October 12, 1972
BANGABANDHU ADDRESSES CONSTITUTENT ASSEMBLY
Prime Minister Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman maintains today that the Gono Parishad (Constituent Assembly) would soon present the country a constitution that would be "a beacon of light to the people".
Speaking on the Constitution Bill which is placed in the Gono Parishad by Law Minister Dr Kamal Hossain, Bangabandhu, who is also the leader of the House, says that the framing of the constitution would be the fulfilment of a dream cherished by the people and himself for years.
"The people, my colleagues and I am today legitimately proud, as we are going to give ourselves a constitution on the free soil of Bangladesh," he says. The prime minister reiterates that the constitution would be based on the four basic principles of state policy, namely Bangalee nationalism, democracy, socialism and secularism. While elaborating on the basic principles he says without socialism, by which he means a society free from exploitation, the 75 million people would not be able to maintain their existence in a land of only 54 thousand square miles.
Explaining why the constitution is being framed at a break-neck pace, Bangabandhu observes that a country without a constitution is like a boat without a rudder. The constitution, which guarantees the rights and obligations of the people, provides them a mooring of a civilised nation in a modern state. Referring to the experience of the subcontinent in the field of constitution making, he points out that India took four years to frame a constitution and Pakistan failed to give a workable constitution in 25 years.
HARDINGE BRIDGE REOPENS
The Hardinge Bridge is formally opened for railway today. It may be recalled that Hardinge Bridge was severely damaged by the retreating Pakistan army in mid-December during the last phase of the country's liberation struggle and since then the Hardinge Bridge remained closed, causing total disruption in Railway Communication between the northern and southern parts of Bangladesh.
Bangabandhu said yesterday that the reconstruction of the Hardinge Bridge over River Padma would serve as an inspiration for fulfilling the task of national reconstruction with confidence and determination. In a message on the eve of the reopening of the bridge Bangabandhu observes that the reconstruction of the bridge would be remembered as a symbol of joint efforts and tie of friendship between Bangladesh and India.
SOURCES: October 13, 1972 issues of Bangladesh Observer, Dainik Bangla and Dainik Ittefaq.