Hiren Pandit: Sheikh Hasina and Sheikh Rehana could not return home for 6 years after the brutal murder of Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman and his family members on August 15, 1975, due to the conspiracy of assassins and lack of security. Awami League leaders and workers spread across the country in the midst of various adversities became strong at one time; became strong with the determination to build a new country. Then, in the absence of Sheikh Hasina, the leaders and activists elected her as the president of the Bangladesh Awami League through the council. She returned on 17 May 1981. After returning to the country in 1981, she focused on the journey of bringing the country back to the spirit of the liberation war and realizing her father’s dream. Building national unity based on the spirit of the liberation war, secularism, democratic values, equality, justice, development and progress was a difficult issue.
Democracy, politics, education, culture, health, freedom of expression, freedom of the press and overall infrastructure have improved. It was Bangabandhu’s dream to put a smile on the faces of the suffering people. Sheikh Hasina’s goal is the emancipation of the people. Like an echo of her father’s dream. Liberation war and freedom are the proudest and pride of our national life. People are moving forward in Bangladesh with the spirit of the liberation war. In fact, the liberation war has a comprehensive and multi-dimensional form in the measure of the spirit of the liberation war. This consciousness is bringing revolutionary changes in our socio-cultural and political life.
In the post-war period, the events of August 15, 1975, were a terrifying event in the reality of the newly independent country. After that, the Pakistani trend started and it was difficult to get out of it. The freedom spirit of the liberation war was lost, and democracy and cultural progress was disrupted. Bangabandhu’s presence was returned in 1996 under the leadership of Sheikh Hasina after 21 years, Joy Bangla was resounded and the history of the liberation war was re-established in self-glory. The new generation is animated today with the spirit of the liberation war as the Awami League has been in power for 14 and a half years. That is why Sheikh Hasina always says that the continuity of development and democracy can be protected by being inspired by the spirit of the liberation war. The father of the nation dreamed of changing the fate of the people of Bangladesh. Sheikh Hasina is working selflessly towards that goal. These words also contain the expression of the spirit of the liberation war.
The spirit of the liberation war was destroyed by killing Bangabandhu. Sheikh Hasina has made relentless efforts to restore that consciousness. The spirit of the liberation war is manifested in the patriotic ruler and cherishing the promise of establishing the just rights of the people. However, even after 52 years of independence, the issue of the spirit of the liberation war remains unresolved. Because even after the liberation war, the forces opposed to the liberation war are in a strong position politically. After the killing of Bangabandhu, the democracy of the country, and the development of the spirit of the liberation war has been hindered again and again – or would there be a transition? There is only one answer to such numerous questions – because of Sheikh Hasina’s return to the country, democracy has been established today, and Bangladesh has stood up in the world on the path of development and progress. Sheikh Hasina led the Awami League as a symbol of party unity in the most difficult times. She always fought in the struggle for democracy. She has repeatedly returned from the brink of death. She brought the Awami League to power as a popular party in 1996 after 21 years and has been working tirelessly to institutionalize democracy in Bangladesh.
Sheikh Hasina made possible the impossible by forming the government in 1996 to bring Bangabandhu’s killers to justice and later to bring war criminals to justice in 2010. The opportunity came to carry forward the ideals of the Bengali nation. After the assassination of Bangabandhu at the hands of anti-independence domestic and foreign gangs, black darkness engulfed her, she first lit the torch of light to chase away that darkness. That torch, after the initial crisis restriction continues to shine, begins to turn for the spirit of liberation. Just as a Bengali is united in the morning to remove all garbage, rich in promise, so a wind of auspicious promise is seen blowing from the day of her return to the country.
The liberation war is the most glorious event for the Bengali nation and as long as the Bengali nation exists, this liberation war will remain as the chapter of the greatest glory, as an unforgettable story of glory. In order to inspire today’s new generation in the spirit of the liberation war, it is necessary to present the accurate history of the liberation war to them. Books written on the history of the Liberation War, and various films and dramas made on the Liberation War need to be promoted more and more. Today’s generation needs to be told that the Bengali nation had to struggle a lot for liberation. The new generation should know that the freedom fighters despised their lives, sacrificed their lives to liberate the motherland and motherland, and raised the victory flag of independent Bangladesh. The achievements of our liberation war should be presented to them. During the war of liberation, the Pakistani occupation forces took all the necessary measures to wipe out a nation forever. As a result, they killed the valiant son of the soil of this country including workers, teachers, intellectuals and journalists. It is everyone’s responsibility and duty to present the proper history of how the Bengali nation defeated them to the new generation, especially the young generation. But to what extent we are doing that, the question has come before us.
The war of liberation is the war to free the Bengali nation from the chains of exploitation. The spirit of the liberation war is the cherished dream of our Bengali nation, the dream of the spirit of a nation. This dream has stirred our hearts and inspired our dream to establish a sovereign state. Helped to realize the dream and accelerated this dream and accelerated a new hope. The spirit united the Bengali nation to establish a democratic and non-exploitative society. We need to do more to spread this consciousness among the new generation. The consciousness of the new generation should be sharpened.
Those who have not seen the liberation war, but have heard it in the form of a story from an elder person in their family, from a teacher, from a leader, from a freedom fighter or from a book. We do not know how accurate that hearing or reading is or how widespread it is. An initiative can be taken by educational institutions. How successful are we to highlight the history of the liberation war? A distortion of history can give a nation nothing but destruction and confusion.
Bringing the fact that the country became independent under the leadership of Bangabandhu to the new generation, especially the young generation. Which will inspire the new generation in patriotism. The accurate history of the liberation war will be a source of inspiration for the new generation, we should start working now to sharpen this consciousness. Bangabandhu’s daughter Sheikh Hasina started working as a pioneer for the overall welfare, development, and liberation of the people of Bangladesh. She has proved that she has no alternative to developing democracy in Bangladesh. Sheikh Hasina’s integrity, devotion, rational mindset, strong morale, wisdom and extraordinary leadership have established Bangladesh at a different height in the world arena and she is known as a world-renowned leader. Awami League has always played and continues to play a politically vocal, defensive role against all forms of exploitation, deprivation, injustice, and oppression. Since its inception, it has worked for the economic, social, political and cultural emancipation of the people. When this party is in power, the fortunes of the people improve. The history of 74 years since the foundation of this party bears witness to that fact. Sheikh Hasina has been working towards establishing Bengali nationalism in the spirit of the liberation war, nurturing democratic culture, building a society free from exploitation and building a developed, prosperous, modern, progressive state system.
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.
Stating that Awami League will never forget the contribution of freedom fighters, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina said that the government is building the country in the spirit and ideals of the liberation war. We never forget the contribution of freedom fighters to this country. Therefore, we have taken the initiative to build Bangladesh in the spirit and ideals of the liberation war. The government is looking out for neglected freedom fighters and has taken all measures to ensure their benefits like freedom fighters’ allowance. The freedom fighters were completely neglected and the government was taking all kinds of measures to find them. The government is making arrangements for their allowance, state honors in case of death and even their burial. It is our duty to honor and give dignity to those who took up arms and liberated this country at the call of my father. The government is working to preserve the memory of the liberation war. If the young generation gets to know the history of victory by seeing the memories of the liberation war, then they will be inspired and know how to work for the country.
The government is establishing freedom fighter complexes in every upazila and has also taken measures to preserve the historic Suhrawardy Udyan where the Father of the Nation gave his historic 7th March speech, giving instructions on how to run the country after independence and Pakistani occupation, surrendered by Pakistani forces. No one will ever disrespect freedom fighters. In the future, no one will look down on the freedom fighters and their families. She also mentioned that her government has increased the allowance of freedom fighters and it will continue from generation to generation.
Democracy is one of the teachings of the spirit of our liberation war. Because at the very core of our independence is the ideal of democracy. The topic of the spirit of the liberation war is back. As a Bengali nation, under the leadership of Father of the Nation Bangabandhu, we got an independent state, our own flag and national anthem. To talk about the spirit of the liberation war, we have to go back to 1971. The spirit of the liberation war includes ‘declaring Bangladesh a sovereign people’s republic for the purpose of establishing equality, human dignity and social justice for the people of Bangladesh’ included in the constitution.
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. 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.
Hiren Pandit is a columnist and a research fellow