Dhaka – Awami League president Sheikh Hasina has reiterated her pledges to free poverty from Bangladesh, where hunger and oppression were all encompassing for a long time during the pre and post-Pakistan days.
Hasina, who is now the Prime Minister of Bangladesh, made the remarks on the 70th founding anniversary of the Awami League party that came into being soon after the partition of Indian subcontinent in the 1940s to realize people’s rights.
“On this historic day, it’s our pledge to build a hunger-and-poverty-free developed and prosperous ‘Sonar Bangla’ as dreamt by Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman,” Hasina, the daughter of Mujibur Rahman told a gathering in Dhaka’s Dhanmondi on Sunday.
Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, who led the party during Bangladesh’s 1971 liberation war against Pakistan, was one of the founders of the party.
The party was born on June 23, 1949, two years after the British rulers departed from India splitting the vast area into two parts based on religious faiths – Hindu and Muslim, at Dhaka’s Rose Garden by the progressive section of the then Muslim League.
Leaders, including Maulana Abdul Hamid Khan Bhasani, SHamsul Hoque and Sheikh Mjubur Rahman at a meeting in Dhaka resolved that the party would be named as East Pakistan Awami Muslim League. The party, which played pivotal roles in democratic movements including the language movement in 1952, was later renamed as Awami League.
In the second national council of the party in 1953, Bhashani was re-elected president, and Sheikh Mujibur Rahman was elected general secretary from the position of joint secretary.
The party becomes the largest political platform in the then East Pakistan, and later in independent Bangladesh. It passed through many difficult phases and is now working for changing the fate of more than 160 million people in the South Asian country.
Hasina said Bangladesh is marching forward towards socioeconomic development and the Bangalee nation achieved dignity in the entire world after Awami League came to power.
“The nation had lost this dignity after the assassination of Bangabandhu on August 15 in 1975,” she said about the tragic death of Sheikh Mujibur Rahman who had sketched the future of Bangladesh after independence.
The Awami League was founded to bring back the lost independence of Bangla.
“Whenever Awami League comes to power, it gives (something) to the country and people,” she said.
She described the history of establishment of the country’s oldest and biggest political party.
The day was began with the paying tributes to Bangabandhu and four national leaders as well as numerous party leaders and activists who sacrificed their lives for establishing democratic rights of the people.
Hasina placed a wreath at the portrait of Bangabandhu. After laying the wreath, she stood in solemn silence for sometime as a mark of respect to the memory of the liberation war hero.
Flanked by senior leaders of the party, Hasina placed another wreath at the portrait of Bangabandhu on behalf of the party.
The city roads were decorated with colorful flags, portrait of Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman and Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina. Awami League’s achievements in the last 70 years were also put on display at different intersections.
The party took up elaborate programs for celebration of the day across Bangladesh.
The prime minister formally inaugurated the 70th founding anniversary programmes of Bangladesh Awami League by hoisting national flag as well as releasing pigeons and balloons.
The party general secretary Obaidul Quader hoisted the party flag. The national anthem was presented on the occasion.
Earlier, Sheikh Hasina placed a wreath at the portrait of the Father of the Nation in front of Bangabandhu Bhaban marking the 70th founding anniversary of Bangladesh Awami League.
Awami League Advisory Council members Amir Hossain Amu, Tofail Ahmed and Advocate Yusuf Hossain Humayun, Presidium members Matia Chowdhury, Sahara Khatun, Abdur Razzaque, Abdul Matin Khashru, Abdul Mannan Khan and Pijush Kanti Bhattacharya, General Secretary Obaidul Quader, Information Minister Hasan Mahmud, Foreign Minister AK Abdul Momen, Industries Minister Nurul Mazid Mahmud Humayun, Science and Technology Minister Architect Yeafesh Osman, Housing and Public Works Minister SM Rezaul Karim, Railways Minister Nurul Islam Sujon were present.
Dhaka North City Corporation Mayor Atiqul Islam and South City Corporation Mayor Sayeed Khokan as well as leaders of Dhaka North and South City AL were also present.
newsnextbd.com/n/reporting by Nazrul Islam