by Nadeem Qadir in Mawa, Bangladesh
The year 2020 might have been the worst in recent memory for Bangladesh and rest of the world due to COVID-19 pandemic, but this South Asian country which was once labelled as the “basket case” had many reasons to remember the outgoing year for many achievements — thanks to Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina.
The worthy daughter of Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman made Bangladeshis proud on many fronts and thus 2020 can be called the “Year of Sheikh Hasina.”
Standing on the Mawa end of the giganric Padma Bridge, there was an extra feeling of being proud and happy.
What an achievement!
Padma Bridge Project security guard Mohammad Ripon told this correspondent “Everybody is happy, even those who had resisted government requisition of their land for the project.”
“Those who had to give ancestral land were very well compensated and residents on both sides of the bridge are looking forward to better days ahead,” said with a big smile.
Hundreds of people defied COVID-19 threat of getting infection and chilly wind to gather at the Mawa end of the bridge of challenge and prestige.
Army Medical College students from Chittagong were among the crowd. They had come all the way to have a look at the bridge that now connects capital Dhaka with 21 south-western districts, although work is underway to complete its construction of roads and railway slabs by the end of next year.
The other achievements were on the economic, health and the diplomatic front.
Dipanjan Roy Chaudhury wrote in the major Economic Times of India
“Bangladesh celebrates its 50 years of independence with a stable and progressive government in power and once a basket case has marched ahead of Pakistan in several indicators.
The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has indicated Bangladesh’s economy to be growing up to $322 billion by 2021. This data compiled by the IMF indicates the average Bangladeshi citizen is wealthier compared to that of Pakistan.
The IMF has indicated Bangladesh’s economy to be growing up to $322 billion by 2021. This data compiled by the IMF indicates the average Bangladeshi citizen is wealthier compared to that of Pakistan.
The government of Bangladesh most recently managed to establish the last structural span of the Padma Multipurpose Bridge. With this project, Bangladesh has shown the world the degree of self-reliance it can afford, and its capability to launch mega economic projects without full support from abroad.”
On the diplomatic front Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina made her point clear to India and Pakistan about her stand as far as the two countries are concerned.
Dented ties with neighbouring India were significantly repaired when Prime Minister Narendra Modi took important initiatives to bring the past status of “time-tested friends” including honouring Bangabandhu by joining “Mujib Barsho,” the celebrations marking birth centennial of Bangladesh’s founding father.
Sheikh Hasina told Pakistan very bluntly that Bangladeshis “will never forget or forgive” the 1971 genocide it carried out during the Independence War whatever the bilateral ties are at any point.
With some set-backs initially, Bangladesh was able to handle the COVID-19 with both new cases and deaths coming down over the past months. The second wave has seen a spike in both the cases, but is stable now.
Thus it can safely be concluded that even the extreme critics of the Bangladesh premier has no option, but to label the outgoing 2020 as the “Year of Sheikh Hasina.”