Bangladesh will never lose its way under the leadership of Sheikh Hasina

Hiren Pandit: The 75th founding anniversary of Awami League is on 23rd June 2024. The party that made its debut under the leadership of Maulana Bhasani as the East Pakistan Awami Muslim League on June 23, 1949, in Tikatuli, Dhaka, is today’s Awami League. Six years after its debut, the word Muslim was dropped from the team’s name. The objective is to practice secularism and establish non-sectarianism in the party.

Maulana Abdul Hamid Khan Bhasani and General Secretary Shamsul Haque were elected president of Awami League in the first conference. At that time, Sheikh Mujibur Rahman was in prison. He got the post of joint secretary in the first committee from prison. Sheikh Mujibur Rahman came to the leadership of the Awami League at one stage of leadership continuity.

1952 language movement and 1954 United Front elections, the party progressed with continuous movement and struggle on the way to victory. The six-point movement of 1966 was followed by a sedition case in the Agartala conspiracy case in 1968, with Sheikh Mujib as the number one accused. By the end of 1968, political and student unity was formed against this case. As a result, in 1969, a popular uprising forced the government to withdraw the case and release the royal prisoners. Through this, Sheikh Mujibur Rahman was awarded the title of Bangabandhu. In Pakistani politics, Sheikh Mujib and East Bengal then transformed into a controlling force exerting influence against the conspiracies of the West Pakistanis. In the 1970 elections, he won a huge victory.

However, from the conspiracy of not handing over the power, Bangabandhu’s historic speech on March 7 and Operation Searchlight on March 25 against Bangabandhu’s declaration of independence on March 26 and the beginning of the liberation war. Bangladesh emerged as an independent state on December 16, 1971. Bangabandhu was successfully leading the reconstruction of the independent country.

But domestic and international conspiratorial groups tried to take the country back to Pakistani lines through the August 15 assassination, the seizure of power, the killing of four national leaders in jail, and the establishment of a total military dictatorship. In 1981, Sheikh Hasina was elected president of the party conference. After six years, he returned to the country and took charge of the Awami League. At that time, when the military ruler Ziaur Rahman was killed in a coup, a chaotic situation was created in the country’s politics. After that, Chief of Army Staff Ershad took power, and military rule was imposed again in the country.

The divided Awami League was united again under the leadership of Sheikh Hasina. Awami League has been run under her leadership for more than four decades. In addition to the movement and struggle to establish democracy in the country, the Awami League has held power five times. However, out of 75 years, the Awami League has had to stay out of state power for almost 50 years, on the streets, in agitations and struggles. Awami League, out of control for twenty-one years, returned to power in 1996. After Bangladesh’s independence, Bangabandhu’s government ruled for three and a half years, and Sheikh Hasina led it for five years in 1996 and currently, Awami League has been in power for 16 and a half consecutive years.

Awami League President and Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has entered Bangladesh as a developing country and become a role model in the world regarding economic development. Her success in the coronavirus war is worth seeing. Despite the hundreds of failures of the Ministry of Health, she is facing a crisis in terms of leadership, foresight, talent, and wisdom. No one has to suffer for food. Awami League runs the state today, but the power will not last forever. Is the organizational strength and structure ready to deal with the thorny politics of the opposition? Does anyone think about this? So, the time has come to evaluate the party’s stalwarts and tried and tested leaders.

Bangabandhu turned the Awami League into a popular grassroots political party. His daughter, Sheikh Hasina, who was exiled after his brutal murder, has taken the reins as Awami League president as a symbol of unity in times of extreme distress.

She has walked a long way in the struggle for democracy. She came back from the face of death again and again. She brought Awami League to power after 21 years as a popular party and is working tirelessly to institutionalize democracy. Those who remained associated with the Awami League during the difficult times of Bangabandhu’s daughter are the real Awami Leaguers. Because their sacrifice is too much, they are the ones who play a role in fighting corruption in One Eleven. This is the complex reality of the party.

Opportunists flock to whatever power they have. But can the opportunists entangle themselves in a network of political commercialization and corruption at all be removed? Many people from different parties are enjoying power in the Awami League. They could not be Awami Leaguer; they could not love the party’s martyred workers with their hearts. This is a big challenge for Awami League as an organization.

Awami League has always played a politically vocal and protesting role against all kinds of exploitation, deprivation, injustice, injustice and oppression in any democratic movement of Bangladesh, starting from the independence movement of this country, along with the economic, social, political, and cultural, liberation of the people and is still doing so.

The party faces many challenges coming into the fourth term of this consecutive rule. The big challenge is to strengthen the foundation of the party’s ethos. Even in favor of non-communal politics, the position of leaders and workers at all party levels is not equally strong. Awami League’s biggest challenge is to become the new Awami League at this stage due to various reasons. Many people also fear that the Awami League may collapse under the influence of evil people. There may be an attempt to weaken Sheikh Hasina. On the 75th anniversary of the party, there are many other issues to consider.

In the name of the party, extortion, tendering, other people’s lands, houses, shops, and business establishments are also reported in the newspaper. Although Awami League President and Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina sternly warned about the party’s position, government’s position, and attitude on these issues, organizational measures were sometimes taken. However, not everyone thinks that the situation is improving or changing. So, the Awami League faces these challenges. People’s expectations have significantly increased after being in power for four consecutive terms. Awami League has to evaluate these issues.

It is essential to highlight the government’s development activities and the benefits of development activities, especially the programs undertaken for the development and welfare of the people, to every person in the country.
Stopping money laundering, strengthening the weak banking system, curbing domestic and foreign propaganda, dealing with international pressure, resolving internal disputes, controlling commodity price hikes, bridging the gap between leaders and workers, dealing with conspiracies in the administration and at various places, many complain.

The government is part of the Awami League, but the administration is not. According to the news published in the media, former bureaucrats are at the top of the list of wealth smugglers from the country. After bureaucrats came the names of politicians. We have to be more careful about these things.

Eliminating the endless disparity between the rich and the poor, as the number of millionaires in the country has increased, the number of people struggling to make ends meet is also rising due to the increase in commodity prices. As unprecedented development occurs, the number of poor families is also increasing. Everyone should think about how to reduce this disparity. Our liberation war was fought to establish a non-discrimination state.

It becomes difficult to implement the spirit of liberation war by increasing or perpetuating discrimination. Awami League, the leading party in the Liberation War, is in power. Sheikh Hasina, the daughter of Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, is in charge of the Prime Minister. She continues relentlessly. Awami League’s founding anniversary will be celebrated on June 23 through various programs nationwide.

But when Awami League is in power, people’s fortunes improve. The history of this 75 years from the foundation of this party bears testimony to that fact. Now, the father of the nation, Bangabandhu’s daughter, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, is in power for the fifth time. Awami League, one of the prominent supporters and leading party of the liberation war, must resolve the conflicts and disputes of the party’s grassroots and involve everyone in all local development activities, social service, and humanitarian work.

It will speed up development work locally, and the work quality will also improve. On the other hand, the party leaders’ and workers’ involvement and friendship with ordinary people will increase, and the party and the government’s popularity will grow. However, due to the hybrid or new Awami Leaguers, opportunist leaders are entering the background, which may threaten the future and the party, which many analysts think should be considered.

However, the critical work being supervised and dealt with by the Prime Minister is genuinely commendable. Many MP Ministers cannot create such a connection with the ordinary people, especially the people of their respective constituencies. Such reports are sometimes seen in the media. Analysts also suggest clarifying whether the hybrid and new Awami Leaguers will work or give the responsibility to the quitters.

Many opportunists who politicized in the name of Bangabandhu’s ideals now isolate themselves from the people. Party and activists come to the media for misdeeds; the government and the nation are embarrassed. Misguided leaders and activists will refrain from such actions and work for the welfare of the people. Awami League and Awami League’s leaders, supporters, and the youth of the country will be the bearers of the ideals of the Bengali Father of the Nation. They will work selflessly for a country like Bangabandhu, be free of arrogance, and build harmony in Bangladesh by ensuring the peaceful coexistence of people of all religions without discriminating between people.

All leaders and workers must work with honesty, devotion, a hardworking and benevolent attitude, compassion, sympathy, selflessness, and courage. Bangabandhu himself was an idealistic man. The liberation of Bengal’s exploited and oppressed people was his life’s main goal and ideal.

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has worked tirelessly in the last sixteen years to lead the country towards development and achieve Vision 2041 or Smart Bangladesh after attaining Vision 2021. She has mentioned in her speech on different occasions that the identity of the criminals is that they are criminals. They must be brought under the law, and the mischief of some nefarious people who personally identify the beneficiaries and get them to book has become necessary. Through this, many good works of the Prime Minister and her government are being suppressed, about which the self-interested people are not worried.

An unprecedented unity has been created among people on the issue of Smart Bangladesh. Digital Bangladesh has been made. Access to technology should be harnessed to create jobs. This economic transformation also requires a transformation in the education system. Prime Minister and Awami League President Sheikh Hasina said that among the leaders and activists, there would be honesty, devotion, hard work and philanthropic attitude, human kindness-sympathy, humility-non-arrogance, and courage. Bangabandhu himself was an idealistic man. In the coming days, Bangladesh will play a leading role in the streets by holding the ideals of Bangabandhu and working under the leadership and guidance of Sheikh Hasina to make Bangladesh a smart Bangladesh by 2041 – this is everyone’s expectation.

Awami League President and Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has entered Bangladesh as a developing country and has become a role model for economic development. Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has been working towards establishing Bengali nationalism in the spirit of the liberation war, fostering democratic culture, building an exploitation-free society, and building a developed, prosperous, modern, and progressive state system. Bangladesh is progressing in many ways. A country prospers only through progress. If other countries recognize and appreciate Bangladesh’s progress, it is very positive and inspiring.

The Awami League government has made infrastructure development and civic services at the people’s doorsteps, making it easy, and it must be accepted that there are strict instructions from the head of government. Without seeing the communication system and road structure in the villages and remote areas, one cannot believe how easily these people can accept life and livelihood. Sheikh Hasina’s dream is to take the country forward in the spirit of the liberation war and to give the country’s people a taste of development. The main goal was to write the history of the liberation war, to place Bangabandhu’s existence in the history of the liberation war, and to place him in a proper place of dignity.

The Awami League government is working tirelessly to build a progressive, democratic, and non-communal Bangladesh free from hunger and poverty. These are Smart citizens, Smart Economy, Smart Government, and Smart Society. Apart from this, the plan of how the delta will be in the year 2100 has been undertaken.

All work in Smart Bangladesh will be done through technology, and every citizen will be proficient. Smart Bangladesh of 2041 will be a cost-effective, sustainable, intellectual, knowledge-based, and innovative Bangladesh. Smart healthcare, smart transportation, smart utilities, urban administration, public safety, agriculture, internet connectivity, and disaster management will be ensured by implementing Smart cities and smart villages.

Sheikh Hasina has been leading the country for more than 16 years as the Prime Minister, and one of the reasons why Bangladesh has not fallen into any significant economic crisis like other countries in the current global financial crisis is that she has been able to strengthen the country’s monetary base during this time. Otherwise, it would have been complicated to save the country of 17 crore people from disaster, even during this crisis.
The writer is an essayist, researcher, and columnist.

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