Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina reiterated her pledge to repay the debt of the blood of Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman by materialising his dream of building a hunger-and poverty-free prosperous Bangladesh.
“He (Bangabandhu) has given blood for the people of the country and put us in the debt of his blood. We have only one target- paying off his blood debt,” she told a virtual discussion marking the National Mourning Day and 46th martyrdom anniversary of Bangabandhu.
In her speech, the Prime Minister said that the Father of the Nation had struggled throughout his life to give the people of the country a beautiful life and he dreamt of building a developed and prosperous Bangladesh free from hunger and poverty.
She added that her government has been working tirelessly to implement the dream of Father of the Nation to repay the debt of his blood, saying, “InshaAllah, his (Bangabandhu’s) dream will be implemented.”
Sheikh Hasina, also elder daughter of Father of the Nation, said in an emotion-charged voice, “I have lost everything. I know losing everything is very painful. Bearing the pain and turning the grief into strength, I have been working with a target and that is to change the fate of the country’s people by building the Sonar Bangla as dreamt by the Father of the Nation.”
Following the footsteps of Bangabandhu, the Prime Minister said, her government has set a target, marking the birth centenary of the Father of the Nation, that none will remain poor and homeless in the country. The “Guchhagram” project was taken to rehabilitate the landless people on the khas land, she added.
Since assuming office after 21 years, she said, her government has been taking every measure to ensure Bangladesh’s overall development following the path of Bangabandhu.
She added: “We have earned dignity in the world in terms of economic development. The per capita income has increased to $2227 while the poverty rate declined to 20 percent from 45. The average life expectancy has increased to 72 years. Literacy rate has increased to 74 percent. Healthcare services have been reached to the (people’s) doorsteps.”
The Prime Minister said Bangabandhu had got only three and a half years to rebuild a war-ravaged country alongside taking measures for achieving the country’s economic emancipation and he successfully made Bangladesh a least developed country.
The Father of the Nation wanted to see the Bangladeshis moving across the globe keeping their heads high and for that he had called for a national consensus after taking a programme to achieve economic freedom. But the people who didn’t want the country’s liberation and victory of the Bangalees had killed Bangabandhu along with most of his family members, she added.
If Bangabandhu could have implemented the programme, the Bangladeshis would get democratic rights, economic emancipation and a life free from poverty and hunger, she said, adding that the killers didn’t make it happen.
“The day (August 15) is a mourning day for us. The most important aspect of the day is the Bangalees had lost everything on this day. The architect of Bangladesh and Father of the Nation and President of the country was assassinated on August 15 in 1975,” she said.
She said that the most disgraceful thing of the carnage was that some people had betrayed.
The premier said the killers killed her mother, brothers, sisters-in-law and others, adding that she herself and her younger daughter Sheikh Rehana survived the heinous attack as they were abroad at that time.
Sheikh Hasina said her only target is to change the fate of the people of the country that was the ideal of Bangabandhu and for which her father, mother and brothers had sacrificed their blood.
The Prime Minister said that Bangabandhu had to face several attempts on his life and harassment due to filing of false cases against him and he spent years in the dark of jails, adding, “But nothing could stop him from pursuing his ideal to give the people a beautiful and developed life.”
Awami League General Secretary and Road Transport and Bridges Minister Obaidul Quader, MP, former University Grants Commission (UGC) Chairman Prof Abdul Mannan and Chairman of Bangladesh Awami Jubo League Sheikh Fazle Shams Parash took part in the discussion.
Noted actress and former state minister Tarana Halim moderated the function.