Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina yesterday said Bangabandhu had sacrificed his life for bringing freedom of the people and now it’s the responsibility of the countrymen to protect this freedom.
“Bangabandhu chose his struggling life for and dedicated his life to bringing freedom of the people and now it’s the responsibility of the countrymen to protect this liberty,” she said.
She added: “Bangabandhu is not my father only, he is also the father of whole Bangladesh and the people of the country… so he gave everything to the people.”
All will have to work together to ensure peace, security, development and economic emancipation of the people, she said.
The prime minister was addressing as the chief guest the publication ceremony of “Karagarer Rojnamcha (Diary in Jail), the second autobiography of Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, at the Krishibid Institution, Bangladesh auditorium at Farmgate in the capital yesterday afternoon.
Emeritus Professor Rafiqul Islam presided over the function, while eminent historians Professor Syed Anwar Hossain and Professor Muntasir Mamun took part in the discussion on the book.
Cultural Affairs Minister Asaduzzaman Noor read out some parts of the book and Bangla Academy Director General Professor Shamsuzzaman Khan delivered the welcome address.
Road Transport and Bridges Minister Obaidul Quader was present on the dais.
Ministers, advisers to the PM, parliament members, chiefs of three services, educationists, senior editors and journalists were present at the function.
With the funding of the Ministry of Cultural Affairs, Bangla Academy published the 332-page book on the occasion of the 98th birthday of Bangabandhu on March 17. In the book, Bangabandhu particularly described events and experiences of his imprisonment from 1966 to 1968.
In an emotion-charged voice, the prime minister said Bangabandhu had given everything to the people as he loved them very much.
“Bangabandhu earned independence for the countrymen, presented a state to them and gave scope for their self-identity,” she said.
In this connection, she referred to Bangabandhu’s interview with eminent British journalist David Frost where Frost asked Bangabandhu what his qualification was. In reply, Bangabandhu said love for the people was his qualification.
“When David Frost asked Bangabandhu what is his disqualification, then Bangabandhu replied that excessive love for the people was his disqualification,” said Sheikh Hasina, the elder daughter of the Father of the Nation.
The prime minister said Bangabandhu had wanted to give beautiful life to the people after bringing them freedom. “It is our bad luck that he could not leave by building the country. Bangladesh would have been a developed and prosperous nation and stood as an example in the world had Bangabandhu got some time,” she lamented.
Sheikh Hasina said it was very difficult for building a war-ravaged nation within a short time. But those who criticized Bangabandhu didn’t give him any time and actually by doing this they strengthened the hands of the anti-liberation forces, she said.
“Through criticism and writings they created the background for snatching the life of Bangabandhu through the August 15 carnage,” she added.
Elaborating various steps Bangabandhu had taken for rebuilding the war-ravaged nation, Sheikh Hasina said the Father of the Nation did everything in every field. “He established all organizations necessary for the country, and framed all relevant laws and time was needed for him to implement those laws,” she said.
The premier said Bangabandhu had taken measures to give scope to the people for their survival. “But he was not given time …nobody gave him this time,” she said.
Sheikh Hasina said after coming to power after 21 years, her government is trying its best to complete the unfinished task of Bangabandhu.
“Bangabandhu presented an independent state to us … Bangladesh would exist and would be developed and prosperous and we would build Sonar Bangla as dreamt by Bangabandhu, Insha Allah,” she said.
She said the people would know better the country and Bangabandhu by reading his book. “I hope that everybody would read this book and if they have to say anything or make criticism, they could do,” she said.
Sheikh Hasina said in the book, Bangabandhu wrote many good words about many people. “We didn’t exclude a single word as we kept unchanged the words of Bangabandhu that we collected from his dairies,” she said.
“Many of the people with whom Bangabandhu wrote the dairies left Bangabandhu after betraying. Of them, many remain alive… I don’t know whether they would feel shame after reading the book,” she said.