Hiren Pandit: In the spirit of the Liberation War, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has been working towards the establishment of Bengali nationalism, fostering democratic culture, building a society free from exploitation and building Bangladesh into a developed, prosperous, modern and progressive state. Bangladesh has crossed 52 years since its independence. Bangladesh is progressing in many ways and it goes without saying that a country prospers only through progress. If other countries of the world recognize and appreciate Bangladesh’s progress, it is very positive and inspiring. According to the news published recently in the press, a bill has been introduced in the US Congress to praise the socio-economic progress of Bangladesh and to recognize this progress. This bill was introduced recently on the occasion of 52 years of the great Independence Day. It is known that the bill was raised in the US Congress by Joe Wilson, a Republican congressman from the state of South Carolina. He is the Co-Chair of the Bangladesh Caucus of Congress. While introducing the bill, Congressman Joe Wilson recalled the situation 52 years ago.
It is said that Bangladesh attained independence from Pakistan after 9 months of bloody war. Bengalis fought for democracy and freedom under the leadership of Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman. Then on April 4, 1972, the United States recognized the newly independent Bangladesh. Apart from this, the bill states that Bangladesh’s journey over the last five decades from a war-torn poor country to a fast-growing economy has been incredible. According to the World Bank, in 2021, the per capita GDP of Bangladeshis stood at 2,457 dollars, which now surpasses many neighboring countries. When a bill is introduced in the US Congress appreciating the progress of Bangladesh, it is undoubtedly happy and hopeful for us. At the same time, this appreciation will also act as motivation. Bangladesh is progressing in many ways. Which has been discussed in different countries of the world.
During the Great Liberation War in 1971, the economy of Bangladesh was 9 billion dollars. In the last 5 decades, it has increased to 450 billion dollars. Average life expectancy increased from 47 years to 73 years. The education rate has also exceeded 75 percent. Sheikh Hasina’s leadership has been praised by mentioning these achievements as incredible. Apart from this, the bill also states that under the leadership of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, Bangladesh has achieved remarkable progress in various sectors including food production, disaster tolerance, poverty alleviation, health, development of the education sector, and empowerment of women. The task of taking Bangladesh forward was not easy. The progress of the country continues despite various setbacks. As a result, it is the duty of the concerned to take the issues that are coming up as a motivation to take more steps and be proactive towards achieving the overall prosperity of the country. It needs to be taken into account, the bill also brings up, Bangladesh’s achievements in countering extremism as a liberal country are commendable. The people of the country have always wanted to maintain support for democracy and the rule of law rather than accepting autocratic rule. On the other hand, the proposal states that Bangladesh and the United States are working on the basis of mutual cooperation to ensure regional and international security, combat terrorism and prevent climate change. After all, various issues have come up in the bill. It is also mentioned that the country is contributing to the development of the US economy through bilateral trade and security-related cooperation in the international context.
On the other hand, the bill praises Bangladesh for providing shelter to the Rohingyas, saying that Bangladesh has given shelter to more than 1 million Rohingyas facing genocide in Myanmar. For this reason, the issue of gathering the praise of the American people has also come up and to deal with this crisis, the United States has come to the side of Bangladesh by providing humanitarian aid worth more than two billion dollars. Apart from this, Bangladesh has thanked the American people for providing vaccination support from the United States to deal with the corona pandemic, which is Bangladesh’s leadership seat in the United Nations peacekeeping operations. The issues that have come up in the bill and praise for Bangladesh are very promising. As a result, taking into account the overall situation, the necessary initiatives will continue to move the country forward and achieve the SDGs in 2030 and build Smart Bangladesh in 2041 with more far-reaching development.
Many changes and many developments! The country has progressed in many aspects including infrastructure. To deny what is visible before the eyes are utter silliness. The Awami League government has made infrastructure development and civic services at the doorsteps of the people, 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 the people of these areas have been able to accept life and livelihood, and have become accustomed to it. Sheikh Hasina’s dream is to take the country forward in the spirit of the liberation war and to give the people of the country 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 place him in a proper place of dignity.
The promise of the great freedom struggle of Bangladesh was to fulfill the basic rights of the countrymen such as food, clothing, shelter, medical care and education. Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina is walking on the path of development, progress and prosperity by facing various domestic and foreign challenges. She is making relentless efforts to build a progressive, democratic and non-communal Bangladesh free from hunger and poverty. So far, more than 350,000 land and houses have been distributed among homeless families. The government is working to successfully implement four foundations to build a smart Bangladesh. 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. Where every citizen will be proficient in using technology. 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 for the implementation of smart cities and smart villages.
The way Sheikh Hasina has been leading the country for more than 14 years as the Prime Minister and one of the reasons why Bangladesh has not fallen into any major economic crisis like other countries in the current global economic crisis is that she has been able to take the economic base of the country in a strong position during this time. Otherwise, it would have been very difficult to save the country of 17 crore people from disaster even during this crisis.
There is no way to separate the phenomenal success achieved by Bangladesh under the regime of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina. It was echoed in the Congress bill as well. When introducing the bill, Joe Wilson brought forward the recognition of Bangladesh as an independent state of the United States on April 4, 1972, 52 years ago. The people of Bangladesh hope that the United States will spare no effort in providing assistance to Bangladesh in overcoming its internal problems in becoming a non-sectarian, militant-free democratic state. Because Bangladesh has achieved success in the socio-economic field, Sheikh Hasina, the daughter of the father of the nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman.
Not only the US Congress but on March 30 New York-based financial news agency Bloomberg published an article titled ‘Bangladesh Leader Bets IMF-Mandated Rigor Will Pay Off in Polls’. The article praises Bangladeshi Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina for clarifying her stance from other countries’ leaders, saying that government party leaders around the world often hold back on implementing reforms agreed with the International Monetary Fund, fearing defeat at the ballot box. Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina is not like them. The article also predicts her victory in next year’s elections. The agency expressed optimism in the article that she would emerge victorious for the fourth time in a row. Regarding her chances of winning, the article states, ‘The reason why Sheikh Hasina is likely to win a fourth consecutive term in the national elections to be held in January 2024 is not that many of her opponents are in jail or in legal trouble.
This report of Bloomberg has also been published in the media of Bangladesh. The bill brought to Congress has also been published in the media of Bangladesh. But the visionary-missionary position of our political leadership is the most important thing to overcome the socio-economic, and political crisis and problems of Bangladesh. Sheikh Hasina has repeatedly proved her leadership ability in taking Bangladesh forward. More leaders of our country will give proper leadership in the coming days, so people hope that she will take the lead in the future as well. The world appreciates that kind of leadership. So, in the current global reality, Bangladesh has started to turn around again, the people will be able to live relatively comfortably in this turned-around Bangladesh, at least they will not face disaster. Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina is trying to do that.
Equal participation of men and women, ensuring access to technology for all irrespective of rich and poor, and reducing distance in access to urban and rural services were all the main objectives and goals of Digital Bangladesh. Thanks to inclusive development and technology, now anyone can work freelancing even in the village. All this has been made possible by the progressive technological, inclusive development of People’s Leader Sheikh Hasina’s Digital Bangladesh.
After the successful implementation of the pledge to build a digital Bangladesh, now the new program has come. That is Smart Bangladesh. A cost-effective, sustainable, intelligent, knowledge-based, innovative Smart Bangladesh will be built on these four main foundations of Smart Citizen, Smart Economy, Smart Government and Smart Society by 2041.
Hiren Pandit is a columnist and researcher