Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina today expressed her firm determination of building a non-communal, hunger-free and prosperous Bangladesh as dreamt by Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman with collective efforts.
“The Father of the Nation dreamt of building a non-communal, hunger-free and prosperous Bangladesh, resisting all imminent conspiracies and inspired by the spirit of the Great Liberation War. We will fulfill that dream with unity, In-sha Allah,” she said in a message on the eve of the Homecoming Day of Bangabandhu.
The premier prayed for eternal peace of the departed soul of Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman on the occasion of his Homecoming Day.
Sheikh Hasina said, “The legendary comet in the history of Bengali liberation struggle, the greatest Bangali of all times, Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman returned home on this day in 1972 after being freed from captivity in Pakistan’s prison”.
In absence of this great leader, there was an imperfection in the ecstasy and excitement of the final victory in the Liberation War, just as his assumption to the stewardship in the reconstruction of the newly independent war-ravaged country was much awaited in the universal perception, she said.
So, on January 10, the people of Bangladesh felt the true taste of ultimate victory when they got back their beloved leader, the premier continued.
The Father of the Nation struggled for 24 long years to unfetter the Bengali nation from the shackles of subjugation, she said, adding he led on all fronts from the language movement to the war of freedom.
“Endured prison-torture always made far-sighted decisions and organized the party well beyond personal interests. Bangladesh Awami League won an absolute majority in the 1970 elections under his (Bangabandhu) leadership,” the premier said.
Sheikh Hasina added: “He (Bangabandhu) became the undisputed leader of Bengal. But the Pakistani military Junta ignored the verdict of the people and started a farce”.
Noting that unarmed people of Bengal were shot and killed indiscriminately, she said, “To achieve the ultimate independence, Father of the Nation declared in a crowd of a million at the Race Course Maidan on March 7, 1971, ‘……..turn every house into fortress…..The struggle this time is a struggle for emancipation. The struggle this time is a struggle for independence”.
The Pakistani occupation forces launched a brutal killing mission on the innocent Bengalis in the deep dark of the 25th March in 1971, the premier said, adding that Bangabandhu proclaimed the Independence of Bangladesh in the first hour of the 26th of March.
Soon after the declaration of independence, the Pakistani forces arrested the Father of the Nation and sent him to a solitary prison in Pakistan, where he was subjected to inhuman torture, the head of the government said.
He (Bangabandhu) rejoiced in the spirit of Begalees while counting the moments of execution as a convict in the ridiculous trial, Sheikh Hasina said, adding he was the flame of life to the freedom fighters.
“Under his unwavering leadership, the Bengali nation fought to the death and snatched victory. The defeated Pakistani rulers were compelled to free Bangabandhu in the early hours of January 8, 1972,” she said.
Mentioning that Bangabandhu landed in London at 0636hrs on the same day, the premier said there he immediately agreed to accept Bangladesh’s membership to the Commonwealth at the proposal of its Secretary-General, met the British Prime Minister, and held a press conference there.
The Father of the Nation kissed the ground of Bangladesh on January 10, 1972 at 1340hrs with a short break in Delhi in the morning, the Prime Minster said, adding in a speech to an ocean of crowd at the Race Course that day, he described the brutal torture of the Pakistani military junta and called on the United Nations to bring the Pakistani army to justice for committing heinous crimes and genocide during the Great War of Liberation.
On 12 January 1972, the Father of the Nation assumed as the Prime Minister and deployed all efforts to rebuild war-torn Bangladesh, she said, adding due to his strong move, the Indian allied forces left Bangladesh on 15 March 1972.
“On 14 December 1972, he signed the first constitution of Bangladesh. In response to his (Bangabandhu’s) call, various international organizations and friendly countries, including the United Nations quickly recognised Bangladesh,” the premier said.
Under the charismatic leadership of Bangabandhu, Bangladesh was uplifted as a prominent country in the world within a very short time and emerged as a least developed country in just three and a half years from a mass of war-devastation, she continued.