It was a cloudy afternoon at the Dhaka Kurmitola airport. The entire road was over-flooded with the people who had long been waiting for that day, for the arrival of their leader who would reinstate democracy one day and fulfill the dream of Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman. The long road from Kurmitola to Manik Mia Avenue; there was no place to stand as thousands raised slogans in and around the airport. It was on 17 May 1981, homecoming of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina.
As the plane carrying Sheikh Hasina hardly touched the runway, people exploded with enthusiasm and they thanked the Almighty for her safe journey to her own country. When Sheikh Hasina emerged from the aircraft the joyous people chanted slogans and waived from the rooftops. Many people started to run beside her motorcade wishing her wellbeing and long life.
The homecoming of today’s Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, the daughter of Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Bahaman, the father of the nation, was an ecstatic event that is etched in the memory of everyone who was there that day. Sheikh Hasina was God sent for the people of Bangladesh who have been living under the suffocating military rule since 15 August 1975, when Bangabandhu was brutally killed along with most members of his family.
After that August tragedy, the nation was aimless, leaderless and it was wandering about having no destination. The nation, with all democratic institutions abandoned, was in deep crisis as the military rulers had made Bangladesh non-functional. The good image earned through the War of Liberation was tarnished and there were attempts to rewrite the 1971 war history. Those who had collaborated with the Pakistani army and helped them in killing 3 million Bangalis were enjoying state power.
In such a dark and gloomy situation, people were looking for a brave leader who could salvage the nation and take them on the road to progress. At that time, like a promise of destiny, Sheikh Hasina, the real successor of Bangabandhu, came back home amidst utmost sorrow, pain and anguish. She had left a full family behind but when she returned she found nobody at home. This had shattered her heart but with sheer determination and courage she started the journey alone for an unknown destination.
In this perilous journey she found many people on her side but many of them proved to be enemy in disguise. Undeterred, she continued on the path she wanted to pursue – to fulfill her father’s dream of making this country Golden Bengal. She was determined and resolute in her decisions and today she has come close to realizing that dream.