– Muhammad Shafiqur Rahman*
Looking at the Headline somebody may mark me as a ‘flatterer’ and some others would find irrational partisan obedience in me. But I say that if I require to be a base sycophant, I should better be one of Sheikh Hasina only. It is because it is a place from where only works can be done with honor and dignity and civic duties be performed at least partially and with it pride in our noble lineage can be shared. Among the rest others some are found corrupt by the court, some are brothers-sisters or mother-sons of anti-independence ‘rajakars’. Yet then I would say that the words ‘flattery’ or ‘irrational partisan loyalty’ are in no way civilized polite-courteous. But as because these words are sounded a reply is warranted to it.
Other than this, an event is there. On 17th March last, on this day of birth anniversary of the father of the nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman we came to learn that Bangladesh has fallen in the row of ‘developing’ country leaving back the line of Least Developed Countries (LDC). How fine I felt that-day! It is what Bangabandhu desired. He fought for it throughout his whole life, tolerated jail-persecutions and sacrificed his life. And what is true also is that we have become able to anchor the boat in the bank due to the steering by Sheikh Hasina only and hence we are moving forward. But BNP leader like Mr. Rizvi, senior joint secretary general, passing idle time and eating good foods in their Nayapaltan Office, tries to speak harshly in Press Conference that the present government is cutting joke with the people in labeling the country as a developing country. The people of our country have not accepted his irrational antagonism; they won’t do it because the people are pulling well with food and clothing, rather they would show him pity and shall do so. The people know full well that his Madam (Leader) who is presently serving a term of imprisonment and his former military leader Ziaur Rahman and Justice Sattar and military Ershad stayed in all 26 years and enjoyed power. During this long period, if any success is to be claimed is the establishment and management of a mint named ‘Hawa Bhaban’ and a recreation centre named ‘Khoab Bhaban’. Off course, Ershad is the father of different scandals. When BNP speaks in loud voice that Khaleda Zia or Tarek both mother-son did not do any corruption, then it can be said in reply that while Khaleda Zia was in power her Finance Minister Saifur Rahman turned his lakhs of taka white by paying fine. What then should we call it? Although it is not possible to say what amount of money has been smuggled abroad, is it true that 20 crore taka has been taken back which was smuggled abroad, yet then how Tarek Zia continues to lead a luxurious life for more than a decade in an aristocratic area in London? The younger son has died but then his wife lives in Malaysia with their two children. We have not come to know that the British government has provided Tarek car-house allowances with his family. Moreover, Tarek is a court punished person for long years and is a wanted fugitive accused person. That is also on the charge of corruption. Moreover, criminal case for his involvement in series grenade explosion attack on the gathering of Sheikh Hasina’s meeting, murder of 23 persons with few hundred injured in the attack is hanging on him. Many other cases against Khaleda Zia continues pending for trial, it is learnt.
[Meantime trial court has sentenced Tarek Zia to lifeterm in 21 August grenade attack case – Editor]
But it is true that Zia family has sufficiently a big capital which in one hand provides dividend and on the other hand plays special role in the politics of Bangladeshi. As their Pakistani-love has provided a place of masters, so also they have to bear the brunt of the curse of 30 lakh martyrs and 5 lakh voilated women and hatred of common man. From Zia to Khaleda Zia, they all boarded the truck of Razakars , Al-Baders, Al-Shams, so to say, the anti-independence side and turned them into the rivals of the entire nation.
In whatever loud voice they speak to be nationalist, they are anti-nationalist in practice and are defeated Pakistanist which is obsolete in the present Bangladesh. Today’s young generation does not like the anti-liberationists at all. So these elements are trying in vain to create militants for violence in the country. But there is no way denying the fact that they are trying to bring about the occurrence of killing and disorder in the society through misleading few young men and women by the misuse of holy religion. It is also true that they can’t avert the eyes of Police/RAB, so to speak, the law and order enforcement agencies. They are sure to be caught. And the zero tolerance policy of the government is also there.
Under the leadership of Sheikh Hasina this developing country of Bangladesh populated by 16 crore people (it may be more) has given the strength to raise their heads as the strong citizens of a powerful state in the world. Once I wrote:
a. Please honor the father of the nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, you would then find out the path.
b. Please follow the principles-ideals of the father of the nation, the door of success would then open.
c. Please follow the example of honest, brilliant, educated and delusion-free leadership; you can then move forward.
d. Please compare the 26 years of rule by Zia-Sattar-Ershad with that of 18 years of Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman and Sheikh Hasina; you can then learn; nothing is there to be ashamed.
e. For practicing politics or giving leadership to the nation, not under-matric graduate but graduate or post-graduate degree is necessary. For a degree the corridors of a university are to be walked off; through repeated walking certain erudition may enter the head. Without degree of education the head does not get filled by self leaning. Everybody is not ‘Kabiguru’ Rabindranath; not also everyone is a lover and rebellious Nazrul. Those who suffer from or remark development-advancement as a ‘joke’ I would request them to go through the above words, ponder over the latent matters and you would see that your moral strength has enhanced. If you follow an illiterate or less educated person you would experience disappointment at a time; this is the motion character of life. The cause behind his remarking of transformation of Bangladesh into a developing economy as a jest by Mr. Rizvi is the resultant effect of his extreme disappointment initiated from unfit uneducated leadership followed by people like him. To come out of this disappointment you should understand the leadership of Sheikh Hasina in managing the party and in governing the state. And then you should practice politics. You can also practice politics outside this factors but that could be done by surrendering to the money of Jammat, as if, hitting one’s own feet by an axe.
The father of the nation Bangabandhu upgraded Bangladesh from the four walls of a poor country into a Least Developed Country right in 1973. If Bangabandhu could have been alive the next decade would be sufficient for coming into the row of developing countries; the bullet of the killer snatched him away but they could not stop us totally.
On 17 May, 1981 returning to the homeland, daughter of Bangabandhu, the present Prime Minister Deshratna Sheikh Hasina took the steering of the country and the nation and within a very short time through the charismatic quality like her father’s leadership got lodged in the state power after 21 years. She became successful to earn the confidence of the overwhelming majority people by dint of her leadership to the party and by her honesty in personal life, courage, wisdom, merit and farsightedness. By earning the peoples’ mandate for the third time she is today acknowledged and honored as the second successful Prime Minister not only of Bangladesh but also of the world. For the first time 5 years (1996-2001), second time 5 years (2009-2013). and 3rd time 5 years (2014-19) in total 15 years’ success as a Prime Minister under the leadership of Sheikh Hasina is a matter of jealousy worldwide. World leadership utters in a fascinating look how Sheikh Hasina could have made it possible! A few facts of her charisma are as fellows :
a. This moment our average life-span is 72 years, 8 months, b. Literacy rate is 71%, c. foreign exchange reserves stands at 3400 billion US dollars, d. per capita income in the last one year reached 1752 dollars with an increase of 142 dollars from 1620 US dollars, e. GDP growth is over 7%; this year it is 7.28%, f. Bangladesh is surplus in food production, g. in fish production we are 3rd in the world; now people have started uttering –invitation not of pulse-rice but of fish-rice, h. We are 4th in vegetable production in the would, i. total budget figure stands at over 4 lakh crore taka, j. construction of Padma Bridge by self financing. k. side by side construction of Karnafuli Tunnel and Paira Port, setting up of electricity generation plants one by one including the Rampal one with the target of production of 24 thousand Megawatt by 2021, l. now-a-days electricity load shedding takes place rarely; it does not continue for more than 5 minutes, m. trial of Bangabandhu murder case, n. trial of the killing of 4 national leaders, o. trial of the War Criminals, p. above all, she governs the country with the spirit of Liberation War, q. she has not given place to any mean-minded practice like making Hawa Bhaban – Khoab Bhaban in her life, r. distribution of 34 crore text books free of cost just on the first day of the calendar year.
All these actions and achievements have become possible on the part of the present Prime Minister due to her faith in Allah and the blessings of the father of the nation on Sheikh Hasina and because of the presence of high ideals-principles, honesty and patriotism in her character. The conviction that the father of the nation left behind in all of his speeches and statements that you won’t be successful to suppress, is being honorably followed by Sheikh Hasina. In his political life the father of the nation was used to use two words – ‘my poor-destitute people’. Following his words Sheikh Hasina is following the principles of welfare state even in free market economy. As for example, by enhancing FF allowance she has ensured the life leading of the freedom fighters to the level of middle class people. Simultaneously she has enhanced the widow allowance, old age allowance. She has made arrangement to send sub-stipend directly to the parents of the learners through mobile phone.Above all, up-gradation of the highways from Dhaka to Bhanga, from Bhanga to Kuakata or Dhaka-Chattagram Road into 4 lanes and construction of double bridge – as a matter of fact the massive activities for infrastructural development throughout the country can be termed as unprecedented.
Finally the matter that I would mention is that Sheikh Hasina has heightened her success in the diplomacy in the world outside. Wherever she goes, she plays a role as the central figure everywhere. The respect she has earned worldwide by accepting the Rohinga Influx or the Rohina Crisis from the humanitarian and farsighted viewpoint is unparalleled. That is why surpassing all the tittles and doctorate degrees she is now ‘Mother of Humanity’ and ‘Star of the East’.
For all these reasons Bangladesh is a developing country today. Under the leadership of Sheikh Hasina Bangladesh would step into the great highway of a Developed Bangladesh by celebrating the birth centenary of the father of the nation in 2020 and the Silver Jubilee of Independence in 2021. Fromation of Government for the fourth term by Awami League would help the celebration to be observed in a grand manner.E
* Senior Journalist and Member of Parliament, Bangladesh
** Translated into English by ‘The Economy’ Analyst.