Prime Minister and Awami League (AL) President Sheikh Hasina on Wednesday called upon the countrymen to boycott the parties formed illegally by military dictators and remain vigilant against them.
"It is impossible to assume power by lobbying foreigners... It seems like someone coming from outside will take the BNP to power through the cradle. It (BNP) has been dreaming so. Once upon a time, they could make it happen by acting as a broker (of foreigners). But there is no scope left in Bangladesh to go to power through the acts of an agent," she said.
She was presiding over a discussion meeting organized by the AL marking the Shaheed Dibos and International Mother Language Day at the Bangabandhu International Conference Centre (BICC) in the capital, reports BSS.
The Prime Minister said that the people of the country have now become much more aware and they know better about the country, its history and the target of the Awami League government.
She said the BNP leaders are going to their local and foreign masters and lodging complaints against the Awami League government despite the fact that they did nothing (wrong) with them in comparison to their misdeeds with her party (AL) when it was in the opposition.
The premier said that the BNP, while in power, never allowed the AL to take to the street and unleashed inhuman torture to their leaders and activists, referring to the BNP's nationwide movement without any interference of the government.
General Secretary of the AL and Road Transport and Bridges Minister Obaidul Quader, MP, gave the address of welcome.
AL Presidium Members, Deputy Leader of the Jatiya Sangsad, Begum Matia Chowdhury, and Mofazzel Hossain Chowdhury Maya, Bir Bikram, former Vice-Chancellor of Dhaka University Prof Dr AAMS Arefin Siddique, Advisory Council Member Prof Dr Sadeka Halim, actor Ferdous Ahmed, AL Information and Research Secretary Dr Salim Mahmud, working committee members Nirmal Kumar Chatterjee and poet Tarik Sujat, Dhaka North and South City AL President and General Secretary respectively Sheikh Bazlur Rahman and Humayun Kabir, among others, spoke at the meeting.
Publicity and Publication Secretary of the AL Dr Abdus Sobhan Golap, MP, and his deputy Syed Abdul Awal Shameem moderated the discussion.
At the outset of the meeting, one-minute silence was observed to show respect to the martyrs of the Language Movement, Liberation War, August 15, 1975 carnage and all the democratic and progressive movements.
The day is also being observed around the world as UNESCO recognised the International Mother Language Day on November 17, 1999. Bangladesh missions abroad also observed the day in a befitting manner.
Sheikh Hasina said the AL has come to power two more consecutive terms after winning the 2008 general election in which BNP had got only 30 seats and the country has made huge progress in last 14 years and now become a developing nation.
“There is none who can deny that we have worked for the people. Bangladesh has completely changed as we have developed not only Dhaka but also the entire country,’’ she said.
The Prime Minister said they arranged proper treatment, education, food, accommodation to the people alongside meeting up their other civic amenities.
She said her government has transformed Bangladesh into a developing nation by implementing the Vision-2021 that was announced in her party election manifesto in 2008, adding that they are now in hot pursuit of making Bangladesh into a developed and prosperous country by executing the Vision-2041.
“So, it (becoming a developed nation) requires ensuring the voting rights of the people. And Awami League is the party who guaranteed the rights,” she said.
Terming the BNP as an illegal party, she said that the party had formed at the hand of a military dictator (Ziaur Rahman) who illegally grabbed the state power and the apex court also announced the government and its act as illegal.
“I called upon the countrymen to boycott (BNP) as an illegal party as it never wants welfare and betterment of the masses. It has done everything that includes destroying the spirit of the independence and distorting the country’s history of the Liberation War,” she said.
She went on saying that once upon a time the world considered Bangladesh as a nation of begging, but the AL government has taken Bangladesh in a dignified position by erasing the country’s shameful condition.
“Nowadays, none considers Bangladesh as a nation of begging as all think the country as a role model of development. We have to march ahead keeping the development spree up,” she said.
The AL President called upon her party leaders and workers to go to every doorstep across the country and put forth the country’s overall development or area-wise development carried out by her government to drum up public support in favour of the party.
“If we can do that (inform people of the development) there will be no problem with votes and none can snatch away the state power,” she said.
Terming the BNP-Jamaat clique as monsters, she said her party can’t leave the masses at the hand of the demon to play ducks and drakes with the fate of the countrymen.
“InshaAllah, we will develop Bangladesh. The blood of the martyrs never went in vain and will go in vain,’’ she added.
Sheikh Hasina resentfully criticized the tendency of speaking Bangla in an English accent, calling upon all to speak in Bangla with its own accent without any hesitation as the Bengali is the only nation across the globe who shed their blood for their mother tongue.
The Prime Minister asked the children to learn their mother language properly alongside other languages as the entire world has now become a global village.
“There is no problem in learning other languages. But it is a must to put importance on mother language,” she said.
Recalling the contribution of Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman to the Language Movement, she said Bangabandhu had led the Language Movement from forming the Rashtrabhasha Sangram Parishad with Chhatra League, Tamuddin Majlish and others and broke Section 144 on February in 1952.
She said Bangabandhu ordered the student leaders to call the strike on February 21, 1952 as well when the student leaders met him in the prison cell of the hospital.
But, the name of Bangabandhu was completely erased from history of the Language Movement and the Liberation War after 1975, she said, adding that his contribution is prominently evident in the book ‘Secret Documents of Pakistani Intelligence Branch on Bangabandhu.