous obstacles and many of them laid their lives while others were either arrested or sustained injuries for playing the speech.
"But, none can destroy the history and sometimes history also takes its revenge," the prime minister said adding that the UNESCO recognition to the March 7 Speech of Bangabandhu tantamount to a revenge of history.
According to a British historian, she said, the speech is in one of the 41 speeches delivered by the world leaders in 2000 years.
"Bangabandhu used to love the people of Bangladesh and think for them, and devoted his life to their welfare," Sheikh Hasina said.
Photo: Saiful Islam Kallol