Just ahead of the National Mourning Day, we pay our deep respect and homage to the Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, the greatest son of the soil in thousand years. We earned our coveted independence on December 16 in 1971 under the leadership of Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman.
We are still in a state of shock and profound grief over the brutal assassination of Bangabandhu. We lost Bangabandhu along with most of his family members 47 years ago on the fateful night of August 15 in 1975. Therefore, each year when the National Mourning Day, martyrdom anniversary of Bangabandhu comes around, country’s people feel pain, turn emotional and cannot hold back tears.
The historic March 7 speech is a fiery address that Sheikh Mujibur Rahman delivered at a mammoth rally in the then “Race Course Maidan”, now Suhrawardy Udyan in the capital Dhaka in 1971. We believe the appeal of the historic March 7 speech is everlasting as it contains the electrifying effects. And it would continue to motivate the deprived, exploited and freedom-loving people of world always. Even after the fifty two years, the speech still touches our soul as Bangabandhu made the address before the nation in a conversational style as if he was talking to the people. We must say that the speech was not only a call for the Bangalee nation to fight for freedom but also was a direction for all nations.
On March 17 in 1920 Sheikh Mujib alias Khoka (boy) was born in a respectable Muslim family at Tungipara village of the then Gopalganj sub-division, now district, as the third among six children of Sheikh Lutfur Rahman and Saira Khatun. And the rest is history. Nobody could think that this boy Khoka would become the architect of independent Bangladesh and the greatest Bangalee of all times as well.
He struggled throughout his life in a bid to establish people’s economic emancipation, end economic disparity and ensure injustice. We are a very fortunate nation to have a charismatic and iconic leader like Bangabandhu. The nation already witnessed a rare event marking Sheikh Mujib's birth centenary and the Golden Jubilee of the independence of Bangladesh. We are marching towards advancement at an indomitable pace and will go ahead further under the leadership of Bangabandhu's daughter prime minister Sheikh Hasina.
We believe the nation would stay awake forever with its founder’s ideology and uphold the flag given by him. We also think Bangabandhu’s perusal about the rights of the exploited and oppressed people, not only of Bangladesh but across the world as well. So, the Awami League, the oldest and largest political party of Bangladesh, will have to be built as a more well-organised and smarter political party ahead of the next parliamentary polls to get ready for responding to any conspiracy hatched against the country and its people according to the ideology of Bangabandhu.
The national elections will be held in 2023 or 2024. The party under the leadership of Sheikh Mujibur Rahman’s worthy daughter Sheikh Hasina will have to be committed to uphold the democratic spirit at any cost right now. As the election is approaching, Bangabandhu’s killers, plotters at Tarique Rahman’s political office Hawa Bhaban and Jamaat-e-Islami are out to grab state power using the backdoor. Besides, some rightists, leftists and extreme leftists now have joined with them.
Tarique Rahman, Senior Vice Chairman of Bangladesh Nationalists Party (BNP) is now a fugitive in 10-truck arms haul and August 21 grenade attack cases. He fled to London after giving written bond of not indulging in any future politics. On other hand, BNP Chairperson Khaleda Zia is also convicted for corruption, siphoning off orphan's money and others misdeeds. So, Khaleda Zia and Tarique Rahman do not have the legitimacy of BNP leadership as both are convicted.
Therefore, party’s senior leaders have failed to rejuvenate organisational activities in the 13 years so that they are now going to foreigners and foreign missions, not to the country’s people, but to assume power using the backdoor as it was created from the pocket of any military dictator. The party also hired lobbyists abroad against the country. Therefore, the BNP-Jamaat clique is now very desperate and they would unleash a ‘reign of terror’ any time again.
The clique is trying to create anarchy by triggering the issue of the national government (Jatiya Sarker). They are also showing dreams to some political parties. Therefore, imbued with the ideology and spirit of Bangabandhu, the Awami League will have to be made more disciplined, organised and strengthened.
In this regard, the concerned leaders of the party will have to make their strides to remove all sorts of internal wrangling in all organisational units across the country ahead of the forthcoming national elections. Besides, the cleaning drive which is being carried out inside the Awami League, will also have be to continued to give a new look to the party.
In this regard, party’s grassroots level leaders and workers must say no to the ‘seasonal birds’ and opportunists in the party’s leadership. Only then the Awami League high command will be able to establish clean image of the party and evaluate dedicated leaders of tough times.
When Awami League assumed office in 2008, many incidents and conspiracies like the BDR carnage and Hefajat’s so-called movement alongside BNP-Jamaat clique’s plot have been made to thwart party from the power. But the vested quarters have failed to do so as Awami League is being survived only by working for the people, not by begging mercy or kindness from anyone.
Therefore, we think if the honest, dedicated, talented, dynamic, tested and qualified leaders are evaluated in getting party’s important posts and tickets for contesting upcoming parliamentary polls as well, no conspiracy could remove Awami League from power as it has public mandate. But we are still notifying that the people, who wanted to get rid of the ideology of Bangabandhu through his killing, are still plotting conspiracy against the nation.
Now Sheikh Mujib’s daughter Sheikh Hasina is serving as the prime minister for the third consecutive term after her party won the 11th parliamentary election by a landslide on Dec 30, 2018. No leader in the country’s political history has been at the helm for this long. Therefore, we are proud to be a nation of ‘role model’ of development before the world now.
Bangladesh is doing well in most sectors and moving forward at an indomitable pace. Today, it is recognised globally. Recently like other countries across the globe, we are also passing through a crisis period caused by Covid-19 pandemic and Russia-Ukraine war. Yet Bangladesh has gone ahead successfully overcoming all barriers over the years and we believe our nation would be built as a hunger and poverty free country immediately.
We believe as long as the country is in the hands of Sheikh Hasina, it will never lose its way and the ‘Sonar Bangla’ of the Father of Nation Bangabandhu will be built once. So, there is no alternative to work together for building a non-communal, hunger and poverty-free, developed and prosperous ‘Sonar Bangla’ as dreamt by Bangabandhu.
S.M. Mizanur Rahman is Assistant Editor, Bangladesh Post