Liberation War Affairs Minister AKM Mozammel Haque has said a vested quarter made evil efforts to outshine Bangabandhu’s long struggle for the country’s Liberation War with a false campaign about the proclamation of independence by Ziaur Rahman.
“This is unfortunate that a false campaign was carried out about the proclamation of the country’s independence after Bangabandhu’s assassination in 1975,” he said.
Speaking at a webinar on Saturday night, the minister also said Ziaur Rahman had just read out the proclamation of independence on March 27. “But an effort was made to undermine Bangabandhu’s struggles of 24 years for the country's independence through it (false campaign about the proclamation of independence.”
Out of his 24 years’ struggle, he said, Bangabandhu had been in jail for nearly 14 years and he gradually created the ground for the Liberation War through different movements and programmes. “Who did give Zia the right to declare independence? People gave only Bangabandhu the authority, right and mandate to proclaim the independence through casting their votes in the 1970 general election.”
The virtual programme titled ‘Bangabandhu, Bangladesh and the Young Generation' was jointly organised by the Bangladesh Investment Development Authority (BIDA) and Better Bangladesh Foundation (BBF) on Saturday night. BBF Founding Chairman Prof Masud A Khan moderated the webinar.
Mozammel said Bangladesh and Bangabandhu have become synonymous – a single identical symbol to people. “He engaged himself in serving people since his childhood. The day Pakistanis denied Bengali, the mother language of 56 percent of people of the country, the young student leader, Sheikh Mujib, realised that we got Punjabi exploiters after getting rid of the British rule.”
He said Sheikh Mujibur Rahman first thought of liberating the country through founding Chhatra League on January 4, 1948.
The minister said Awami League under the leadership of Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman won the general election on December 7, 1970.
“With this election, the Bengali nation gave Bangabandhu the unilateral mandate to lead the country and raise voice in favour of them. He then prepared the nation and finally proclaimed the independence of Bangladesh in the early hours of March 26. People joined the war responding to his call and liberated the country through a nine-month-long battle,” he said.
Mozammel urged the young generation to know the history and the objectives of the country’s Liberation War and work for materialising Bangabandhu's dream of building a hunger- and poverty-free 'Sonar Bangla'.
Bangladesh Bank’s former Governor Dr Atiur Rahman said Bangabandhu inspired the young generation to liberate the country under his able leadership. ”The average age of our freedom fighters was 21-22, and 78 percent of them were the children of farmers.”
He said Bangabandhu thought about the welfare of the young generation throughout his life. “He had great feelings for the youth. He was the leader who could transmit energy among the youth.”
Dr Atiur said Bangabandhu was the heart of Bangladesh and this heart was torn out on August 15, 1975, “The killers had thought the name of Bangabandhu will be eliminated through his assassination. But he returned among us very strongly and will always remain among us. Bangabandhu is an eternal name which will glitter always.”
He said Bangladesh has been progressing fast under the able leadership of Bangabandhu’s daughter Sheikh Hasina. “The country now needs to focus on skills development of its workforce to face the challenges of the Fourth Industrial Revolution (4IR). We also need to take initiatives for re-skilling and upskilling of our workforce involving the youths.”
Atiur said the government should focus on improving the ease of doing business for boosting the country’s progress and creating more employment for the young generation.
Bangladesh Ambassador to Jordan Nahida Sobhan said Bangabandhu was active over the issues of people’s rights and he demonstrated his high leadership quality since his early student life. “He took the country towards the independence gradually by preparing the nation for the Liberation War.”
“So, I urge the young generation to know the life and works of Bangabandhu and get inspired to play a significant role in taking the country forward,” she said.