Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina yesterday laid emphasis on teaching children the country’s real history and urged all to be vigilant so that no vested group can snatch the Bangalee’s achievements again.
“For this, pace of development has to be continued integrating the countrymen (with the process),” she said.
The premier said this while addressing a discussion organised on the occasion of the 102nd birth anniversary of Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman and National Children’s Day.
She chaired the discussion joining virtually from her official residence Ganabhaban. Awami League (AL) organised it at Bangabandhu Mazar (Mausoleum) Complex at Tungipara, Gopalganj.
The Prime Minister said, “We have to work for the betterment of the mass people integrating them with this trend of development.”
Apart from this, Sheikh Hasina, also the president of Awami League, stressed on giving lesson to the children – generation to generation – that 21 February is Language Day and people of Bangladesh have sacrificed their blood for Bangla Language.
“And this day (February 21) is International Mother Language Day,” she said, adding, “the Bangalees have sacrificed blood for the mother language which is now acknowledged internationally and our children can know this.”
Mentioning that 26 March is Independence Day and 16 December is Victory Day, she said, “Everyone (children) have to be informed about the history of the sacrifices behind this Independence Day and the Victory Day.”
She added: “This might evoke patriotism among them (children).”
On this Children’s Day, she urged all AL leaders and activists to take initiative so that the children, generation to generation, can know the truth.
She said all were banned for 21 years, but none could erase the truth and “it has been proven yesterday”.
AL Presidium Members Shajahan Khan, MP, Jahangir Kabir Nanak and Abdur Rahman, Joint-General Secretaries Mahbubul-Alam Hanif, MP, and AFM Bahauddin Nasim, Religious Affairs Secretary Advocate Sirajul Mostafa, Agriculture and Co-operatives Secretary Faridunnahar Laily, Organizing Secretary Mirza Azam, MP, and Gopalganj District AL General Secretary Mahbub Ali Khan, among others, also spoke.
AL Publicity and Publication Secretary Dr. Abdus Sobhan Golap, MP, moderated the event.
The Prime Minister said the people who still don’t chant the national slogan “Joy Bangla” actually distrust the country’s independence.
She added, “Those who still don’t chant the ‘Joy Bangla’ slogan actually don’t believe in the independence of the country, the spirit of Liberation War and the ideology of independence of Bangladesh. We’ll have to keep it in mind.”
“Joy Bangla” slogan was once banned in the country and many AL leaders and activists lost lives for their bid to chant this slogan and play the historic 7th March speech of the Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman at that time, she continued.
She said the freedom fighters had earned independence, receiving martyrdom by shedding their blood with this slogan but “the clique of anti-liberation elements and killers had banned the slogan”.
Sheikh Hasina, also the eldest daughter of Bangabandhu, said the Father of the Nation had wanted to change the fate of the mass people and empower the grassroots people through decentralization of power in order to make hard-earned independence meaningful. This is why Bangabandhu had announced the programme for the second revolution, she added.
“If he got time to execute the second revolution programme, Bangladesh could have been established as a developed and prosperous country only within 10 years after the Independence,” she added.
The Prime Minister said the government has cut down the poverty rate in Bangladesh from 40 per cent to 20 per cent and hoped that no ultra poor would be found in the country when the next census report would be released.
She said they have taken initiative to ensure nutrition security after attaining the food security and that is why she urged everyone to produce some sort of crop on their own premises.
The head of government said this message is not only to the AL leaders and activists and its affiliated organizations, but also to the entire countrymen so that no inch of land remains uncultivated. “Produce as much as opportunity is there and as much as you can.”
She said people of Bangladesh will not beg to anyone as the Father of the Nation used to say -“The beggar nation does not have dignity”.
She added that Bangabandhu wanted to build the war-torn country as it has soil and people, and that is why the Awami League, after assuming power in 1996, in two years, made the country self-sufficient in food production. “We’ve shown that our soil is very fertile and we can do if we only try. But, we have to continue that.”
Sheikh Hasina said about ten lakh houses have been distributed free of cost since 1996 as a step towards providing house to the homeless people.
Another 50,000 houses are being built as part of the initiative to construct another 3 lakh houses, she said, adding that for this, Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Memorial Trust Fund has been formed with Taka 5 crore.
She said many industrialists, businessmen and bank owners have donated there and houses are being built after buying 2 kathas of land.
In this regard, she called upon the leaders and workers of Awami League to stand by the people.
“You have to stand by the homeless and poor people,” she said, urging them to keep in mind the ideals of the Father of the Nation.
Referring to the steps taken by her government to ensure health services to the people by expanding the community clinic at the grassroots level as well as expanding education, the premier said, “We have taken all the steps one by one what the Father of the Nation had wanted.”
She reiterated her call to everyone to follow the health safety protocols and wear facemask until the Coronavirus disappears fully.