Monday, May 21, 2012

A Balance Sheet of Prosperity During Awami League’s Five Years (1996-2000):

A Balance Sheet of Prosperity 
During Awami League’s Five Years (1996-2000): 
Comparative Analysis with BNP’s Five Years (1991-1995)                         
Department of Information & Research                                           
Bangladesh Awami League                                 
A Balance Sheet of Prosperity
During Awami League’s Five Years (1996-2000): 
Comparative Analysis with BNP’s Five Years (1991-1995)                      
Published by Nooh-Ul-Alam Lenin Secretary, 
Department of Information & Research  Bangladesh Awami League 
23 Bangabandhu Avenue, Dhaka-1000                                               
History of Awami League, the largest and oldest political party of the people of this country is the history of struggles and movements. As a matter of fact, history of Awami League – is the history of self-determination and emancipation for creating a healthy, conscious and prosperous people under the leadership of Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, the greatest Bangalee in a thousand years. Though the age of this political party is 55 years it had been in power for only 9 years. Awami league was in power for the first time only for 4 years (1972-75) and was involved in reconstruction of this devastated country after Bangladesh Liberation War of 1971, and later on during 1996-2001 when this country was both economically and politically in crisis because of after-effects of killing of Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman on 15th August in 1975 that resulted in misrule and misdeeds of autocrats. Both of the Awami League regimes had to start governance activities to reconstruct this country (both economically and politically) from the very beginning. In both of the Awami League periods it has played a unique role to reconstruct Bangladesh as a welfare state by synthesizing thoughts and political sagacity. The party achieved total trust and faith of common people as the largest political party of Bangladesh. After three decades of Bangladesh Liberation War, we are experiencing misrule of BNP-Jamaat alliance Thug Government. The anti-Liberation forces have declared open War against the pro-Liberation forces that is why there should be such tyrannies-tortures on pro-Liberation forces, why common people along with their families are facing hardships and sufferings, or why common people including religious minorities and indigenous peoples are facing such persecutions, and why pro-Pakistani forces are indulging in violence and terrorism? Why black money and muscle power are competing with each other? Side by side there is constant Goeblesian propaganda in favor of the misdeeds by capturing all the publicity media. 
Because of all these backgrounds to day Bangladesh Awami League thinks it is high time to expose some of the stark facts to the greater masses of the people of Bangladesh as truth is the birth right (which has been recognized/ in our sacred Constitution) of the people. People of this country want to know (which is their birth right), if the Father of the Nation, Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman were alive to day, what would be the over all situation of Bangladesh? They also want to know the comparative position of the major changes effected in socio-economic and political aspects during the Awami League regime (1996-2000) in comparison to BNP regime (1991-1995).  
What would be the real face of Bangladesh if our great National leader Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman were alive to day? The answer to this historically important question is not that very easy. But to draw some scientific inferences about tentative answer to this question, concerned researchers on the subject have used Malaysia as a model because of two prime reasons: 
1 Malaysia is an ideal model for economic progress achieved by patriotic leadership.  

2 In 1972 G.N.P of Malaysia and Bangladesh was of similar level.  

After the killing of Bangabandhu, Awami League had to wait for 21 years (1975-96) to be involved in the governance of Bangladesh. During this period autocracy was firmly established, many achievements of Liberation War were destroyed in a planned way; democracy has been almost extinct after mixing ultra nationalism with religious fundamentalism. 
As a consequence of the protracted struggle, people of Bangladesh gave a verdict in favor of Awami League to lead the nation during June 1996 to July 2001 through a free and fair election. We are putting forward, an account of the socio-economic achievements of Awami League government under the leadership of Sheikh Hasina imbued with ideas of Liberation War and Bangabandhu in comparison to the immediate past Khaleda Zia’s government (1991-1995). 
Avoiding extensive description, rather on the basis of real facts and figures, a comparative analysis has been drawn up through graphs and tables in this booklet. It is expected that it will be easily comprehensible and acceptable to all levels of readers. Several prominent economists, and researchers were involved in compiling the booklet. Ex-Prime Minister and Awami League President Sheikh Hasina has enriched this book with her valuable advice and guidance. Awami League Information and Research Division is grateful to all those who are related to this intelligent and creative publication.  
It may be mentioned that, Awami League Information and Research Division published the book “Five years of Awami League led by Sheikh Hasina: Glorious success and new horizons of possibility” describing activities to complement the book “Five years of Awami League: A Balance Sheet of Development”. Enthusiastic readers will be benefited if they read this booklet as a complementary to other publications.  
Needless to mention that all facts and figures used in this booklet either have been taken from published sources of Bangladesh Government or International Organizations. Sources related to the Government of Bangladesh are Bangladesh Bureau of Statistics, Finance Ministry, Bangladesh Bank, Planning Ministry. Sources of information from the International Organizations are World Bank, UNDP, ADB etc.  
Information of Government Budget relate to the fiscal year such as for 1991 –1992 (July  to June). For a graphical comparative analysis, we have indicated a fiscal year by mentioning a single year in this booklet for convenience as in the scale of 1991. Same system has been applied for all other fiscal years. 

Though in 1972 Net National Income of Bangladesh and Malaysia was equal, nevertheless because of larger population of Bangladesh per capita national income of Bangladesh was lower than that of Malaysia; in Bangladesh it was US$ 120 and it was US$ 430 for Malaysia. In 2001, in the absence of Bangabandhu, per capita National Income of Bangladesh was US$ 370 and in Malaysia it was US$ 3,540. But if Bangabandhu were alive to day then those socio-economic policies could be implemented and the per capita income of Bangladesh might have been US$ 2,000 which is US$ 1,630 more than that of to day’s per Capita Income of Bangladesh. So from the point of view of per capita income, it is certain that Bangladesh might have been a country of medium income level rather than a poor country. So Bangabandhu was killed to perpetuate Bangladesh as a country without importance and  
200,000  150,000  100,000  50,000 0                                                                                                                                                                                                                             respect.                                                                                                 Percapita GNP (US dollar): 1972-2001 


To measure the economic position of a country, the best way is by per capita real national income (real per capita Income means, buying capability of goods and services with such income). In 1972 both Bangladesh and Malaysia were in same position on the basis of real per capita national income that is US$ 280. To day real per capita income of Bangladesh is US$ 1,720 and for Malaysia it is US$ 8,280 that is five times larger than that of Bangladesh. But it could have been US$ 10,200, which is higher than that of Malaysia. Many might be thinking it is unbelievable because of ignorance and lack of information about those steps taken by Great National Leader Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman such as follows: 
1 Agrarian reform (including land reform) 
2 Industrial development 
3 Priority given to human development sectors including education and health 
4 Large scale electrification 
5 Infrastructure development 
6 Development of social sectors 
7 Price stabilization of daily essentials 
8 Balanced and well-developed strategy of international trade policy. 

Percapita PPP (US dollar): 1972-2001 

1972 1975 2001 
Most important issue is that with development strategy of Bangabandhu income difference between Bangladesh and Malaysia could be much less (because of more balanced income distribution, there might have been smaller gap between the rich and the poor). 
Five years of Awami League Government (1996-2000) 
There is no doubt about it that within five years time, Awami League Govt. achieved a large scale development in social, economic and political policies under the able leadership of Bangabandhu’s daughter Shaikh Hasina.  To explain the related matters objectively out of many sectors and sub-sectors, the trades of only 11 sectors of growth have been taken up to compare with five years period of regime of Khalada Zia (1991-1995) by graph/chart.  At the same time, the main causal factors behind the improvement have been noted as follows:  
  Per capita net national Income 
  Rice Production: Agriculture 
  Rural Electrification 
  Poverty reduction 
  Human Resource Development: Education 
  Human Resource Development: Health  
  Infrastructural Development (Highways, Railways, Telephone) 
  Information Technology  
Apart from this, another 14 issues pertinent to socio-economic and political strategy of Awami League government have been described as “maximum achievement within short span of time” which reflects the strong will of the Government of and party President Sheikh Hasina. 
1 Indo-Bangla Treaty on Ganges Water 
2 Hill Tract Peace Treaty 
3 Bangabandhu Bridge 
4 Rehabilitation of Landless People 
5 Women Empowerment 
6 Local Government  
7 Private TV Channel 
8 Rural Social Services 
9 Law and Order and Public Security 
10 Defense 
11 Growth of Tourism Industries 
12 Religious Fellow Feelings 
13 International Mother Language Day 
14 Improvement of image of Bangladesh in International Arena   
What are the reasons for such substantial rise in rice production? 
1 More importance was given to the farm and farmer, which are the life blood of Bangladesh. 
2 Restart of subsidy on agricultural goods and commodities. 
3 Expansionist policy taken in agricultural sector (against the will of the donors pressure). 
4 Expansion of more farmland within the irrigation facilities. 
5 Maximum expansion of electrified-irrigation system. 
6 Priority assigned to ensure timely and adequate fertilizer supply, and to mitigate demand for fertilizer at Upazila level and reach farmers. 
7 Agricultural loan extension and to make them available to the farmers. 
8 Encouragement given to innovate high-breed seed. 
9 Relevant activities for diversification of crop production and its accomplishment. 
10 Implementation of “one house-one farm” policy. 
11 Setting up of agricultural commission and immediate steps to realize commission’s recommendations. 
12 Updating and reformation of different relevant laws. 
13 Strengthening of “Water management wing” for proper utilization of water resources. 
14 Fruitful result from Water Sharing Treaty with India. 
Comparative view: Absolute poor (those who get less than 2,122 kilo calories of food per day): When BNP came to power in 1991, the number of absolute poor was 47.52% of the population. At the end of BNP regime in 1995 (last year of BNP) absolute poverty was 47.53% which implies no improvement of poverty situation during BNP regime. 
1 When in 1996 Awami League came to power through free and fair election, they took measures to reduce poverty to 44.33% a decline of 3.2% points. From the point of view of calorie in-take also, poverty level reduced during Awami League period. This ensured improved health conditions of the Awami League                                                                                                                                Why the number of poor people reduced during Awami League time as compared to the period of BNP regime? Highest effort was made to keep the price level of consumer goods within the reach of common people.  Record rice production during Awami League period. Introduction of old people’s pension scheme as safety net.                                                                                       Allowance for widow and vulnerable women as safety net.                                                                              Special financial benefits to the  “Mukti Joddha” as safety net. “Kormo Sangsthan” Bank was launched. 
2 Rehabilitation fund was introduced.  
3 Implementation of Ashrayan (rehabilitation) project.   
        Strengthening all
4 compo nent 
A Balance Sheet of Prosperity During Awami League’s Five Years (1996-2000) 
What are the reasons for more Railways and Highways constructed during Awami League period compared to BNP period? 
Accepting the important role of Infrastructural Development, Awami League provided additional budget allocation for transportation and communication sector. During BNP rule the budget allocation was Tk.91,402 million (per year Tk.18,244 million on an average). Compared to this, Awami League Government increased
allocation to Tk.1,55,707 million (per year Tk.31,141.4 million on an average). Fulfillment of election manifesto by Awami League.

Arrangement for Bangladeshi people to move from one end to another end of the country within a short span of time by development of faster communication system.
Efforts to join 64 districts of Bangladesh with the capital city of Dhaka by roads and Comparative view: Telephone 
Telecommunication system is the medium of evolution of modern civilization. 
been a matter of regret that BNP Government did not put emphasis on this. So when in 1991, BNP came to power the total number of telephone lines was 2,53,863 and after five years
they added only 1,14,906 new lines. So at the end of BNP Govt. total Telephone line stood at 3,68,769. On the other hand, Awami League govt in their five years time connected people 
with new 2,48,429 lines, that is more than two times of BNP’s govt. Therefore, at the end of Awami League’s governance the total number of telephone lines reached the mark of                              
Number of Telephone (BTTB): 1991-2000
BNP Awami League
In NWD telecommunication sector, Awami League government’s contribution was extraordinary. At the last year of BNP Govt. total NWD circuits were 11,151. But Awami League brought it to 22,770 in their last year. Besides this, Awami League government reduced the tax on NWD from level 5th to level 3rd by the 1st July, 2001. Awami League reduced tax in the sector to the range of 13.4% - 36%. highways. 6,88,920 lines. But it has  
people. In 1996 when Awami League just came to power, there were only 2,000 mobile telephone connections, each of which cost more than Tk.1,00,000. On the other side, in 2000, number of mobile phones stood at 7,00,000 and the price of those phones were in the range of Tk.7,000-10,000. 
Price and number of mobile phone  Price of each mobile set (Tk.) Number of mobile sets 
Final year of BNP (1996)  
 2,000 pcs 

Tk 100,000 
Final year of Awami League
  Tk 10,000 
What are the main reasons for this significant development in the Telecommunication Sector? 
1 Telecommunications sector was given preference in Development Budget by Awami League. 
2 Stopped the monopoly business and assured competitive business market so that both mobile and land phone could come within the buying capacity of common people. 
3 Strong belief of Awami League that economy of the country has to be taken to the path of welfare. 
4 Avoid unnecessary complexity of communications. 
Comparative view: IT in communication sector has opened up the gate of revolutionary changes all over the world but because of obsolete policy of BNP govt. (1991-1995) and to serve vested interest groups, IT sector failed to develop as the mobile phone business was monopolized by a BNP leader. But Awami League Government initiated a far reaching policy. As a result there are now hundreds of cyber cafes all over Bangladesh.  Through these cyber cafes or internet facilities, our students are having lots of information within a short time and at a cheap price. During Awami League period government permitted 40 private internet providers to operate. This was simply unthinkable under BNP regime.  
Since 1997-98 Awami League government exempted tax on import of computer and computer related accessories that resulted in a revolutionary prospect in IT sector in the country. So while during BNP period a computer was worth Tk.200,000, the same is available now for only Tk.30,000. As a result, customers of computer have also gone up. Now all over Bangladesh 1,80,000 computers are being sold in a year, whereas, the same was only 10,000 per year during BNP period.  At the same time, number of computer sale shops also rose from 50 in 1996 (when Awami League came to power) to 1,500 during the last year of Awami League in power. This is an unprecedented success of Awami League in the IT sector. 
Apart from this to ensure revolutionary change in IT area Awami League government permitted private operators to establish V-SAT under Bangladesh Telephone and Telegraphic Board to expand the data entry and software export market.  As a result, data entry and export markets of software have expanded. It is the Awami League government who took the steps to set up IT village. 
This improvement of IT expedited the business communication and because of this type of technological development, national income of our country climbed up and higher growth rate of GDP was achieved. Expansion of IT sector by Awami League government has led several hundreds of thousands young people to science and technology of external world and this step has created their employment opportunity both in Bangladesh and abroad by increasing professionalism. This is a unique example of patriotic and farsighted leadership of Awami League. 
How this revolutionary development happened in IT sector? 
1 BNP government did not even think of exemption of sales tax and duty on computer and related accessories, such as, software, computer parts etc.   
2 To encourage investment in software industry, Awami League government gave a budget allocation of Tk.1,000 million in 2001-02 fiscal year. 
3 Far reaching efforts by Awami League to take Bangladesh to the modern world of science, knowledge and technology. 
4 To consider IT sector as a way of removing poverty in Bangladesh. 

12. OTHER ACHIEVEMENTS IN BRIEF.                                                  
Indo-Bangla Ganges Water Treaty: Water Treaty for 30 years signed on December 12, 1996 between India and Bangladesh was a unique achievement in the history of Bangladesh. This treaty has improved the prospects of the shrunken occupation of almost 40 million people. By starting the project of “Ganga-Kopotakkha” irrigation in 1997 almost 25,000 hectors of land again came under cultivation under “KHARIF 01” season. After such developments prospect has brightened up to bring 75,000 hectors of land under cultivation as an impact of this treaty.  In addition, as a result of this treaty salinity of water will be avoided; world’s largest mangrove forest Sundarban’s bio-diversity will be saved (Royal Bengal tiger and Hogla plants will be conserved). As because of a long term treaty there is a possibility to build “Ganga Barrage”. This is the result of the far-sighted policy during Awami League period. 
1 Chittagong Hill Tracts Peace Treaty: 2nd December 1997 is a memorable day in the history of Bangladesh. On that day Awami League government executed the Hill Tracts Peace Treaty that ended the confrontation between Bengali and hilly people after a troubled period of two decades. This is a unique document of recognition of indigenous peoples. This is a unique model of national integration. This treaty not only stops the conflict, it also reduces the military expenditure and death of common people. Because of this treaty now Bangladesh is able to prospect both mineral and forest resources which are likely to play a far reaching effect on the economy of the country. 
2 Bangabadhu Bridge: World’s 11th largest bridge, Bangabandhu Bridge is a land mark in the history of communication system of the country. By constructing the bridge on the Jamuna, Awami League has fulfilled their election manifesto, promised by the Father of the Nation, Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman in 1970. This Bridge has aroused the will to live in the “Monga” affected people of northern Bangladesh. This Bridge has made economy of Bangladesh a total unified national economy. This Bridge has created a bondage among people of the country. 
3 Rehabilitation of Landless People: Civilization of Bangladesh is based on land. This land is the wealth of dreamland of the people. River erosion and landlessness have blocked the progress of the people. Bangabandhu first realized this and initiated the project named “ADORSHA GRAM” (Ideal Village). But after the killing of Bangabandhu, this project was stopped. In 1996 when Awami League gained power for the second time, Awami League rehabilitated 12,526 landless families. In this direction “GHARE FERA” (Returning Home) deserves special mention.  
  5. Empowerment of Women: From time immemorial, Bangladeshi women have been vulnerable and deprived – in a real sense backward. So for their socio-economic and political development Awami League government in their 5 years period took various initiatives under “Women Development Programme”. As a result,  
  At present every union council has 3 union council female members who are elected directly by people’s vote. That happened for the first time in Bangladesh.  
  Under the banner “Landless Women Development Project” 1,58,644 women got the financial and food assistance along with sustainable job-oriented training during 5 years (1996-2000). 
  Under the VGD project 50,000 women received assistance during Awami League period. 
  06. Local government: Bangabandhu in his first “Five Year Plan (1973-78)” declared establishment and development of human welfare-orientated local government as a special object. Since then this concept has been accepted as a means to eradicate poverty. Even the people’s welfare-orientated local government as a basis for good governance was included in the First Five Year Plan as an objective. As a continuation of the spirit of Bangabandhu’s First Five Year Plan, remarkable achievements attained during Hasina’s governance were: 
  Formulation of law to ascertain people’s empowerment through 4 level local government system.   
  Construction of Union Council Complex Building as “One Stop Service Center” was undertaken. As a result of government officials of the union council working in the same building, the villagers would get prompt service. At the same time, there would be greater coordination among them. Cost of services is less under this arrangement.   
  Union based “Growth Centers” where women entrepreneurs would be allotted shops. 
  To extend urban facilities to rural areas. 
  Law was passed for women to be elected by direct vote. 
4 Commencement of Private Television Channels: Mass media is a key vehicle for development of democracy. For the first time in Bangladesh Awami League government allowed private TV Channels that have advanced democracy in our country. This way people of Bangladesh got the democratic right to information, and this ensured Constitutional obligation of freedom of information. But just after coming to power BNP-Jamaat thug coalition banned the popular TV channel “EKUSHE TV”.  
5 Rural Social Service: In 1974 Bangabandhu started the “Rural Social Service Project”. Its importance in socio-economic development of Bangladesh is undeniable. During Awami League period, this was extended to 461 Upazilas. By 1999 Awami League government brought 2 million people under this project, and Tk.110 million was disbursed to develop their socio economic condition.  
6 Law and Order and Public Security: Main features of post-1975 period are absence of democracy, autocratic and dictatorial rule, pervasive poverty, contraction in employment opportunities etc. As a result, law and order situation deteriorated in the country. Peaceful life was disrupted and terrorism took roots in the society – in a way, peaceful economic, social and political environments conducive to development were totally disrupted. In such an environment, Awami League formed government with the verdict of the people on 23rd June 1996. To restore law and order situation, to allow people to sleep in peace, to create an environment conducive to investment, to control terrorism with an iron hand – Awami League government had to take tough steps. Among them major steps taken were: 5,000 new posts were created to make Bangladesh police modern and dynamic. Steps were taken to create community police; 36 enquiry centers over and above 47 existing centers were set up for making police more effective and for making quick enquiries of the cases; 6 more new Police stations were set up; security measures were tightened to contain terrorism in the southern part of the country; budget allocations were increased for modernizing and developing Police forces; system of honorarium was introduced for the Police while involved in risky jobs; welfare trust was created for police; allowance for Ansars was raised by 20%; Ansars working for 15 years were absorbed permanently; ration of the police forces was doubled; 25 police camps were set up and 14,680 constables were recruited. In the educational centers, fight for capturing student dormitories was stopped by eradicating terrorism. As a result of all these, peace was restored in the campus and session jam could be avoided. 
7 Defense: Autocratic rulers and dictators have always used the army of Bangladesh for their own ambition. They have always tried to subdue and persecute the common people by the well-established army that are supposed to protect this country from external invasion. Only Awami League government kept the army above political influence and tried to modernize the army with logistic support and arranged for strategic training to enable them to protect sovereignty of Bangladesh. At the same time, Awami League government extended facilities to Army, Navy, Air force, Bangladesh Rifles, Police and ANSAR. National Defense College, Autonomous Science and Technological Education Center, Army Medical College, and a Bank for Defense Forces were established. Arrangements were made for higher education and training of Bangladesh Army. Efforts were made to equip Bangladesh Rifles with modern resources and technology. 539 Km unprotected border of Bangladesh was brought under a project by Awami League government. Under this project in phases, 1 border port, 4 sectors, 20 rifle battalions, and one riverine battalion were established. On-going activities of Bangladesh army in UN Peace Keeping Forces have improved the image of the country for their praise worthy role in international sphere.  
  11. Development of Tourism Industry: Tourism Industry is one of the promising industries of our country. Because of lack of proper planning in this sector foreign tourists are not yet attracted to visit historical places of Bangladesh. Awami League government took various steps to develop Tourism Industry. As a result, tourism industry is growing gradually in Bangladesh.   
  In 1996 total number of tourists visited Bangladesh was 1,65,887. In 1997, it increased to 1,82,420. In the subsequent years, the flow of tourists from abroad continued unabated. In 1999 Bangladesh earned Tk.2,450 million in foreign exchange from this sector.  
8 Religious Freedom and Tolerance: Traditionally, for Bangladeshi people, religious feelings and compassions are instinctive. So Awami League government took important projects like IMAM training center and, permanent HAZI Camp for muslims. Vested Property Act was repealed. Religious Trust was formed for the followers of Buddhism. On a regular basis, donations were given in various religious festivals like EID, PUZA, BUDDHA PURNIMA etc. 
9 International Mother Language Day: In 1974, with Bangabandhu’s speech in Bengali in the United Nations General Assembly, the process for establishment of Bengali language in international sphere commenced. Due to immense far-sightedness and tireless efforts of people’s leader, Sheikh Hasina, Bengali Language has acquired the status of International Mother Language Day as per UN resolution.     
  14. Elevation of Image of Bangladesh in International Arena: Image of Bangladesh was established in the comity of Nations, through the War of Liberation under the great leadership of the Father of the Nation. Following the killing of Bangabandhu, the image was shattered. Autocratic rule over the nation, exploitation, misrule, bad governance, extreme religious communalism and divisive policy have steadily deteriorated our image. During the Awami League Government of five years, all-out efforts were made to salvage the image of Bangladesh in the international arena through economic, social and diplomatic efforts which were recognized all over the world. Amongst these, the following are worth mentioning:      
  Acquiring temporary membership by Bangladesh in UN Security Council.  
  Acquiring the status of Coordinator and spokes person of Least Developing Countries. 
  Formation of BIMESTEC for regional economic cooperation.  
  Active role of Bangladesh in diffusing tension created following detonation of nuclear bomb by India and Pakistan. 
  Leadership of Bangladesh in SAARC. 
  Active role of Bangladesh in OIC and Commonwealth and increased role of these organizations in development of the member states. 
  Bangladesh was the first country in South Asia to sign CTBT to stop spread of nuclear weapons. 
  2nd D-8 Summit, UN Millennium Summit and Tri-National Trade Summit were held in Dhaka. 
  Visit of Bangladesh by important international leaders, such as, Nelson Mandela, Yasir Arafat, Solomon Demriel.   
  UNESCO Peace Award and Seres Award of World Food Programme for Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina for signing Hill Tracts Peace Treaty and historical Ganges Water Treaty with India, unprecedented progress in agriculture, human rights and peace establishment, institutionalization of democracy, establishment of Human Rights and Peace, and Poverty Alleviation.  
  Bangladesh was honored through Sheikh Hasina as the Prime Minister of Bangladesh by various International Fora. 
  To overcome the devastating 1998 flood successfully (even then the economic growth was 4.9% and production of food grains was 21.8 million metric tonnes during the year of devastating flood). 
  Preparation for NAM Summit that was supposed to be held in Dhaka in 2001 was almost completed by Awami League Government. But BNP-Jamaat thug coalition by canceling the Summit damaged the honour, glory and image of Bangladesh that was built up by Awami League with so much efforts.     
  Even after not being in the Government, Awami League leader Sheikh Hasina was invited as a Special Honorable Guest to deliver her speech on poverty alleviation in G-8 Summit ‘Outreach Conference’’.  
The economic, political and social criminalisation including the misrule, exploitation, misdeeds and bad governance of “BNP-Jamaat Thug” coalition government have exceeded all limits. The dangerous reality is that during BNP-Jamaat coalition even the state is playing role in further promoting criminalisation. BNP-Jamaat thug coalition government who are opposed to the spirit of Liberation War are now distorting the history of Independence of this country as per their pre-planned machinations. They have distorted the history of Declaration of War of Independence. If time permits, they are hell bound to change the national anthem and national flag. BNP-Jamaat coalition Government is not only incapable of maintaining the total achievements of Awami League Government, but also they are unsuccessful to run the state activities. As long as they are in power, their failure will increase leaps and bounds and country, countrymen and state interest will be hampered all the more. All positive possibilities of the state will be jeopardized. The only objective of BNP- Jamaat Thug alliance is to turn Bangladesh into an inoperative and failed state, to take revenge of the defeat during Liberation War. But Bangladesh of Bangabandhu can not be like this. Bengalees are a Brave Nation. People of Bangladesh will not accept this position. So today is the time for all secular democratic forces, irrespective of their party affiliations, be imbued with the spirit of Liberation War, to oust the unpatriotic BNP-Jamaat coalition. We have to put an end to the darkness, devoid of any sense of direction. We have to bring smiles to the face of the suffering masses by ensuring march of Bangladesh to the path of bright future and progress. 
It is neither a theory nor a flurry of verbosity. In this balance sheet, efforts have been made to compare the prosperity achieved during Awami League (1996-2000) period under the leadership of Sheikh Hasina as compared to the five years of BNP (1991-1995). Novelty of the booklet is that in the first chapter, it has been discussed “What could be the face of Bangladesh if `Bangabandhu’ were alive?” A very interesting idea has been propounded in this chapter. After going through the chapter the reader will not have to take recourse to imagination. From the statistics and analysis anyone can come to the conclusion that Awami League did not only bring about freedom to the dear motherland but also laid socio-political economic foundation for a prosperous and developed Bangladesh. 

President Ziaur Rahman did not allow me to enter our Dhanmondi-32 Residence: Sheikh Hasina

Ziaur Rahman did not allow me to enter our Dhanmondi-32 Residence:

Sheikh Hasina

Tears rolled down her cheeks and emotion gripped the audience as Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina narrated the massacre at Dhanmondi-32 and unkind behaviour of a government after the assassination of Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman on August 15, 1975.
"When I came back in 1981 from exile, the then government of president Ziaur Rahman did not allow me to enter our Dhanmondi-32 residence where my father along with most of my family members were brutally killed," she said.

Speaking at a prize giving ceremony at Osmani Memorial Auditorium yesterday morning, she said even General Zia did not allow her to organise a milad mahfil seeking eternal peace of the martyrs of August 15 inside the residence.

"It was Zia who forced us to hold milad on the road for my parents and others who were killed in the August 15 massacre," said Hasina.

Sheikh Hasina, the eldest daughter of Bangabandhu, who along with her younger sister survived the massacre, described as crime against humanity, said president Zia imposed restriction on opening of the residence from where Bangabandhu led all anti-autocratic movements.
Later, the government led by Justice Abdus Satter opened the historic house and handed over it to Hasina. "When I entered the house, I saw dried blood everywhere and clothes and other valuables were seen scattered on the floor".

The killers not only killed the country's founding father along with most of his family members, they also looted all valuables from the house, Hasina said.

There was pin-drop silence in the Osmani Memorial auditorium when the premier was narrating the tale of the blackest chapter of the world's history. People specially the children who joined the function were seen to wipe their eyes when she was describing the barbaric incident.
Hasina said after receiving the house, she and her younger sister decided to make it a museum for the people of the country. "I thought that the people of the country are the owner of the house as Bangabandhu launched all of his pro-people movements from the house," she added.
The premier said she inaugurated the Bangabandhu Memorial Museum on August 14, 1994 and after that the museum remains opened for public.

Later, Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Memorial Trust was formed on April 11, 1994 with an aim to provide various services for the common people.
According to sources, 1,000-1,200 students are being provided stipend from the trust each month to meet their education expenses. The trust arranged free medical services across the country from Jan 10 to March 17 this year when over 8 lakh patients were given medical services.
The trust will set up a medical college and a nursing institute in Gazipur to provide medical services for the common people.

The Convenor of Bangabandhu Memorial Museum presided over the function while Curator of the museum Syed Siddiqur Rahman, DG of Bangla Academy Prof Shamsuzzaman Khan and Vice-Chancellor of National University Kazi Shahidullah, among others, addressed it.

Bangladesh's history in its first decade of freedom was fundamentally a story of bloodletting. You do not have to go into research to arrive at such a morbid conclusion. But you cannot escape feeling a certain sense of irony as you recapitulate the whole episode of the country's actually claiming, and taking, its place in the global community. If the war of liberation in 1971 saw three million Bengalis dying at the hands of the Pakistan armed forces, the post-liberation era turned into a long tale of blood and gore as most of the new nation's founding fathers and war heroes bit the dust through bloody coups d'etat and internecine armed conflict. The series of tragic happenings that engulfed Bangladesh between August and November 1975, followed by the execution of Abu Tahir, a soldier for freedom, in July 1976, will remain a blot on the conscience of a nation which yet struggles to find a way out of the woods for itself.
In May 1981 came the assassination of General Ziaur Rahman, Bangladesh's first military dictator, at the hands of soldiers who in the event could not quite succeed in pulling off what they had thought would be a revolution. Within days of Zia's murder, it would be the turn of General M.A. Manzoor, ostensibly the leader of the uprising, to be killed in cold blood by Zia loyalists. All of this is what the country has known over the years. In times that are as far removed from the 1970s and 1980s as they can be, that are clearly a whole lot more transparent than what one could have imagined two or three decades ago, it is now possible for Bengalis to grasp a little more conclusively the factors --- intrigues, conspiracy, et al --- that went into the making of an era that remains sinister in its elemental darkness. And into this story now steps Zayadul Ahsan with his hair-raising account of a failed coup that, once the plot failed to take off, was to leave scores upon scores of soldiers dead after October 1977. Originally conceived and presented as a series of investigative reports for the daily Bhorer Kagoj by the writer, this work is a searing account of the innocent men of the Bangladesh air force who were forced to march to the gallows on flimsy, unproven charges of complicity in the revolt that left some senior and reputed officers of the BAF murdered at the old Tejgaon airport on 2 October 1977. And those were exciting times, not so much for the fact that the struggle for ascendancy among the various politicised factions of the military went on in a seemingly endless pattern as for the truth of what was happening around the hijacked Japan Airlines aircraft at Dhaka airport.
The conspirators struck at the precise moment when senior air force men, including their chief Abdul Gaffar Mahmood, remained busy in negotiations with the Red Brigade who had seized the plane and forced it to land in Bangladesh's capital. Competent officers, among whom was Ross Masood, were lined up by rebellious air force men before the hangar and simply mown down. The question remains, though: did these men, egged on by individuals whose identities remain yet unknown, decide to strike on 2 October because the opportunity to stage their coup on 28 September, air force day, was lost when President Ziaur Rahman informed Air Vice Marshal Mahmood he was unable to be part of the celebrations? Ahsan comes up with a hint: Egyptian President Anwar Sadat, meeting Zia in Cairo days before 28 September, warned him of a plot to assassinate the Bangladesh leader over the next few days. Zia took the hint seriously; and then came the suddenness of the JAL hijacking. As the talks with the Red Brigade neared an end, elements in the army and air force inside Dhaka cantonment went on the offensive against the Zia regime. A day earlier, in Bogra, disturbances in the cantonment left one person dead, three wounded and two missing. In Dhaka, at Tejgaon airport, eleven air force officers were murdered alongside ten soldiers from the army. Forty soldiers were left injured.
The facts Zayadul Ahsan presents are set off in an eerie pattern from the moment Zia loyalists, Mir Shawkat Ali for instance, move resolutely against the mutineers. Over the next twenty days or so, it would be an operation of relentless cruelty as the Zia regime, guided by vindictiveness and palpably oblivious to all norms of civilised behaviour, rounded up hundreds of innocent air force men and inaugurated what would eventually turn into a story of unimaginable horror. Kangaroo courts, officially described as military tribunals, swiftly handed down verdicts of guilty on those taken into custody; and night after night, inside the grim premises of the central jail in the capital, the bodies of hanged men dropped into pits for hours on end. It was Azimpur graveyard which, throughout October 1977, saw brisk nocturnal activity as the dead men were hastily buried, unbeknownst to their families. The case of the widow Aleya remains poignant, and heart-wrenching. In the days and weeks following his disappearance, she moved heaven and earth for news of her airman husband who had gone missing after 2 October. No one deigned to keep her informed until much later, to let her know in a terse notification that he had been executed for his part in the 'conspiracy'. There are other accounts, from men who were among the lucky few to escape the noose but nevertheless found themselves condemned to varied terms of imprisonment. The strand of thought throughout the stories runs along similar patterns. The innocent paid for crimes they did not commit; and ruthlessness was what the Zia military dictatorship employed in its efforts to survive and to ensure that no dissent remained to threaten its grip on power. Ironically, the fearsome Zia was to die in a botched coup slightly over three years later.
Zayadul Ahsan's work is much more than a record keeping of one of the more shameful episodes in the nation's history. It is, in very large measure, a call for those who perpetrated the atrocities on the hundreds of innocent men in the armed forces in light of the 2 October 1977 tragedy to be brought to account. Most of the men who presided over the sham trials of these men, sending them to quick death and putting a few others through inexplicable prison terms, are still alive. Some retired as senior officers in the military, especially in the air force. Others, non-commissioned officers who cheerfully served on the tribunals, went on to serve in the forces till their retirement. In the overweening interest of democratic accountability, all these elements responsible for the horrific executions in the dark need to be traced in order to be brought to justice. Ahsan's work is an eye-opener. It is a warning against men who, in the manner of Ziaur Rahman, think nothing of shooting people down in order to entrench themselves in political illegitimacy.
Syed Badrul Ahsan is Editor, Current Affairs, The Daily Star.

Historic 17 May, the Homecoming Day of Sheikh Hasina

Historic 17 May, the Homecoming Day of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina Awami League has chalked out elaborate programs to celebrate the day

 It was raining on the 17th May of 1981, but hundreds and thousands of people were waiting outside the Dhaka International Airport, waiting for her to arrive. After waits of long hours, the plane carrying Sheikh Hasina landed at the airport. She has arrived. She was overwhelmed with emotions which was apparent as she kissed the soil of her country immediately getting off from the aircraft. The crowd was hailing wishes for Hasina as well as slogans for the long cherished desire for trial for Bangabandhu murder. Sheikh Hasina was highly welcomed by the countrymen. Her eyes were full of tears. A new era began on 17th May 1981 in Bangladesh. "I have come to stay beside the people of Bangla and take part in the struggle for freedom . . . I have come not to be the leader of the Awami League. I want to stand by you as your sister, as your daughter and as a worker of Awami League believing in ideals of Bangabandhu, " she said in her first public remarks on her return on that day. The crowd of tens of thousands of people chanted in chorus - -- 'Joy Bangla, Joy Bangabandhu' - the slogan of the Liberation War which was virtually prohibited at that time. The capital had turned into a city of procession yesterday (May 17). Even strong storm and showers could not hold back the processions. In that day, it was not possible to maintain discipline in the airport after 3:30 pm. When the plane carrying Sheikh Hasina was sighted in the sky, thousands of enthusiastic people entered the airport defying all controls and discipline. "The plane had to land taking risks, to some extent". After frantic efforts, volunteers and security people paved ways for Sheikh Hasina to disembark from the aircraft when she waved her hands to the cheering people. She boarded on a truck at 4:32 pm amid thunderous slogans "we pledge to you -- Sheikh Hasina - we will avenge the killing of Bangabandhu" as eyes of many were soaked with tears. Sheikh Hasina also broke into tears when Abdur Razzak garlanded her. The truck needed three hours to carry Sheikh Hasina to reach Sher-e-Banglanagar.

Witnesses of the event and senior Awami League leaders and workers recalled that the spontaneous reception which she got could be comparable only with the emotional reception her father had received as he returned home on January 10, 1972 from captivity in Pakistan after Bangladesh's 1971 independence.
Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman along with all the family members accompanying him was brutally killed on 15th August in 1975. Fortunately, the two daughters of Bangabandhu, Sheikh Hasina and Sheikh Rehena were in Germany.
Their homecoming was barred by the autocratic government and killer group’s arrogant power practice which led the two sisters to settle for an uncertain exile. On 3rd November 1975, four national leaders Syed Nazrul Islam, Tajuddin Ahmed, Mansur Ali and AHM Qamaruzzaman were murdered inside the Dhaka Central Jail. They were killed as a continuation of Bangabandhu killing with the same purpose by same groups. The killings were made with the motives to destroy the spirit of non-communal democratic constitution, make the country leaderless and to re-establish the Pakistani spirit once again, with taking revenge of liberation war.
The efforts by the killers were motivated not only to make Bangladesh Awami League that led the liberation war leaderless, but also to put the party in disarray. Awami League became aimless without a leadership. The whole nation was waiting for an efficient leadership to oppose against the autocratic government. Right at that time, nation called upon Sheikh Hasina to return in her country. In 1981, Sheikh Hasina was unanimously elected President of the party at her absence. Though she was not prepared for this, but she could not refuse the call from her homeland.
The trial of the Bangabandhu murder required the country to be free from autocracy and reinstate democracy, establish rule of law and human rights in the country. It was also much needed to build the Sonar (Golden) Bangla dreamt by Bangabandhu. And to make all these aspirations a reality, the nation needs to be united, to rejuvenate. But where is that kind of leader? Only Sheikh Hasina filling up the blank of leadership could rejuvenate the nation, make them united, which was the only hope of the nation. She took the challenge, came back in the country leaving behind her family and children. She took the challenges risking her life to free the imprisoned country. Bangladesh had begun a turn back since 17 May, 1981. I
n the last three decades, Sheikh Hasina proved herself that only she was capable enough to face the challenge. She not only became Prime Minister for two times but also became a symbol of national unity. The trial of Bangabandhu killing held with execution of five convicts, the spirit and glory of liberation war, rule of law, democracy and human right were restored. The process to try the war criminals has also started.
The struggle for building a changed, developed and prosperous Bangladesh is going on under the prudent leadership of Sheikh Hasina. Distortion of history has been stooped and Bangabandhu has been glorified on his own greatness. Bangladesh with immense opportunities has looked up high again in the world. And all these achievements made possible by visionary leadership of Sheikh Hasina.
Bangladesh Awami League every year celebrates the homecoming day of Sheikh Hasina with befitting programs. This year, it will be observed with elaborate programs.


Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman and his family members apart, a number of people were murdered in three separate incidents on August 15, 1975, but no effective move has yet been made to bring the guilty to justice. Disgruntled army personnel killed Sheikh Mujib's nephew Sheikh Fazlul Haque Moni, founding chairman of Awami Jubo League, and wife Arzu Moni at their Dhanmondi home. Mujib's brother-in-law Abdur Rab Serniabat, former water resources minister, was murdered at his Minto Road house. A mortar attack by a group of army men killed 14 other people in Mohammadpur, taking the death count to 34 on that fateful day. Three murder cases, separate from the killing of Bangabandhu, were filed in 1996, but they are still on the back burner. Law Minister Shafique Ahmed said he was unaware of the present status of the three cases. Those were the home ministry's concern, he added. Despite several attempts, Home Minister Sahara Khatun or State Minister for Home Shamsul Haque Tuku could not be reached yesterday for comment on the issue.
Attorney General Mahbubey Alam said he would take steps to get the cases disposed of.
Alam said he would soon ask the government to provide him with necessary documents to revive the cases. All cases involving the August 15 killings should be disposed of -- to bring the perpetrators to book, said the attorney general. In January, five condemned killers of the father of the nation were executed after a Supreme Court verdict in the Bangabandhu murder case filed in October 1996.
A band of 25 to 30 army men surrounded Sheikh Moni's house-170 on Road 13/1 in Dhanmondi at around 1:30am on August 15, 1975. Carrying Sten gun and Chinese rifle, eight to ten of them in black uniform went up to the first floor and got down after firing shots. Moni's close aide Mohammad Shahabuddin, who was on the ground floor, went upstairs and saw Moni and his wife Arzu lying on the floor in a critical condition. Moni's parents, younger sister Sheikh Rekha and brother Sheikh Fazlul Karim Selim were sobbing.  Sheikh Maruf, younger brother of Moni, turned up there. Arzu cried to Selim for help and asked him to save them and their two sons -- Sheikh Fazle Shams Porosh and Sheikh Fazle Noor Taposh.  Shahabuddin, Selim and Maruf took Sheikh Moni and Arzu to Dhaka Medical College and Hospital where the doctors declared them dead, read the statement of the murder case filed by Shahabuddin with Dhanmondi Police Station on November 20, 1996. Sixteen people including former deputy minister Taheruddin Thakur were made accused in the case. Criminal Investigation Department (CID) gave the final report in the case on August 22, 2002 and had it dismissed in secrecy, ignoring the legal bindings.  The Dhaka Chief Metropolitan Magistrate's Court on December 30, 2002 accepted the final report and acquitted all accused without notifying the complainant. Neither the investigation officer nor the court concerned informed the complainant about the fate of the probe.
A group of army personnel led by Maj Shahriar Rashid, Maj Aziz Pasha, Capt Majed and Capt Nurul Huda stormed Serniabat's residence on 27 Minto Road at about 5:00am.
They went up to the first floor and broke the door. Confused, Serniabat made a phone call to the residence of Bangabandhu. The army officials rounded up the residents at the drawing room on the ground floor. Shahriar and Majed fired shots at them. Frightened Beauty Serniabat caught hold of her father Abdur Rab Serniabat. Shahriar Rashid, Aziz Pasha and Nurul Huda fired shots again and left the scene. Abdur Rab Serniabat, his nephew Shaheed Serniabat, daughter Baby Serniabat, son Arif Serniabat, grandson Babu Serniabat, who was four, domestic helps Potka and Laxmir Ma, and Abdur Naim Khan alias Rintu died on the spot.
Abul Hasnat Abdullah, son of Abdur Rab Serniabat, survived hiding behind a door. Shahan Ara Begum, wife of Hasnat, her mother-in-law Amena Begum, brother-in-law Abul Khair Serniabat, sisters-in-law Beauty and Rina Serniabat, and domestic helps Rana, Rafiqul Islam, Lalit Das and Golam Mahmud were seriously injured, said the statement of a case filed by Shahan with Ramna Police Station on October 21, 1996. Eighteen people were charged with murder in the case. But the proceedings of the case were stayed by the High Court in November 1999 following a criminal revision filed by Bazlul Huda, one of the accused, against the order of charge framing. The stay order remains in force till date.
Mohammad Ali, a resident on Sher Shah Suri Road 8 area at Mohammadpur, woke up with wounds in his left thigh at about 5:30am. He heard sound of mortar fire.
Hearing cries, he went to a nearby house on Road-9 and found Rezia Begum, wife of the house owner, Musa, and their daughter Nasima dead.
He then went to House-196 and 197 on Shahjahan Road in the area where he saw bodies of Habibur Rahman, Anwara Begum, another lady by the same name, Moyful Bibi, Sabera Begum, Abdullah, Rafiqul, Safia Khatun, Shahabuddin, Kasheda, Aminuddin and Honufa Bibi, all killed in mortar fire. Later he came to know that 14 people had been killed in Mohammadpur by mortar shells fired by a group of military personnel. He also learned that Bangabandhu and most of his family members were dead, Ali said in the statement of a case he filed with Mohammadpur Police Station on November 29, 1996 accusing Syed Farooq Rahman and 10 others. The case remains pending with the Fourth Additional Metropolitan Sessions Judge's Court in Dhaka.
The life of Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman is the saga of a great leader turning peoplepower into an armed struggle that liberated a nation and created the world’s ninth most populous state. The birth of the sovereign state of Bangladesh in December 1971, after a heroic war of nine months against the Pakistani colonial rule, was the triumph of his faith in the destiny of his people. Sheikh Mujib, endearingly called Bangabandhu or friend of Bangladesh, rose from the people, molded their hopes and aspirations into a dream and staked his life in the long battle for making it real. He was a true democrat, and he employed in his struggle for securing justice and fairplay for the Bengalees only democratic and constitutional weapons until the last moment. It is no accident of history that in an age of military coup d’etat and ‘strong men’, Sheikh Mujib attained power through elections and mass movement and that in an age of decline of democracy he firmly established democracy in one of the least developed countries of Asia.
Sheikh Mujib was born on 17 March 1920 in a middle class family at Tungipara in Gopalganj district. Standing 5 feet 11 inches, he was taller than the average Bengalee. Nothing pleased him more than being close to the masses, knowing their joys and sorrows and being part of their travails and triumphs. He spoke their soft language but in articulating their sentiments his voice was powerful and resonant. He had not been educated abroad, nor did he learn the art of hiding feelings behind sophistry; yet he was loved as much by the urban educated as the common masses of the villages. He inspired the intelligentsia and the working class alike. He did not, however, climb to leadership overnight.
Early Political Life: His political life began as an humble worker while he was still a student. He was fortunate to come in early contact with such towering personalities as Hussain Shaheed Suhrawardy and A K Fazlul Huq, both charismatic Chief Ministers of undivided Bengal. Adolescent Mujib grew up under the gathering gloom of stormy politics as the aging British raj in India was falling apart and the Second World War was violently rocking the continents. He witnessed the ravages of the war and the stark realities of the great famine of 1943 in which about five million people lost their lives. The tragic plight of the people under colonial rule turned young Mujib into a rebel.
This was also the time when he saw the legendary revolutionary Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose challenging the British raj. Also about this time he came to know the works of Bernard Shaw, Karl Marx, Rabindranath Tagore and rebel poet Kazi Nazrul Islam. Soon after the partition of India in 1947 it was felt that the creation of Pakistan with its two wings separated by a physical distance of about 1,200 miles was a geographical monstrosity. The economic, political, cultural and linguistic characters of the two wings were also different. Keeping the two wings together under the forced bonds of a single state structure in the name of religious nationalism would merely result in a rigid political control and economic exploitation of the eastern wing by the all-powerful western wing which controlled the country’s capital and its economic and military might.
Early Movement: In 1948 a movement was initiated to make Bengali one of the state languages of Pakistan. This can be termed the first stirrings of the movement for an independent Bangladesh. The demand for cultural freedom gradually led to the demand for national independence. During that language movement Sheikh Mujib was arrested and sent to jail. During the blood-drenched language movement in 1952 he was again arrested and this time he provided inspiring leadership of the movement from inside the jail.
In 1954 Sheikh Mujib was elected a member of the then East Pakistan Assembly. He joined A K Fazlul Huq’s United Front government as the youngest minister. The ruling clique of Pakistan soon dissolved this government and Shiekh Mujib was once again thrown into prison. In 1955 he was elected a member of the Pakistan Constituent Assembly and was again made a minister when the Awami League formed the provincial government in 1956. Soon after General Ayub Khan staged a military coup in Pakistan in 1958, Sheikh Mujib was arrested once again and a number of cases were instituted against him. He was released after 14 months in prison but was re-arrested in February 1962. In fact, he spent the best part of his youth behind the prison bars.
Supreme Test: March 7, 1971 was a day of supreme test in his life. Nearly two million freedom loving people assembled at the Ramna Race Course Maidan, later renamed Suhrawardy Uddyan, on that day to hear their leader’s command for the battle for liberation. The Pakistani military junta was also waiting to trap him and to shoot down the people on the plea of suppressing a revolt against the state. Sheikh Mujib spoke in a thundering voice but in a masterly well-calculated restrained language. His historic declaration in the meeting was: "Our struggle this time is for freedom. Our struggle this time is for independence." To deny the Pakistani military an excuse for a crackdown, he took care to put forward proposals for a solution of the crisis in a constitutional way and kept the door open for negotiations.
The crackdown, however, did come on March 25 when the junta arrested Sheikh Mujib for the last time and whisked him away to West Pakistan for confinement for the entire duration of the liberation war. In the name of suppressing a rebellion the Pakistani military let loose hell on the unarmed civilians throughout Bangladesh and perpetrated a genocide killing no less than three million men, women and children, raping women in hundreds of thousands and destroying property worth billions of taka. Before their ignominious defeat and surrender they, with the help of their local collaborators, killed a large number of intellectuals, university professors, writers, doctors, journalists, engineers and eminent persons of other professions. In pursuing a scorch-earth policy they virtually destroyed the whole of the country’s infrastructure. But they could not destroy the indomitable spirit of the freedom fighters nor could they silence the thundering voice of the leader. Tape recordings of Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujib’s 7th March speech kept on inspiring his followers throughout the war.
Return and Reconstruction: Forced by international pressure and the imperatives of its own domestic predicament, Pakistan was obliged to release Sheikh Mujib from its jail soon after the liberation of Bangladesh and on 10 January 1972 the great leader returned to his beloved land and his admiring nation.
But as he saw the plight of the country his heart bled and he knew that there would be no moment of rest for him. Almost the entire nation including about ten million people returning from their refuge in India had to be rehabilitated, the shattered economy needed to be put back on the rail, the infrastructure had to be rebuilt, millions had to be saved from starvation and law and order had to be restored. Simultaneously, a new constitution had to be framed, a new parliament had to be elected and democratic institutions had to be put in place. Any ordinary mortal would break down under the pressure of such formidable tasks that needed to be addressed on top priority basis. Although simple at heart, Sheikh Mujib was a man of cool nerves and of great strength of mind. Under his charismatic leadership the country soon began moving on to the road to progress and the people found their long-cherished hopes and aspirations being gradually realized.
Assassination: But at this critical juncture, his life was cut short by a group of anti-liberation reactionary forces who in a pre-dawn move on 15 August 1975 not only assassinated him but 23 of his family members and close associates. Even his 10 year old son Russel’s life was not spared by the assassins. The only survivors were his two daughters, Sheikh Hasina - now the country’s Prime Minister - and her younger sister Sheikh Rehana, who were then away on a visit to Germany. In killing the father of the Nation, the conspirators ended a most glorious chapter in the history of Bangladesh but they could not end the great leader’s finest legacy- the rejuvenated Bengali nation. In a fitting tribute to his revered memory, the present government has declared August 15 as the national mourning day. On this day every year the people would be paying homage to the memory of a man who became a legend in his won lifetime. Bangabandhu lives in the heart of his people. Bangladesh and Bangabandhu are one and inseparable. Bangladesh was Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman’s vision and he fought and died for it.

My practical experience, some of new leaders of BNP (retired amla) wants to be leader. They want to show something to Khaleda Zia in strike period. Want to be talk of the day as like Sadek Hossain Khoka. Khoka hold liquid tomato pack with him and blasted in due time while police caught him on the streets. Remember people? Shamsher Mobin Choudhury Beer Bikram Freedom fighter, I salute for his contribution, but I enjoyed his acting on strike period with police SI. He want to be arrested then news will be like this “Beer Bikram Shamsher Mobin Choudhury didn’t relief from the police tortured.
Good attitude but no need to do this simple acting for growing the attraction of Khaleda. Next time he will be foreign Minister if BNP comes to the power.
Bangabandhu Slideshow for website