Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina today sought people's alertness against distorters of history who opposed the 1971 independence to prevent their return to power as she joined the official celebration of the UNESCO recognition of Bangabandhu's 7th March speech.
"We will build Bangladesh with the spirit of the Liberation War . . . we should remain careful so the Rajakars, Albadrs, killers and misinterpreters of the history cannot come to power again," she told the celebration at the Suhrawardy udyan here.
The premier said the extempore speech of 7th March, 1971 had a clear directive for the people how to liberate the country and what will be the future course of our nation.
She wondered how those who tried to misinterpret the history by virtually prohibiting the historic speech would now "hide their faces" after its recognition by UNESCO as one of world's memories enlisting the address in the "Memory of the World International Register" on October 30, 2017.
The cabinet division organized the rally at Suhrawardy Udyan, the scene of the Bangabandhu's historic speech, as part of the nationwide celebration of the recognition of the speech by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO).
"It' not merely a speech . . . it's the history of a nation as he (Bangabandhu) depicted 24 years of Pakistani oppression (in the address)," she said.
Cabinet Secretary Md. Shafiul Alam gave the welcome address while Principal Secretary to the Prime Minister Dr Kamal abdul Naser Chowdhury also spoke at the function with the national anthem marking its start.
The rally was preceded by a procession from Bangabandhu Memorial Museum to Suhrawardy Udyan which was joined by tens of thousands of people.
"Today we are a free nation, which was known as an extreme poverty stricken nation once. But the country has created its position amid global community as a dignified nation . . . Today, Bangladesh is not dependent on the grace of others as we are economically gained strength and progressing fast," the premier said.
But, she said the country attained its current elevated status as the outcome relentless work stewarded by the ruling Awami League since returned to power 21 years after the assassination of Bangabandhu.
Bangladesh would be a hunger and poverty free nation as dreamt by the Father of the Nation and it would be a middle income country by 2021 and a developed on by 2041, she said.
Sheikh Hasina congratulated every government officials, students of different educational institutions and people of all walks of life who took part in celebration rallies in the capital and elsewhere in the country.
"The day (celebration) is very important for us," she said recalling the memory of March 7, 1971
"I had the opportunity to be present in that historic meeting where surges of people joined here (Suhrawardy Udyan) to hear the directives of Bangabandhu," the premier said.
Sheikh Hasina said the freedom of the nation didn't come in one day as several millions of people had to embrace martyrdom for the independence.
She said Pakistani rulers deprived Bengalis of all economic, social and cultural rights and even they had tried to snatch away the rights of their right to speak in their mother language, which Bangabandhu had protested in 1948 when he was a law student of Dhaka University.
Bangabandhu had to languish in jail for establishing the rights of mother language and declaring six-point demand for political and economic emancipation of the nation, she added.
Sheikh Hasina recalled that the Awami League-led government in 1956 had declared the February 21 as the "Shahid Dibash" or "martyrs day" and framed the constitution giving recognition to Bangla as one of the state languages she said adding Bengalis achieved its all success under the leadership of Bangabandhu.
During 1965 Indo-Pakistan war, she said, Bangladesh was completely unprotected, which led Bangabandhu to float six-point demand for freeing the nation form the Pakistani regime.
Sheikh Hasina said Bangabandhu on December 5, 1970 had declared his vision of creating independent Bangladesh while addressing a meeting at mazar of three national leaders marking the death anniversary of Hussein Shahid Suharawardy.
"From now, the name of the East Bangal will be Bangladesh," the premier recalled Bangabandhu as telling that meeting. Sheikh Hasina, eldest daughter of Bangabandhu, said the name of "our country, our national flag with radiant sun on green landscape and our national anthem were choose by the Father of the Nation, and we are its witnesses".
She said Pakistani rulers repeatedly had tried to hang Bangabandhu implicating him on treason charges while they detained him in the cantonment, filing the Agartala Conspiracy Case.
"But, the rulers could not make the people of Bangladesh silent. People repeatedly resisted all blows on the Pakistani rulers and freed Bangabandhu from jail," the premier said.
Sheikh Hasina said the Awami League under Bangabandhu's leadership gained absolute majority in the 1970 general election but the Pakistani rulers declined to hand over the power to him and against the backdrop of their denial Bangabandhu convened the historic public meeting at Suharawardy Uddyan on March 7, 1971.
Bangabandhu, she said, directed the people to wage a non-cooperation movement against the rulers and shut down the government systems and make every house of Bangladesh a fortress "even I am not there to issue orders".
"Such farsightedness and directives are not found in any speech of any world leader . . . the speech clearly set the goal of political freedom and economic emancipation of the Bangali nation."the prime minister said.
Sheikh Hasina said anti-liberation forces killed Bangabandhu when he stepped in to implement his plan for economic freedom of the nation.
"Bangabandhu loved the country and its people. So he was always ready to make any sacrifice for the country," she said paying her tributes to the Father of the Nation and added that Bangabandhu has given Bangladesh the status of a free nation in the world community.
The premier also paid her homage to the four national leaders who led the Liberation War as directed by Bangabandhu, martyrs and freedom fighters and millions of women who lost their dignity for national freedom.
Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman had delivered this speech in this ground 46 years ago on March 7, 1971, only 18 days ahead he declared the Independence, arousing people to fight for freedom against Pakistani military rulers.
Sheikh Hasina recalled that desperate attempts were made to make forbidden the Bangabandhu's historic speech as part of a design to distort history after his 1975 assassination.
She revisited her personal memories related to the speech saying as it was set that Bangabandhu would deliver a crucial public address, several proposals including written ones were placed before him, many even advising him to outright declare the independence.
"(But) My mother, who never was involved in direct politics, told him (Bangabandhu) that many people would suggest many things, but you must follow your mind (conscience)," Sheikh Hasina said recalling her presence during the conversation at Bangabandhu's home before he proceeded to the then race Course Maidan.
Sheikh Hasina said after Bangabandhu's killing people of Bangladesh have no access to real history of the nation and new generation was deprived of knowing the glorious history of the Liberation War.
She said by now it became a proven fact that the country can prosper if pro-liberation forces remain in power as the people of Bangladesh got the real taste of development when the Awami League assumed power after 21 years.