Dhaka     Monday   10 August 2020

Awami League’s 71st founding anniversary today

8 || risingbd.com

Published: 03:00, 23 June 2020   Update: 15:18, 26 July 2020

Bangladesh Awami League, country's oldest political party founded by then pioneering Bengali politicians disillusioned with their domineering Pakistani counterpart, has marked its 71st founding anniversary today (June 23) with programmes befitting the current ambience.

Bangladesh and Awami League are invariable and also inseparable part of the Bangalee nation.

History of Awami League means the story of struggle and glory of the Bangalees.

The Awami League, which will mark its anniversary this time with different virtual programmes in the wake of coronavirus (Covid-19) outbreak, was the torchbearer of glorious history and heritage of all democratic movements on this soil.

The country achieved independence under the leadership of this oldest and biggest political party. Awami League is not only the country's oldest and biggest political party, it is the pioneer of democratic and non-communal spirit of this soil.

From the very beginning, Awami League has been leading the sociopolitical trend of the country amid different struggles and movements in the seven decades.

After the Liberation War, the party's leader, Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, Father of the Nation, began to build Bangladesh as a non-communal country.

Following the footprints of her father's ideology, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina is heading the country towards massive development.

On June 23 in 1949, from a meeting of the supporters of Hussein Shaheed Suhrawardy at the Rose Garden of KM Das Lane, Old Dhaka, a new political party named Awami Muslim League was formed. Maulana Abdul Hamid Khan Bhasani became President, Shamsul Haq of Tangail general secretary while Sheikh Mujibur Rahman was made joint secretary.

Coming out from the Muslim League, progressive leaders and workers formed Awami Muslim League. It was the first opposition party in the then East Bengal (later renamed East Pakistan). In the process of secularization the prefix "Muslim" was later dropped from the name of the party. Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman came to the leadership of Awami League through 1966 Council.

Later, he became unparallel leader of the Bangalee nation and architect of independent Bangladesh and Father of the Nation. Awami League led the Mass Upsurge against the Pakistani occupation force in 1969, prompting the Liberation War in 1971 to free the people from the centuries-old subordination.

After the assassination of Bangabandhu and most of his family members on August 15, 1975 and the killing of four national leaders inside the Dhaka Central Jail on November 3 the same year, Awami League became leaderless.

Bangabandhu's daughter Sheikh Hasina took the helm of Awami League after return to the country in 1981. She again united the party. She has been leading the party for three decades and formed the government in three times side by side with waging different democratic movements.

After the independence, Awami League was in power around three and a half years before the assassination of Bangabandhu and five years from 1996 to 2001 under the leadership of Sheikh Hasina and since 2009 to present.

After the defeat in the 2001 general election, Awami League waged successful movement against the then BNP-Jamaat coalition government.

In 2007, the military-backed caretaker government declared a state of emergency. Awami League President Sheikh Hasina and top leaders of the party were arrested. As a result, the party was in crisis in this period. But, overcoming all hurdles and hostilities, Awami League and a grand alliance under the leadership of Sheikh Hasina achieved a landslide victory in the December 29, 2008 national election.

On January 6, 2009, the grand alliance led by Awami League formed the government. Sheikh Hasina became prime minister for a third time when Awami League formed the government after winning the January 5, 2014 general election. In the general election on December 30 in 2018, the people of Bangladesh again gave their mandate to the Awami League to form the government for a record third straight term, and fourth since 1996. Awami League President Sheikh Hasina became prime minister for the fourth time and third in a row.

As per the electoral pledges, the Awami League government has been working relentlessly with the aim of building a poverty-and hunger -free, advanced and ICT-based, prosperous Bangladesh and thus turn the country into a middle- income one by 2021 and developed one by 2041. The party will organize a special webinar on the night of June 23 on the occasion of the founding anniversary.