Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has said her mother Bangamata Sheikh Fazilatunnesa Mujib had a great political sagacity that helped Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman take right decision at any critical juncture of the nation.
She said Bangamata’s decision to reject Bangabandhu’s release on parole from Pakistan jail changed the course of the country’s political history.
Addressing a programme marking the 90th birth anniversary of Begum Fazilatunnesa, the prime minister on Saturday said, “The most desirable thing regarding my mother’s contributions to the political arena was that my mother had taken correct decisions at the right time.”
She said when many top and experienced leaders were suffering from indecisions, Bangamata came forward with right decision at the critical moment of the nation.
According to a BSS report, Sheikh Hasina said Bangamata had taken the right decision by turning down the proposal of Bangabandhu’s release on parole for holding a roundtable discussion in West Pakistan putting her life at risk.
“That correct and timely decision had forced Ayub Khan to withdraw the (Agartala Conspiracy) case and changed the course of Bangladesh’s political history as well,” Sheikh Hasina said.
“She (Bangamata) used to guide the organisation with competence (particularly when Bangabandhu was in jail) and give right decisions,” she added.
Sheikh Hasina, elder daughter of Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, joined the programme organised by the Ministry of Women and Children Affairs, from her official residence Ganabhaban on virtual platform.
Other participants got connected from Bangladesh Shishu Academy, the Prime Minister’s Office and Gopalganj.
Speaking at the programme as the chief guest, the prime minister said the Pakistani military dictators had tried to include Bangamata’s name in the Agartala Conspiracy Case for which Pakistani intelligence agencies interrogated her several times.
“She (Bangamata) knew it and I as her elder daughter also knew it. But she never lost her courage,” the prime minister said.
Sheikh Hasina said: “You might have realised what could have happened to the fate of remaining accused in the Agartala Conspiracy Case had her father Bangabandhu been released on parole as Sergeant Zahurul Haque, one of the 35 accused in the case, was killed under the captivity (of Pakistani military rulers).”
Turning to the historic 7th March speech of Bangabandhu in 1971, she said the speech was not written and he did not rehearse it before the mammoth rally at the then Race Course Maidan.
“Before the speech, my mother suggested Bangabandhu to say whatever comes in his mind, and there was no need to pay heed to the points of others … to say about the history of oppression on the Bengalis,” the premier said.
Now, she said, the historic 7th March speech of Bangabandhu has made its place in the World Documentary Heritage by UNESCO and has been adjudged one of the greatest speeches of all times.
Mentioning that Bangamata had great efficiency in building up struggle and movement, Sheikh Hasina said she had a huge role in waging massive movements in favour of the 6-Point-Demand and against the Agartala Conspiracy Case as she knew how to create public opinion.
“My mother knew well how to drum up public opinion and wage movement through strengthening the party. Especially, she (Bangamata) had played the key role in waging student movement of that time,” she said.
From Bangladesh Shishu Academy premises, Awami League Presidium Member and former minister Begum Matia Chowdhury presented the keynote paper highlighting the life and works of Bangamata Sheikh Fazilatunnesa Mujib.
State Minister for Women and Children Affairs Fazilatun Nessa Indira presided over the function.
Chairman of the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Women and Children Affairs Ministry Meher Afroze and Women and Children Affairs Secretary Kazi Rowshan Akhter also spoke on the occasion.
PM’s Principal Secretary Dr Ahmad Kaikaus, AL Publicity Secretary Abdus Sobhan Golap, MP, PMO Secretary Md Tofazzel Hossain Miah and PM’s Press Secretary Ihsanul Karim, among others, were connected from the Ganabhaban and PMO (Prime Minister Office) officials from their office.
A documentary was screened highlighting the life and works of Bangamata.
The premier distributed Tk 26 lakh -- Taka 2,000 each -- among 1,300 distressed women thorough the electronic medium as per the enrolment of the beneficiaries provided by deputy commissioners of 64 districts.
Remaining connected from Gopalganj its Deputy Commissioner (DC) Shahida Sultana, on behalf of the Prime Minister, distributed 3,200 sewing machines among 3,200 women and 100 laptops among the poor meritorious students of the districts.
Born on August 8 in 1930 at Tungipara village in Gopalganj, Bangamata was brutally killed along with most of her family members by the assassins of the Father of the Nation on the fateful night of August 15 in 1975.