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AL’s ‘Platinum Jubilee’ founding anniversary today

News Desk || risingbd.com

Published: 08:43, 23 June 2024   Update: 09:32, 23 June 2024
AL’s ‘Platinum Jubilee’ founding anniversary today

Today (June 23) is the 75th founding anniversary (Platinum Jubilee) of ruling Awami League (AL), which led achieving country’s independence through the 1971 Great Liberation War.

The party was established on June 23, 1949 as Awami Muslim League at Rose Garden in the capital’s old part. But, later it appeared as Bangladesh Awami League (AL) to have a secular look.

The Awami League is one of the oldest, non-communal, largest and leading political parties in the country. And the work of building a non-communal Bangladesh was first initiated by Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman.

At the time of its establishment, Sheikh Mujibur Rahman was in jail and he was made joint general secretary of the party then.

The AL has taken elaborate programmes, marking its founding anniversary.

Earlier, the party’s General Secretary Obaidul Quader announced a three-day programme to celebrate the 75th founding anniversary.

All registered parties have been invited in the founding anniversary programme.

Prime Minister and party President Sheikh Hasina will inaugurate the platinum anniversary programme in front of Bangabandhu Bhaban today.

On the same day, a discussion meeting will be held at Suhrawardy Udyan at 3 pm followed by a cultural event.

Besides, a cultural programme will be held at Rabindra Sarobar and boat race and cycle rally will be arranged at Hatirjheel in the capital.

The founding anniversary of the country’s oldest political party will be celebrated at each union and ward as well.

Marking the occasion, Prime Minster and Awami League (AL) President Sheikh Hasina urged her party men to remain prepared to thwart any kind of ill-activity and conspiracy against the country’s continued development and democracy.

“Anti-liberation communal groups and anti-democracy and anti-development domestic and foreign evil forces are still hatching conspiracies in various ways. I call upon the leaders and workers at all levels of the party to be ready to protect the continuity of development and democracy by confronting any conspiracy of this evil force unitedly,” she said.

The premier made the call in a message issued marking the AL’s 75th founding anniversary.

“On this day, I recall with respect the greatest Bengali of all time, Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman. I recall Awami League’s founder president Maulana Abdul Hamid Khan Bhasani and general secretary Shamsul Haque. I recall with respect Huseyn Shaheed Suhrawardy,” she said.

She also recalled with respect the four national leaders, and all martyrs of struggles for freedom, Liberation War and struggles for democracy and all leaders and workers of AL who had embraced martyrdom to turn the party into the largest organization of the masses.

On this occasion, the AL president greeted the party leaders, workers and supporters alongside the countrymen.

She recalled that the party was established on June 23-24 in 1949 at “Rose Garden” on K M Das Lane in Dhaka and said the history of the AL is closely linked with the people’s struggle for realizing their rights.

“The Language Movement in 1952, the Jukta Front election in 1954, the anti-Ayub movement in 1962, the restoration of communal harmony after the 1964 riot, the six-point movement in 1966 and the mass upsurge in 1969 - all took place under the leadership of the AL,” she said.

In the general elections of 1970, the people of Purbo Bangla (now Bangladesh) gave an absolute majority to the Awami League and in continuation to that, Bangabandhu on March 7 in 1971 declared that “This time the struggle is for our freedom. This time the struggle is for our independence” the Prime Minister mentioned.

She continued that on the Black Night of March 25 in 1971, the Pakistani occupation forces swooped on the people and the history’s most brutal genocide began.

Sheikh Hasina said Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman had declared the country’s independence in the first hour of March 26.

Soon after the declaration of independence by Bangabandhu, Pakistani occupation forces arrested him and sent to West Pakistan jail, she added.

The premier said the country had achieved its final victory on December 16 in 1971 following the Liberation War conducted under the AL government formed at Mujibnagar in Meherpur district on April 10.

After independence, when Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman was busy building the nation, the assassins killed Bangabandhu and most of his family members on the fateful night of August 15 in 1975, she said.

She said after a long struggle to establish democracy, the AL returned to power in 1996 and then the AL ran the country successfully from 1996 to 2001.

Sheikh Hasina said the AL government turned food-deficit Bangladesh into a food-surplus country, signed the Ganges water sharing treaty with India and inked the Chittagong Hill Tracts (CHT) peace treaty.

Referring to the Assassination of Bangabandhu and most of his family members, the premier said through this murder, they tried to put an end to the tradition, culture and progress of the Bengali nation.

The aim of the assassins was to destroy the state structure of non-communal democratic Bangladesh and spoil the country’s hard-earned freedom, she said.

The anti-independence group involved in this heinous murder started the politics of assassinations, coups and conspiracies, she said, adding that they passed the Indemnity Ordinance to block the way to trial for the assassination of the Father of the Nation.

“Staying abroad, I and my sister Sheikh Rehana survived. Ziaur Rahman illegally usurped power and killed democracy by imposing martial law undermining the constitution,” she said.

He rewarded Sheikh Mujib’s killers by giving posts in embassies abroad, the Prime Minister said, adding that he also granted citizenship to anti-independence war criminals by sharing the power of the state.

He rehabilitated them politically and socially by giving the opportunity to do business and make them owners of huge sums of money, she added.

“While abroad, I was elected president of Awami League in the conference held on 13-15 February 1981.

“Ignoring various obstacles, I returned to the country on May 17, 1981 and took charge of the party under the leadership of AL,” she said, adding: “Then, I molded public opinion against the dictatorial government and started a movement to restore democracy.”

In wake of BNP-Jamaat coalition government’s misrule, torture and repression from 2001 to 2006 and undemocratic caretaker government’s conspiracies from 2007 to 2008, Bangladesh Awami League declared a ‘Charter of Change’ and gained absolute victory again in 2008’s National Parliament elections, she said.

In the last 15 and half years, the AL-led government has achieved the desired progress in every sector of the country, she said.

Hundreds of people of the country are getting electricity, she said, adding that Digital Bangladesh has been established.

“The launch of Bangabandhu-1 satellite has made provision of internet services easier. We have establishing 100 Special Economic Zones. We have established our sovereignty over the vast waters of the Bay of Bengal,” she said.

Sheikh Reza Parvez/AI