"The Chhatra League should be built imbued with moral values and ideals. The future leadership will emerge from this organisation," she said.
The Prime Minister said this while addressing the 72nd founding anniversary and reunion of Bangladesh Chhatra League (BCL) at historic Suhrawardy Udyan.
The country's largest student organisation having glorious heritage of struggle and success, the BCL came into being on January 4 in 1948 at the advice of Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman.
The Prime Minister, upon the request of AL general Secretary Obaidul Quader, declared that from now on acting BCL president Al Nahean Khan Joy and general secretary Lekhak Bhattacharjee will be its full fledged president and general secretary.
"Chhatra League should remember that the future leadership (of the country) should come from this organisation," said Hasina, also the chief patron of BCL.
The Prime Minister said students are the future of the country and the future leadership of the independent country must come from the meritorious and brilliant students.
Without ideals, moral values, honesty, she said, it is not possible to build leadership.
Sheikh Hasina, also the chief of ruling Awami League, said derailed leadership might bring some quick money and fame, but they will just fade away in the course of history.
"This kind of leadership can’t give anything to the country and the nation... such leadership can’t work for the welfare of people and bring any success," she said.
Coming down heavily on military rulers and autocratic governments who grabbed state power illegally like Ziaur Rahman, HM Ershad and Khaleda Zia, the Prime Minister said Zia used the meritorious and brilliant students by giving them arms and money.
"He used brilliant students giving them arms and money as his armed cadres...he ruined the lives of many brilliant students," she said.
Sheikh Hasina mentioned that Zia rehabilitated Pakistani collaborators in Bangladesh politics releasing them from jail.
The PM said she saw it during the regimes of Ziaur Rahman, HM Ershad and Khaleda Zia that the brilliant students were used as armed cadres, militants, terrorists in other heinous activities to secure their power.
Former BCL leaders Khaleq Mohammad Ali, Tofail Ahmed and Awami League general secretary and former BCL leader Obaidul Quader also spoke at the programme.
BCL acting president Al Nahian Khan Joy presided over the programme conducted by its acting general secretary Lekhak Bhattacharya.
Former BCL leader and AL presidium member Jahangir Kabir Nanak introduced the former BCL leaders at the programme.
Sheikh Hasina inaugurated the programme through hoisting the national flag with the national anthem playing. BCL president and general secretary hoisted the organisation’s flag. Later, the Prime Minister released balloons and pigeons.
She also witnessed a colourful cultural programme.