Sheikh Hasina’s Homecoming Day and Its Significance

Dr M Shahinoor Rahman

Prime Minister Jononetree Sheikh Hasina returned to Bangladesh on May 17, 1981 from a long unintentional exile abroad since the morbid August of 1975. “Hasina’s homecoming day” is generally observed by all the leaders and supporters of the Bangladesh Awami League on May 17 every year. Because of several incidents, the day has acquired a significant place in the history of Bangladesh. The following points will aid us in comprehending the context and meaning of “Hasina’s homecoming day.” On the deathly August 15, 1975, the anti-liberation terrorists attacked the residents of Bangabandhu’s brother-in-law, cabinet member Serniabat and nephew, Juba League head Sheikh Fazlul Haque Moni. Sheikh Hasina and Sheikh Rehana, the two daughters and inheritors of Bangabandhu and Bangamata’s sacred blood, were among those who survived the assassinations by the grace of the Almighty Allah.

These events are now part of our country’s history, and practically everyone knows about them. Such heinous happenings put Jononetree Sheikh Hasina and our Choto Apa Sheikh Rehana into a chaotic, dark world of anguish. The matter of their security, on the other hand, became more pressing because assassins were on the lookout for Bangabandhu’s blood heirs. Even the most fantastic fiction could not depict the story of how they escaped and defended themselves for six years following the August massacre before returning to the country on May 17, 1981. Even though uniformed military personnel were seen on the screen shortly after the traitors assassinated Bangabandhu and his family members, some Pakistani follower traitors, including Khondaker Mostaq Ahmed, Taheruddin Thakur, and Ziaur Rahman, were the masterminds.

Humayun Rashid Chowdhury, the late Bangladeshi Ambassador to West Germany, aided Bangabandhu’s daughters during a difficult period in our country’s history. Yugoslav President Marshal Tito and Indian Prime Minister Indira Gandhi, both non-aligned leaders at the time, offered political asylum to Bangabandhu’s daughters. Bangabandhu’s assassination surprised and upset both of them, as they were close friends and supporters of him. The daughters of the Father of the Nation travelled to New Delhi, India, to thank the two leaders for the invitation.
Pakistan’s ghosts have brought unparalleled international embarrassment to the country by assassinating Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman and his family. The Bengali people refused to accept the liars, and Pakistan’s friends were forced to vacate Bangabandhu’s independent Bangladesh. Bengali nationalist and non-communal groups were not ready to be suppressed by anti-independence forces. After six years in exile, Sheikh Hasina returned to Bangladesh on May 17, 1981, to take the helm of her Father’s party Bangladesh Awami League, disregarding all obstacles on her way erected by the then government. She travelled from New Delhi via Kolkata by an Indian Airlines aircraft to Dhaka and arrived at 4:30pm at Kurmitola Airport. During the Awami League’s national council session on February 14-16, 1981, Sheikh Hasina was elected party president in her absence.

Jononetree Sheikh Hasina said about her return, “I have returned to my homeland not to become the leader of the Awami League; I have returned to join in the liberation battle by sticking with the people.” The AL president said this during a passionate ovation from almost 1.5 million people who gathered at the airport. That is why the noble daughter of Bangabandhu, honourable Prime Minister Jononetree Sheikh Hasina, has amazingly led Bangladesh to tremendous progress. Sheikh Hasina’s persistent determination to establish the golden Bengal, which Bangabandhu dreamed of, is actively functional.

Sheikh Hasina’s return represents a watershed event in the secular and democratic mindset of the followers of Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman. Sheikh Hasina is Bangabandhu’s most important legacy. It is not magical or unique, but rather presumable that she inherits the blood and leadership capabilities of Bangabandhu. Her leadership has practically brought about dazzling possibilities wading through the darkness that reigned over the fortune of Bangladesh for a long time. Sheikh Hasina, the Awami League’s President and Prime Minister, appears to be a dependable saviour in a tragic turn of the events for the country.

She has survived a lot of murderous calamities to reflect the ray of optimism among her people. Every disaster has known her to be a stubborn opponent. She has ensured the safety of hundreds of millions of people during difficult times, and she is now unrivalled as a leader in the country. Of course, such analysis has been done for a long time in the international media, and rating agencies have predicted it. Nobody can claim that Bangladesh’s democratic political policy has always followed a straight path. Following the killing of Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, on August 15, 1975, the military authorities tended to rehearse back to Pakistani governance style to run Bangladesh, which had earned its freedom at the great cost of the lives of millions.

Following Bangabandhu’s death, Ziaur Rahman, who had seized power illegally, planned to turn Bangladesh into a Pakistani-style regime. In the early 1980s, Sheikh Hasina, the eldest daughter of Bangabandhu, was elected President of the Bangladesh Awami League at a national council. Despite the military regime’s disapproval, Sheikh Hasina returned to Bangladesh for taking over the party’s leadership.

It is only natural for her to be in charge of the country during a crisis. Sheikh Hasina is the name of a dazzling flare that persisted despite deadly grenade assaults. She has devoted her life to helping Bangladeshi working class. Her political outlook is solely concerned with the welfare of the people. She always dedicates herself to developing the Sonar Bangla in Bangabandhu’s image representing a liberal democratic and non-communal secular Bangladesh created by the liberation war. Sheikh Hasina’s political mantra is to “improve the standard of people’s lives.” The following are some examples of her dynamism and dedication as a top leader.
As the coronavirus disease spread worldwide, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina assumed command of the pilot’s seat in our country. Bangladesh is a world leader in catastrophe management. All government offices, schools, and educational institutions, except those under the health ministry, were not functional. She also implemented food assistance for low-income people, the deployment of armed forces alongside the civil administration to monitor compliance with hygiene and social distancing regulations, the strengthening of relief programmes to ensure food assistance to the poor and day labourers, the expansion of comprehensive corona detection tests, and the establishment of dedicated corona hospitals and isolation centres.

She did everything herself notwithstanding she had a team. Since the commander-in-chief is an essential individual in each fight, I’m talking about her loneliness. Following the rule: The prime minister announced a Tk 72,000 crore manufacturing incentive. The sum was then increased to almost Tk1,00,000 crore. This form of encouragement has been used in a variety of situations. She left her office open when others were free to retire to their private spaces. The corona-fighting spree was sponsored by Sheikh Hasina, who had declared herself a sleepless Pilot. People throughout the country were relieved to see her frequent video discussions with government officials and give them clear instructions. Similar talks of Jononetree Sheikh Hasina with Asian leaders occurred intending to subdue the Covid-19 and defend the people of South Asia. On the other hand, Bangladeshis are fortunate to have found Sheikh Hasina a visionary, dynamic, and sincere leader. No one could believe Sheikh Hasina could manage a third-world or developing country without first seeing her outstanding leadership.

According to the Forbes article, Bangladesh, a country of 161 million people led by Sheikh Hasina, has seen numerous crises. She promptly stood up to this one with an ‘admirable’ reaction. According to the report, Sheikh Hasina, the country’s longest-serving Prime Minister, made the necessary preparations to return stranded Bangladeshis to Bangladesh in early February 2020. After the first coronavirus infection was discovered in early March, she shut down educational institutions and ordered non-emergency commercial affairs to be conducted online. She then installed corona detecting machines at international airports to see if anyone was suffering from covid-19 symptoms. Six hundred fifty-five thousand persons were screened, with 37,000 isolated right away. According to the cited article, these were initiatives that many powerful countries were yet to implement.

The response of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina and her administration to the coronavirus can only be likened to the unquestioned leader Bangabandhu, the Father of the Nation during the liberation war and the Mujibnagar government he led. Her brave fight against the Covid pandemic, recognising that fear does not fit her, owes appreciation to all men and women of Bangladesh. Simultaneously, the Prime Minister took precautions to ensure that the corona pandemic did not slow down the pace at which she had advanced the economy and improved people’s lives.

Sheikh Hasina has brought 100 percent areas of the country under electrification facility. Despite the World Bank’s withdrawal of money, she managed to finish the construction of the Padma Bridge. Sheikh Hasina has advanced Bangladesh’s economy, social structure, culture, tradition, and digital infrastructure to a new height. She has shown the rest of the world that Bangladesh is capable of economic development. Sheikh Hasina’s power is based on more than sincerity and honesty. She believes that we Bengalis can achieve our objectives. “No powerful nation can make us kneel and give in because we won through a liberation war,” Sheikh Hasina says frequently.

This is how Sheikh Hasina’s magic works. Her homecoming significantly contributed to the highest development of Bangladesh. This is the motto that catapulted her to global fame in the twenty-first century. Hundreds of millions of people, including myself, believe Sheikh Hasina can keep her winning streak going in the world arena. Peace be upon her always. Let us pray for Jononetree Sheikh Hasina’s sound health and long life.

The Author is the columnist, academician, folklorist, researcher, professor in the Department of English, and former Vice-Chancellor of the Islamic University, Kushtia

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