Knowing history foremost important for next generation

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DHAKA : Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina today said it’s foremost important for the next generation to know the history of the country for imbuing them with the spirit of patriotism and building their good character.

“Steps should be taken so that the next generations don’t forget the
history of the War of Liberation as it’s the source of all inspiration and strength of our nation to live amidst the global community with a sense of dignity,” she said.

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina said this while inaugurating the newly
constructed building of Muktijuddha Jadughar (Liberation War Museum) in city’s Agargaon area today.

Sheikh Hasina said after 1975 the country had passed through a difficult time when Freedom Fighters (FFs) or their progenies were afraid of identifying them as Freedom Fighters or their wards. But now the situation has changed and the FFs can say proudly that they are Freedom Fighters and belonged to the nation’s great history.

“The change would have been possible due to assumption of power by the Awami League in 1996 when the party relieved the history from distortion following formation of the government after 21 years of Bangabandhu’s brutal killing,” she said.

Sheikh Hasina said many of the critics of Bangabandhu who are still alive can understand that they had created the background of the August 15, 1975, making the stairs for the anti-liberation force to come to power.

Lacking of their consciousness was very unfortunate and perhaps some of them now can realize that what wrong their thinking was, she said.

Truth can never be suppressed or erased, the prime minister said adding that truth has been revealed in Bangladesh.

Minister for Liberation War Affairs AKM Mozammel Haque attended the
function as special guest while Minister for Cultural Affairs and Trustee of the Jadughar Asaduzzaman Noor gave the vote of thanks. Ziauddain Tariq Ali, member secretary and trustee of the Muktijuddha Jadughar gave the welcome address and trustee of the museum Poet Rabiul Hussain presented a crest to the prime minister.

The programme began with recitation form four holy books and observing one minute silence paying tributes to the memory of the Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman and martyrs of the liberation war.

Later, the prime minister unveiled the plaque of the museum and lit the ‘Shikha Amlan” in front of the museum. She also visited different sections of the museum.

The premier said Bangladesh’s history is a testimony of long struggle of the Bangalee nation which began in 1948 at Dhaka University campus.

“Gradually the movement extended across the country under the leader of the Father of the Nation Banagabdnhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman,” she said.

She said, whenever Bangabandhu and other political leaders became vocal against Pakistani oppression, they were put in jail and tortured in indiscriminate ways.

“But nothing could prevent them from struggle,” she said.

The premier said the Liberation War a long drawn plan of Bangabandhu as he could realize that there was no alternative to liberation for Bangalee to protect their existence and in his whole life, Bangabandhu move forward with a specific goal for nation’s freedom.

But, she said, the history was completely distorted after August 15, 1975, which as a result misguided many people.

“The `Joy Bangla’ slogan was not a party slogan but of the slogan of the War of Liberation . . . But the slogan was banned after August 15, 1975 alongside the portraits of Bangabandhu. Many Awami League leaders and workers were stabbed or shot dead or tortured in many ways for chanting this slogan,” she said.

The premier said Bangabandhu’s assassination was not merely a blow on a family or aimed to grab state power, rather “it aimed to destroy a sprit generated from the victory of the War of Liberation . . . and destroy the existence of the newly born Bangladesh”.

The motive of the killers was seconded by the killing of four national leaders in the jail on November 3, 1975.

Sheikh Hasina said the August 15 killing was not only marked for start of the military rule but also plunging the country into the era of politics of killing and coup.

At that time, she said, many intellectuals of the country had tried to portray the main kingpin of the ploy Ziaur Rahman as the ‘advocate of democracy’.

“But Ziaur Rahman is the first man who betrayed with the blood of the millions of martyrs and put forth the national flag to the hand of the anti-liberation forces,” Sheikh Hasina said.

Zia, she said, ruled the country under the curfew every night of his regime and scrapped the tribunal which Bangabandhu was constituted for trial of the war criminals.

“Rewarding the war criminals with ministerial position and awarding them in different ways became a regular practice of the all post 1975 governments,” Sheikh Hasina said.

She added: “They pushed the country to the edge of destruction in every front and their emergence compelled us take decision for their trial.”

The Prime Minister extended her thanks to those who uphold the spirit of the Liberation War for long time through their writings and speeches.

“It would have been more difficult without their support, she said,” she said.

Sheikh Hasina also thanked the countrymen for electing her party to the power saying their votes have played catalectic role in bring the country to the right track.

The premier, who was closely linked with the museum since its inception, said her support to the museum would also continue in the coming days for its smooth function and operation.

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