Speakers at a discussion on Saturday said language-based nationalist movement started after 1947 built the road to freedom and independence of Bengali nation.
"The idea of Bengali nationalism was built through the uprising during Language Movement after 1947 which was further accelerated by Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman and ultimately led to the victory in the great Liberation War," said the speakers.
The discussion titled 'Language-based nationalist movement and liberation struggle', organised by BangabandhuParishad (BP), was held at the Jatiya Press Club's Abdus Salam Hall with BP acting President Dr AAMS Arefin Siddique in the chair.
"Bangabandhu was not just a Language veteran or solder or the person who made the youth united for their mother tongue rather he was the person who established the
Bengali nationalism. Language played a vital role in building the spirit of nationalism," said the BP acting president and former Dhaka University Vice-Chancellor.
DrArefin, also the chairman of the board of Bangladesh Sangbad Sangstha (BSS), said from 1947-1952, ordinary women and female students were seen bringing out processions and marches. They also participated and led movements for their mother tongue which was hard to even think today as at that time women were confined to their housework and home, and were far behind from education, he added.
"These outstanding efforts from such community proved how efficiently Bangabandhu made the 3.5 crore to 4 crore people of the country united for their rights and these population with the same spirit reached 7.5 to 8 crore during the Liberation War in 1971," he added.
BangabandhuParishad Presidium Member and senior journalist Ajit Kumar Sarkar said along with the language-based nationalist movement, the young student leader Sheikh Mujib took the Bengali liberation and independence movement to its final stage by adding some other demands including democracy, discrimination, secularism and six-point demand.
As a result, the Bengali nation witnessed the emergence of the sovereign Bangladesh in 1971 through the great Liberation War, he added.
The speakers said after the independence of Bangladesh, Bangabandhu started his well-planned and specific economic programmes for the conomic emancipation of Bengalis. One year after adopting first five-year plan, the country achieved 9.5 percent GDP in 1974-75 fiscal year, they said.
When the country had been moving fast towards stability, anti-liberation reactionary forces assassinated Bangabandhu and halted the Bengali's struggle for economic emancipation for a long 21 years.
However, in 1996, Bangabandhu's daughter Sheikh Hasina came to power and took number of programmes to complete the unfinished work of Bangabandhu. Then in 2009, she again resumed the journey towards economic emancipation of the nation.
And finally, the struggle for economic freedom of Bengalis is now moving forward at a great speed under the dynamic and visionary leadership of Sheikh Hasina, they added.
Vice Chancellor of Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujib Medical University Professor Dr. Md. Sharfuddin, Vice-Chancellor of Dhaka University of Engineering and Technology Prof. Dr. Habibur Rahman, BangabandhuParishad General Secretary ABM Faroque and former BSMMU Vice-Chancellor Professor Dr. Kamrul Hasan Khan also addressed, among others.
BangabandhuParishad Joint General Secretary RehmanSobhan gave the welcome speech on the programme, conducted by BangabandhuParishad Joint General Secretary Matiur Rahman Laltu.