DHAKA, March 17, 2021 (BSS) – Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina today vowed to advance the country further by overcoming all hurdles, calling upon all to join the efforts to build a developed Bangladesh by 2041.
“Now it’s time to move forward. There is no scope to look behind … overcoming all obstacles, we shall establish this country as Bangabandhu’s exploitation-deprivation-free, hunger-poverty-illiteracy-free, non-communal ‘Sonar Bangladesh’ (Golden Bangladesh) Insha Allah,” she said.
The Prime Minister was speaking at the grand opening ceremony of 10-day nationwide celebration of Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman’s Birth Centenary coinciding with the Golden Jubilee of 1971 Independence at the National Parade Square here.
Sheikh Hasina simultaneously cautioned the countrymen about anti-liberation forces, saying they are still out to foil the country’s achievements.
“… but we’ve to be very careful. Anti-Bangladesh forces are still active at home and abroad. They want to disparage this achievement through various malpractices,” she said.
On the happy birthday of Father of the Nation, she urged all to resist unitedly all evil-sprouts and take the beloved motherland forward towards the path of development and progress.
President Abdul Hamid and his wife Rashida Khanam joined the ceremony along with visiting Maldivian President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih and his spouse Fazna Ahmed.
The programme began with the national anthem sung collectively by 100 young children marking the grand opening of the celebrations at the Parade Square.
The children then sang in chorus several songs of Biswa Kabi Rabindranath Tagore, National Poet Kazi Nazrul Islam and several others at the function, joined by, among others, Bangabandhu’s younger daughter Sheikh Rehana and chaired by Sheikh Hasina, the elder daughter of the country’s founder. Chinese President Xi Jinping, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga and famous British journalist Mark Talley sent congratulatory messages on the first day of the function at the Parade Square where verses from the holy Quran and the scriptures of the followers of other faiths were recited.
Presentation of video footages of Bangabandhu’s historic addresses and comments along with title graphic of ‘Mujib Chirantan’, eye-catching flying past by Bangladesh Air Force and presentation of a vast of Bangabandhu by Chinese President were displayed at the function where national-level singers along with young artistes sang the Mujib Year’s theme song titled “Tumi Banglar Dhrubo Tara and Banglar Batighar” authored by poet Kamal Chowdhury and composed by Nakib Khan.
Sheikh Hasina and Sheikh Rehana also joined the chorus.
The theme of the 10-day event is “Mujib Chirantan” but separate theme for each day has been taken and opening day’s theme is “Vengechho Duar Esechho Jotirmoy”.
President of the National Implementation Committee for Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman’s Centenary Celebration National Professor Dr Rafiqul Islam delivered welcome address.
The Prime Minister said the nation’s freedom is the fruit of the continuous struggles for the dignity of mother language, started by Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujib on 11th March 1948 with the ultimate target of political-economic and cultural emancipation of Bangali.
About the post-liberation Bangladesh, she said it was a war-ravaged country, which was under the hundreds of years of subjugation.
In just three and a half years, she said, Bangabandhu carried out the mammoth task of building a full-fledged sovereign state where the people were suffering from exploitation, deprivation, hunger, and poverty. “Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman had done everything,” she added.
Stating that Bangabandhu had so many dreams, she said Father of the Nation envisioned building Bangladesh as a developed and prosperous “Golden Bangladesh”, but the cruel bullets of the killers snatched away him from the people on August 15, 1975.
However, the wait for economic emancipation of the country’s people is coming to an end today, she added.
The premier said, “Today, we are going to celebrate the Birth-Centenary of Father of the Nation and the Golden Jubilee of Independence at a particular time when Bangladesh has received the final recommendation to join from the list of Least Developed Countries to the respectful group of Developing Nations.”
Highlighting the economic successes briefly, she said Bangladesh has made tremendous strides in the socio-economic index as the country’s per capita income has exceeded the respectable limit of US$ 2,000 with declining poverty rate below 20.5 percent, self-sufficiency in food production and rise of average life expectancy to 73 years.
She went on saying: “Today’s achievement is the result of the relentless efforts of the last 12-year of the Bangladesh Awami League in government and the tireless labor of the people. It cannot be so easy to lower the position that Bangladesh has reached today.”
She also referred to the excellent example of successful calm down of the destructive waves of the Coronavirus pandemic.
The Prime Minister also expressed her sincere gratitude to all the friendly countries and leaders who extended necessary help during the great Liberation War, the struggles for freedom, and the post-war reconstruction of the country.
Quoting the words of world-poet Rabindranath Tagore, Sheikh Hasina said “Let’s go, come on, let’s go, move on step by step with the rhythm of truth and, rejoicing with the undefeatable spirits. Let’s go onward the path of freedom, with the fearless mind-triumph over all hurdles and threats.”
Extending her heartiest best wishes to all, the premier said on this day in 1920, a child was born in a secluded village Tungipara who came to this earth illuminating the lap of mother Sheikh Saira Khatun and father Sheikh Lutfur Rahman and illuminated the life of the Bangali community and brought freedom.
“We celebrate 17th March every year as National Children’s Day. My love and best wishes for every child on Children’s Day,” she said.
The Prime Minister expressed her sincere gratitude to President of the Maldives, Ibrahim Mohamed Salih, for attending today’s inauguration program and her best wishes to the friendly people of the Maldives and also extended gratefulness to Chinese President China Xi Jinping, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga for sending greetings to the people of Bangladesh.