Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has urged all to work together with a renewed pledge to resist all domestic and foreign conspiracies for construction of the Father of the nation Bangabandhu’s dream of ‘Golden Bangladesh’ and a developed and prosperous ‘Smart Bangladesh’ by 2041.
“On this auspicious occasion of Homecoming Day of Bangabandhu, let us pledge-resisting all domestic and foreign conspiracies and being inspired by the spirit of the Great Liberation War, we will together play an effective role in the construction of the Father of the nation's dream of ‘Golden Bangladesh’ and a developed and prosperous ‘Smart Bangladesh’ by 2041,” said the Prime Minister in a message on the occasion of Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman’s Homecoming Day.
She said the greatest Bengali of all time in the history of the Bengali liberation struggle, the Father of the Nation, Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, was released from prison in Pakistan and returned home on this day in 1972.
“The people of newly independent Bangladesh got back their most beloved leader. With the arrival of our Great Leader, the joy of the final victory of our liberation war was fulfilled,” she added.
Sheikh Hasina said the Father of the Nation struggled for 24 long years to unfetter the Bengali nation from the shackles of subjugation. Bangabandhu led on all fronts, from the language movement to the Independence War, she said, adding that he endured prison-torture, always made far-sighted decisions, and organized the party well beyond personal interests.
She said Bangladesh Awami League won an absolute majority in the 1970 elections under his leadership but the Pakistani military junta ignored the people’s verdict and started a farce. The unarmed people of Bengal were shot and killed indiscriminately, she said, adding that to achieve the ultimate independence, Father of the Nation declared in a crowd of a million at the racecourse maidan on 7 March 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 on the darkest night on 25 March, 1971 and Bangabandhu proclaimed the Independence of Bangladesh in the first hour of 26 March, the premier said.
Soon after the declaration of independence, she said the Pakistani forces arrested the Father of the Nation and confined him in unknown place in Pakistan, where he was subjected to inhuman torture.
She said Bangabandhu was elected as the President of the Mujibnagar Government on 10 April 1971. Bangabandhu rejoiced the spirit of Bengalis while counting the moments of execution as a convict in the farcical trial of Pakistan's Kangaroo court, Sheikh Hasina said, adding that Bangabandhu was the flame of hope to the freedom fighters.
“Under his unwavering leadership, the Bengali nation fought to the death and snatched victory on 16 December. The defeated Pakistani rulers were compelled to free Bangabandhu in the early hours of 8 January 1972 and he landed in London in the morning on the same day,” she said.
The Father of the Nation kissed the ground of his beloved motherland at noon on 10 January 1972, with a short stopover in Delhi in the morning, she said, adding that in a speech to a crowd of millions at the racecourse 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 Liberation War.
She said on 12 January 1972, the Father of the Nation assumed as the Prime Minister and deployed wholehearted efforts to rebuild war-torn Bangladesh.
The Prime Minister said due to his strong move, the Indian allied forces left Bangladesh by 15 March and on 14 December, Bangabandhu signed the first constitution of Bangladesh.
She said due to the successful bilateral and multilateral diplomatic efforts of the Father of the Nation, Bangladesh gained recognition from 123 countries of the world and 16 international organizations.
“From a war-torn country, it emerged as the least developed country in just three and a half years, and Bangladesh stood with a high head in the globe,” she added.
On 15 August 1975, the anti-independence and war criminal faction brutally killed the Father of the Nation, including his family members, and introduced the politics of killing, coup, and conspiracy in this country, she said, adding that they obstructed the way for the trial of Bangabandhu’s assassination by issuing an indemnity ordinance on 26 September 1975.
Sheikh Hasina said the Mostaq-Zia gang rewarded the killers with diplomatic status in Bangladesh embassies and also established them politically. Ruined democracy by declaring Martial Law and distorted the glorious history of the independence, she said, adding that they defaced the constitution and choked press freedom.
After 21 years of a long struggle and so many sacrifices, Bangladesh Awami League formed the Government in 1996, she said, adding that on 12 November of the same year, Awami League government adopted the ‘Indemnity Ordinance Repeal Act, 1996’ and started the trial of the assassination of the Father of the Nation.
“We reinstated the real history of independence and liberation war in the textbooks. We won a landslide victory in the 2008 election and were elected by popular mandate three times in a row. We have executed the verdict of the killers of the Father of the Nation. We have tried war criminals through the establishment of the International Criminal Tribunal. We have ensured the right of the people to vote through the fifteenth amendment to the constitution, thus stopped the illegal seizure of power,” she added.
She said the present government is working tirelessly to materialize the dream of Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman. By overcoming various hurdles, the Awami League government is taking Bangladesh forward on the path of prosperity, she added.
On the occasion of the birth centenary of the Father of the Nation and the golden jubilee of Independence, the United Nations recognized Bangladesh as a developing country, which is a unique achievement of our government, the premier said.
Sheikh Hasina said Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujib’s dream was that one day the people of this country would design their own fate and for that purpose, he prepared the entire nation to fight and, with courageous leadership, created an opportunity to enjoy the taste of freedom.
She said the Awami League government’s ultimate achievement is that the people of independent Bangladesh present themselves proudly on the world stage without showing leniency to foreign powers.
The Prime Minister wished the overall success of all the programmes taken at the national and international level on the occasion of Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman’s Homecoming Day.