Saturday, 30 September, 2023

Grieving August: Perpetrators failed to stop Bangladesh

  • Dr. M. Shahinoor Rahman
  • 31st July, 2023 03:53:18 AM
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Grieving August: Perpetrators failed to stop Bangladesh

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The month of August is known as "Mourning Month." This month marked the demise of Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, the "Father of the Nation." Our hearts are broken over such an unexpected loss. However, despite his assassination, our Country's Founding Father lives on in eternity. An essential and terrible event in the history of Bangladesh was the assassination of Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, the country's founding leader. The event, which took place on August 15, 1975, significantly impacted the nation's political landscape and had far-reaching repercussions. This essay will find the events surrounding the assassination, its aftermath, and its long-lasting influence on Bangladesh.

I would like to begin by expressing my most profound respect to the Father of the Nation, Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, Sheikh Fazilatunnesa Mujib, his three sons, Sheikh Kamal, Sheikh Jamal, and Sheikh Russell, as well as the majority of the family members of three of Bangabandhu's close relatives who were ruthlessly murdered on August 15, 1975.

Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman is admired in Bangladesh as the "Father of the Nation" for his vital role in the nation's fight for independence. In 1971, Bangladesh fought Pakistan in a bloody independence war, which ultimately resulted in Bangladesh's triumph and the birth as a sovereign nation. Mujibur Rahman appeared elected as the Prime Minister of Bangladesh immediately following the country's independence, and he served in that capacity throughout the early years of the nation's existence. However, the tasks were enormous, including rebuilding the war-torn country, meeting the needs of millions of refugees, and establishing a stable government. The predicament became much more challenging due to the political and economic tensions. On August 15, 1975, disaster hit the nation when a group of vicious army soldiers assassinated Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman and most of his family members at his residence in Dhaka.

After the assassination, there was a period characterised by disorder and uncertainty. The military overthrew the government, and for subsequent years, Bangladesh was governed by a succession of military dictatorships. The principles of democracy, for which the country had struggled during the struggle for independence, severely deteriorated. In the years after the assassination, there was a rise in the number of governments supported by the military and an increase in political polarisation. During this period, the ideas and principles that Bangabandhu fought for, such as democracy, secularism, and social justice, were put to jeopardy. In addition, the murder substantially affected the collective spirit of Bangladesh. Many people felt that the passing of Mujib represented a loss of hope and a betrayal of the values for which they had battled during the liberation war. Father of the Nation had been a prominent figure in the struggle for independence. The spirit of unity and purpose that had defined the independence movement seemed to have been destroyed, creating a hole in the nation's political landscape. Despite the turbulent events that followed, the memory of Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman has survived in the hearts of Bengalis.

Sheikh Hasina, his daughter, the most significant political figure, is trying to protect Bangabandhu’s legacy. In the following years, she rose to become Prime Minister, a position she has since held for several consecutive terms. In the following years, Bangladesh made significant progress in various socioeconomic metrics, resulting in the country's overall achievement of considerable development. On the other hand, the political situation is just as complicated as before, and the memory of the killing is still felt in the political conversation across the country. However, the assassination of Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman was a terrible event in the history of Bangladesh. The death of a visionary leader, followed by political unrest, had a significant and negative effect on the nation. The fight to defend democratic norms and construct a stable political system is far from over, and the memory of Bangabandhu continues to serve as a symbol of the ideals Bangladeshis strive toward.

Since takeover of office, Honourable Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, the most worthy-daughter, has made amazing strides toward realising Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman's dream, to build a poverty-free modern, technologically advanced "Smart Bangladesh". She has successfully upgraded the status of the general people of Bangladesh by combating the obstacles existing in Bangladesh. These efforts have considerably impacted the course that the country has taken since she entered her position. Since she is the daughter of the nation's first leader, she is saddled with the special responsibility of continuing her father's work while also paving her own way to the top of the political hierarchy. Let us discuss some of the most important features of Sheikh Hasina's leadership, as well as her contributions to the growth and development of Bangladesh. Sheikh Hasina, the President of the Bangladesh Awami League, was elected Prime Minister of Bangladesh for the first time in 1996 and has maintained the position for many terms since then. During her term, she has demonstrated unwavering resolve and a vision for a thriving and modern, technologically advanced "Smart Bangladesh", both of which are in keeping with the goals that her father, Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, had for Bangladesh. She has made reducing poverty and fostering economic growth--two of her primary policy priorities.

Bangladesh has enjoyed substantial economic growth during her leadership with the country routinely maintaining a GDP growth higher than other countries. Our econometric models predict that Bangladesh's GDP will have a long-term trend between 509.79 USD billion in 2024 and 540.37 USD billion in 2025.This growth has allowed Bangladesh to become one of the fastest-growing economies in the world. Her government has enacted several different policies and programmes to boost a variety of economic subsectors, including agriculture, manufacturing, and service industries, as well as to encourage new business ventures and encourage investment in existing businesses. Education, healthcare, and social welfare have been given a high priority under Sheikh Hasina's rule, which has also made human development a top priority. The marginal class and downtrodden section of society have been the focus of significant investment from the government, which has been directed at increasing access to high-quality educational opportunities, enhancing medical facilities, and establishing social safety net programs. These efforts have contributed to improvements in literacy rates, a reduction in child mortality, and an increase in the average life expectancy in the country. Sheikh Hasina's administration has placed a significant emphasis on the expansion of existing physical infrastructure as another critical area of concentration. The government, recognising the value of modern infrastructure in supporting economic growth and connectivity, has undertaken paramount projects, including constructing bridges, motorways, ports, and power plants. These infrastructure improvements have not only helped promote economic activities but have also improved transportation and connection across the country. Sheikh Hasina has made it clear that she is dedicated to safeguarding the ideals of secularism and religious tolerance. This is in keeping with her father's vision for Bangladesh: it would be an inclusive and secular nation. She has taken action to protect minority rights and promote interfaith harmony, both of which are crucial for maintaining social cohesion in a multi-religious nation like Bangladesh. Sheikh Hasina's leadership has been credited with many notable accomplishments, one of which is accelerating the process of women's empowerment. As a result of her efforts to promote gender equality and women's rights, more women are now working in all fields including politics, defense and education. Additionally, the government has enacted regulations to combat violence against women and to encourage women to take part in the decision-making process. In foreign relations, Sheikh Hasina's government has worked to expand Bangladesh's diplomatic connections with other nations and bolster the country's standing on the international scene. Her attempts to improve trade and economic cooperation with neighbouring countries and beyond have helped Bangladesh's increasing stature on the world stage. However, it is crucial to realise that Bangladesh still faces obstacles, including political polarisation, governance issues, and environmental concerns, which demand continuous attention and effort from the government and society. Nevertheless, honorable Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina's persistent efforts to establish a Modern, Technologically Advanced "Smart Bangladesh" following goal of her father Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman have been transformative for the nation. She has contributed substantially to Bangladesh's economic growth, social development, and international status through her vision, dedication, and devotion to advancement. Her actions are building blocks of future of Bangladesh directed towards realising the dreams of Bangabandhu.

Even though Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman is no longer physically present, his legacy lives on not only in Bangladesh but also across the rest of the world. In order to have a complete understanding of Bangladesh, one must be familiar with Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman and his role in forming the nation known as Bangladesh.

So, perpetrators of the August 15 carnage have failed to execute their heinous plan to block socioeconomic strides of Bangladesh which is rather invincible. As long as Sheikh Hasina is in power, Bangladesh will not stray from its path.

(Author is the Writer, Researcher, Columnist, Folklorist, Academic, Professor of English and Former Pro-Vice-Chancellor, Islamic University, Kushtia, Bangladesh)