Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, the greatest son of the soil and greatest Bengali for thousands of years, the great hero of history and the father of the nation has made the dream of Bengal a reality and gave the people an independent state.
In the historic speech of March 7, 1971, Bangabandhu instructed the people of Bangladesh to plunge into the war of liberation. He said, “This time the struggle is for our freedom, this time the struggle is for our independence.” He instructed the Bengali nation, ‘Be ready with whatever you have.’ Inspired by this hypnotic speech, the Bengali nation started preparing for a liberation war with weapons, and independence was attained through the 9 months of the war in sacrifice for the fresh blood of 3 million martyrs, a disgrace to two lakh mothers and sisters, and boundless sacrifice. The victory was snatched on 16 December after 23 years of struggle and 9 months of armed struggle, defeating the Pakistani aggressors.
If Bangabandhu had officially declared the independence of Bangladesh directly before the night of March 25, the Bangladesh government would not have received international support during the war of independence, and without the support of India, Russia, and the world’s conscience, the country’s independence would not have been possible in 9 months. It has not been possible in any country of the world. Moreover, no one can declare the independence of a country if he wants to. Must have the power or right to declare independence. Whoever declares independence must have the support of the country and the international community. Only Sheikh Mujib, as the leader of the winning party in the 1970 elections, had the right to declare independence.
Bangabandhu landed in the country on 10 January 1972 and mentioned just after his arrival that “the freedom will not be fruitful if the people of Bengal do not eat rice on a full stomach, this freedom will not be fulfilled for me if the mothers and sisters of Bengal do not get clothes, the freedom will not be fulfilled for me if the people of this country, who are my youths, do not get jobs”.
On 12 January Bangabandhu took over as the Prime Minister and began the task of rebuilding the war-torn country. Only three and a half years later, on 15 August 1975, when he was brutally assassinated, the development of the country came to a standstill again. Bangabandhu’s daughters Sheikh Hasina and Sheikh Rehana survived the barbaric assassination on 15 August 1975 as they were abroad. After a long 6-year exile, Sheikh Hasina came to the country in 1981 with the responsibility of the Awami League. She turned mourning into power and jumped into realizing the economic and political rights of the people of the country.
Sheikh Hasina is moving forward on the path of fulfilling the incomplete dream as Bangabandhu took forward a war-torn country. Under her dynamic leadership and long-term planning, achieving MDGs, implementing SDGs, launching Padma Bridge and Metrorail, education, health, gender equality, agriculture, reducing poverty line, increasing life expectancy, export-oriented industrialization, 100 special economic zones, garment industry, pharmaceutical industry, export earnings various economic indicators have increased with growth.
During the tenure of this government, Sheikh Hasina has done various development activities for the country in the last 15 years. After the assassination of Bangabandhu Sheikh Hasina was the first to light the torch of light to chase away that darkness. Like her father, Sheikh Hasina is a firm believer in democracy. She was at the forefront of the movement to establish voting rights in this country. She also feels the pain of the poor people of the country most deeply. She is also focused on managing the country’s economy.
Bangabandhu’s dream of building a golden Bangladesh is being implemented by her with hard work and talent. With her hands, this country will transform into a bright developed country like Singapore and Malaysia in a short time. Only she can build a developed, prosperous, and peaceful Bangladesh. Loved the country more than children. Father’s unfinished work that needs to be completed. A non-sectarian, democratic, and future modern Bangladesh should be built. This is also the expectation of the new generation. In the last 15 years, the country has reached a new height of socio-economic development.
Sheikh Hasina started working as a path and path for the overall welfare, development, and liberation of the people of Bangladesh. She proved that she has no alternative in the development of democracy in Bangladesh. She has brought the Awami League to power after 21 years as a popular party and is working tirelessly to institutionalize democracy. Awami League has always been politically vocal and protestant against all kinds of exploitation, deprivation, injustice, injustice, and oppression in addition to the economic, social, political and cultural liberation of people in any democratic movement in Bangladesh and still she is working.
People’s fortunes improve when this party is in power. The history of this country from the birth of this party bears the sign of that truth. She has taken the reins as Awami League president as a symbol of unity in extremely difficult times. She has walked a long way in the struggle for democracy. She has repeatedly returned from the face of death. This initiative allowed her to unite the party. After 21 years with that united power, she won the election in 1996 and brought the party to power. She took 10 special initiatives. Prioritizes poverty, hunger-free society, housing, education, medicine, employment, social safety net, and digitization in the country.
Bangladesh will become the 29th largest economy in the world by 2030 and the 23rd economy by 2050. In 2026, Bangladesh will make its debut in the world as a ‘middle-income country’ and in 2041 as a ‘developed country’. The big proof that Bangladesh is moving forward is that the per capita income of the country’s people has increased over the past few years. Current per capita income is 2 thousand 765 dollars. Bangladesh is one of the top countries in the world in terms of economic progress. Inauguration of Metrorail and Padma Bridge are both development milestones.
Successfully combating COVID-19 pandemic education, communication infrastructure, gas, electricity, women’s education, 100% increase in salary and allowances of employees, health care, distribution of free books, achieving self-sufficiency in food production, under social programs for disadvantaged communities, destitute, elderly, widows, persons with disabilities assistance to the women victims of violence and divorced women, autism, assisting destitute freedom fighters, shelter scheme, Aam Bari Aamr Khamar scheme, women empowerment, the government led by the Prime Minister has played a major role in the overall development of various sectors. The long-standing electricity problem in the country, which could not be solved by the previous governments, the government has delivered electricity to the doorsteps of the people.
This production is not only used for household purposes but also for other means of electricity, which has turned the wheel of the country’s economy. On the other hand, the revenue of the government has also increased. In a populous country like ours, careful use of limited arable land is desirable. Our dependence on the import of agricultural products has reduced to a great extent. Because of this agricultural revolution, the country of 170 million people has been made self-sufficient in food, which is a very positive aspect for the country. Today’s agricultural revolution is the invention of the Awami League. Our main sources of revenue, especially foreign exchange earnings, are exports of manufactured garments and manpower. Although it started with private ownership, these two sectors have gained enough speed due to the interest of the government.
As a result, the driving force of the country’s economy has gained momentum. Along with that, the unemployment problem of the country has been solved a lot. Some products are exportable, which cannot be exported by private enterprises. The government’s action in this regard is remarkable. Governments and owners still have a lot to do to make the manufacturing environment acceptable to foreign buyers. When the World Bank canceled the allocation from the Padma Bridge, the Awami League government took it as a challenge. The government took the initiative to build the bridge with its funding. The existence of the bridge is important to all of us now. This bridge is changing our economy. Over the past few years, the Awami League government has vowed to build infrastructure. Flyovers, underpasses, metro rails, etc. have been constructed. Desired and dream metro rail started its journey on December 28, 2022. Elevated Expressway, Padma Bridge Rail, Karnaphuli Tunnel, and Matarbari Power Station were inaugurated recently. So far 2.7 lakh people out of 5 lakh 55 thousand 617 families have been rehabilitated. 1 crore 22 lakh 13 thousand 955 persons are working abroad as migrant workers.
She has been praised in the international arena for taking various steps to ensure people’s health protection to save lives from the COVID-19 pandemic. We ranked 1st in South Asia and 5th in the world. She has been able to bring economic and social progress to Bangladesh by having the opportunity to rule the country for a long time. Its recognition is the UN SDG Progress Award 2021. She has received many such recognitions. Earlier, she was selected as one of the three most successful and exemplary women heads of government in the Commonwealth of Nations.
Last November, 200 bridges in 25 districts of the country were opened for traffic. Many highways in the country have been upgraded to four or more lanes. Others are in progress. Satellite Bangabandhu-1 has been launched as the 57th country in the world and now work is underway for Satellite Bangabandhu-2. Delta Plan-2100 has been formulated to protect our generations from the impacts of climate change and build a better future. The whole world is passing through an unstable economic situation today. Just as our economy was recovering from the damage caused by the Covid, the Russia-Ukraine war began and this war is not just a war of arms, added to this is a terrible economic war.
Working with the determination to make Bangladesh a developed, smart Bangladesh by 2041. For this, the vision plan 2041 has been formulated and the implementation has started. Today, Bangladesh has joined the ranks of developing countries. The country is now self-sufficient in food grain production. Fish, meat, and eggs, the production of various agricultural products including milk, vegetables, and fruits have increased at a great rate. The poverty rate has come down from 40 percent to 18 percent. The literacy rate has increased from 45 percent to 75.2 percent. Maternal and infant mortality rates have decreased. These achievements have been possible because the Awami League government has been running the government consistently.
Hiren Pandit is a columnist and researcher.