Today is a momentous day in our nation's history as we observe the 50 years of our existence as an independent country. Fifty years ago, in the face of a brutal massacre by the Pakistani military, the freedom-loving people of this land gave their all to oppose that evil with their righteous courage and succeeded in giving us a monumental victory. As we celebrate our golden jubilee of independence, we recognise that this privilege that we enjoy is a fruit of their sacrifice and we salute them for that. Alongside the valiant freedom fighters and all the men and women who sacrificed so much to free us from the oppressive Pakistani regime, we pay our deepest respect to the Father of the Nation, Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, for his unparalleled role in steering Bangladesh to its brightest moment—and the four national leaders who played a key role in the formation of the Mujibnagar government that guided the Liberation War.
Unfortunately, even on this big day, we are having to reign in our celebrations due to the resurgence of the coronavirus pandemic. The pandemic has already caused immense damage to our economy and the lives and livelihoods of countless people for almost a year now. It has also exposed many of our shortcomings as a nation. To begin with, it has illustrated the great inequalities that exist in our society, which betrays the spirit of our Liberation War. Therefore, now would be a good time to critically re-examine how well we have guarded the dreams for which our freedom fighters so nobly laid down their lives, and to retake the pledge to honour their memory by working to establish a just society, where all men, women and children are free and equal.
Aside from the grave inequality, the lack of political maturity that is holding us back from becoming a stable democracy, the widespread corruption and nepotism, are all problems that we must overcome going forward. However, if we look back, we also see how far we have come and the great things we have achieved. This only emboldens us as we embark upon another exciting new journey to not only turn Bangladesh into a prosperous country, but also one where every individual can prosper.