:: Shoeb Chowdhury ::
Bangladesh became independent through a bloodbath during the glorious Liberation War of 1971. Three million people laid down their lives during the war for our freedom. We are under moral obligations to remember the supreme sacrifices of the freedom fighters who participated in the war and got killed.
Bangladesh became independent under the sublime leadership of Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman. We all should work in a united way to build up Bangabandhu’s Sonar Bangla (Golden Bengal) and should make the best of our efforts to materialize his dreams.
We were hit by a deadly nightmare when Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman and his family including his minor son Sheikh Russell were assassinated on 15 August 1975. Bangabandhu’s murder was a bolt from the blue for the nation.
Anti-liberation platforms suddenly became highly influential after the assassination of Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman. The people of Bangladesh had to fight for democracy from 1975 till 1990. Democracy was restored in Bangladesh through the fall of military dictator Hussain Muhammad Ershad in 1990.
Bangladesh has made a broad magnitude of development during last ten years under the unflinching leadership of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina. Bangladesh has now become a role model to the whole world as far as socio-economic advancement is concerned.
We have also graduated from the least developed countries (LDC) and we are now making bold strides ahead to become a developed nation by 2041. This target is known as Vision 2041 for which Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has been working hard with her unwavering endeavors.
It hurts us when we see that Bangabandhu’s ideals are not followed. It makes us angry when we see people not believing in the spirit of 1971 moving around with blusterous gestures. There are seven Bir Shreshthas who were decorated with the highest gallantry awards for their bravery in the Liberation War of 1971 but we do not see any reflection referring to their remembrances in Dhaka city.
In the same way the four national leaders who were killed inside jail during 1975 also have been forgotten by many people. We remember them only on certain dates, not throughout the year. Bangladesh’s independence was earned through the dedication of the freedom fighters who fought putting their own life at stake. So, it is a breach of our ethical values if we do not pay due honor to the Bir Shreshthas and the four national leaders.
We will have to make the young generation of Bangladesh familiar with the true history of Bangladesh. We must tell young people of today about our scintillating past including Bangabandhu, the Language Movement of 1952 and the Liberation War of 1971. As youngsters are the future of Bangladesh, we will have to make them resourceful and ignite inside their minds a love for their motherland.
Despite a broad range of development in Bangladesh during last ten years, we have to admit that the financial and banking sectors have undergone enormous irregularities and corruption. Defaulted loans have crossed 99 thousand crore taka. The scale of money laundering is also going up incessantly. Bangladesh’s economy has been hit hard by the Trade deficit ever highest.
Classified loans, written off loans, mysterious loans, fake mortgages are hitting news headlines again and again. There is severe lack of good governance and accountability in banks and financial institutions. This is a threat to our economic foothold. The government should take up strong measures to prosecute financial fraudsters and banking culprits to save the country’s economy from their grips.
We cannot trust people who do not support the ideology that 1971 instilled in our hearts. Anti-independence groups are active everywhere around us. We must safeguard our country from the conspiracies and evil ploys of the vicious circles who are not our well-wishers.
At the same time we should remain grateful to the countries who extended cooperation to us during the Liberation War. In particular we are profoundly thankful to India and Russia for the valuable roles they played to make us independent. Our friendship with these two countries deserves to be further consolidated and widened.
Patriotic people get disappointed when they see corruption and anomalies. It reduces their confidence on the ruling authorities. Therefore, there should be a penetrative drive to uproot corruption and all other malpractices uncompromisingly. We must work together hand in hand with the people of Bangladesh to obtain Vision 2041 to transform Bangladesh into a prosperous country.
We should always keep ourselves morally fair. We cannot pack hands with any immoral quarters. We need visionary leadership to speed up the development wheels of the country. We need to remember that there are conspirators around us all the time.
We should always stand on high alert about the backstabbers who killed Bangabandhu. Only true democracy, firm ethical values, humanitarian principles, interreligious harmony, patriotic spirit and integrity can make us one of the best nations on earth.
Just military strength is not enough. We can see North Korea is very powerful in military terms and we also know who backs up the North Korean government. But as far as economic progress is concerned, North Korea is not at all in a good shape.
Recently there has been a rise of communal entities and religious bigots in our country. Parties like Hefazat-E-Islam are denouncing women rights. Religious extremism is an obstruction for development. For this reason the government should initiate stern actions to eradicate fanatical outfits. We must retain peace and stability at any cost to keep the law and order situation under control.
The writer is a diplomat, entrepreneur, social activist and a CIP.