Saturday, 10 June, 2023

Independence Day Celebration

Let us focus on unfinished agenda

Let us focus on unfinished agenda

The nation celebrates today its 52nd Independence Day with due grandeur and solemnity and by paying a glowing tribute to the freedom fighters and all those who suffered during the nine-month long Liberation War in 1971. Fifty two years ago, we achieved freedom under the leadership of Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, but we had to pay a high price for it. As many as three million people were killed and two lakh women were violated during the war.

The Liberation War was based on certain principles and values. The martyrs had laid down their lives for a cause. How far we have upheld that cause remains a big question. There is no denying that the country’s liberation has brought certain progress in political, economic and cultural spheres.

The 1971’s War of Liberation, apart from claiming three million lives, had also left its infrastructure and economy in tatters. At that time around 80 per cent of Bangladesh’s population was living in extreme poverty and the country was characterized as an economic basket case. But in the last five decades the country has undergone tremendous transformation and become one of the fastest growing economies of the world.

But some other promises of the liberation war such as good governance, economic emancipation, reducing economic disparity have so far remained a mirage. We have witnessed significant improvement in infrastructural development, but what about intellectual development?

Despite a quantitative boom in the number of educational institutions, the quality of education is in shambles. Our health sector too is failing the people. Culturally we have advanced, but fundamentalism is rising at an alarming pace. Secularism, one of sacred principals of the Liberation War, is now under threat. Religious militancy is another dire challenge.

Last but not least, in 1971 we defeated our colonial rulers but not all our enemies. Our enemies still remain; they are internal enemies and are waiting to destroy all the gains of the liberation. Therefore, we must be aware and alert. The anti-liberation forces and their cohorts must be defeated at any cost.