Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina today vowed to build Bangladesh as "Sonar Bangla" in the near future as Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman wanted to ensure a better and decent life for the people of this country.
"We must build 'Sonar Bangla' as dreamt by you [Bangabandhu]. The day is not far away. It's our commitment to you," she said while addressing the nation during the formal inauguration of the Mujib Borsho celebrations marking the birth centenary of the Father of the Nation.
Noting that Bangladesh now enjoys a dignified position on the world stage, the PM said Bangladesh will have to march forward further to establish itself as a hunger- and poverty-free and developed country as dreamt by the Father of the Nation.
On the birth centenary of Bangabandhu, she called upon the young generation to love the country and its people, as well as build themselves as worthy citizens.
"My appeal to today's children, teenagers and youth generation is that you'll love the country and the people of the country. This freedom we earned [was] in exchange for many sacrifices. So, you'll have to build yourselves as worthy citizens so that you can move keeping your head high as [citizens of] an independent nation on the world stage," she said in her speech telecast by Bangladesh Television and different private TV channels.
Hasina, the eldest daughter of Bangabandhu, also urged the young generation to develop their life with the ideals of the Father of the Nation and love the people as he did.
She extended the greetings of the Mujib Borsho to all the citizens of Bangladesh living at home and abroad as well as all the people of the world.
The celebrations started with fireworks at 8pm at the historic Suhrawardy Udyan.
President Md Abdul Hamid also addressed the nation during the inauguration of the Mujib Borsho.
Recalling the dedications and sacrifices Bangabandhu made for the wellbeing of the people of this country, the PM said he gifted this country named Bangladesh. "He had given the Bangalees the dignity of identity as a nation.
"The great leader had emerged as the nearest and dearest one to the sons of this Bangla. So, he is Bangabandhu," said she said.
Hasina said the Father of the Nation used to get shocked at the sufferings and miseries of the people from an early age. "He donated his clothes, books and umbrellas to the needy people and also shared his own food. During the famine, he used to donate rice from the stock of his home," she added.
"He found joy in doing something for the people."
The PM recalled with profound respect all the martyrs of August 15, including the great leader Bangabandhu and his family members, four national leaders and all martyrs of the Liberation War.
She said brutal bullets of the killers took away the Father of the Nation and made his body bloodstained. "They tried to erase the name of Bangabandhu from the history of Bangladesh, but they couldn't do so."
Mentioning that the people of Bangladesh have awakened in search of the truth, she said history cannot be erased and truth cannot be covered with lies.
"Today, your [Bangabandhu's] birth centenary is being celebrated not only in Bangladesh, but also across the world," she said.
She said the celebrations will continue till March 26, 2021 and end with observance of the golden jubilee of the country's independence.
About the outbreak of novel coronavirus across the world, Hasina said the inauguration ceremony of the Mujib Borsho has been put on hold and the visits of the foreign guests to Bangladesh have been suspended following the emerging situation.
She extended her thanks and gratitude to the King of Bhutan, Nepalese President, Indian Prime Minister, UN Secretary General and OIC Secretary General for sending video messages on the occasion.
At the inaugural ceremony, television channels aired different songs on Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman.