76th birthday of Sheikh Hasina: A blessed leader for people
Bangladesh will the 76th birthday of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, a deserving world leader and the eldest child of the father of the nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, the greatest Bengali of all time tomorrow, on September 28, 2022. Through driving the enormous national development and making a substantial contribution to numerous international concerns over the past decade, she has established herself as a global leader. She is steadfastly committed to realizing her father’s vision of a “Golden Bangla.” On last Friday, she spoke before the UN General Assembly (UNGA) for a record-breaking 19th time. Bangladesh has advanced to new heights under her astute leadership and extensive knowledge of world affairs.
On September 28, 1947, Sheikh Hasina was born at Tungipara of today’s Gopalganj district. She is revered by people from all over the world for being a brilliant global leader and an inspiration to billions of women. Sheikh Hasina covered a wide range of topics in her 19 speeches at the UNGA, including the dream of a digital Bangladesh that is self-sufficient in food, advanced in education, health, and gender parity, and free from the scourge of poverty and climate change. Over the years at UNGA, she continuously emphasized “zero tolerance” for extremism and terrorism and had laudable accomplishment reducing terrorism in Bangladesh. She has truly shown that she is a man of words.
Sheikh Hasina accomplished a lot during her political career. After brutal killing of Bangabandhu, she had to endure a life of refugee for 6 years. In 1981, she returned to Bangladesh on the face of severe adversity and challenges imposed by the then autocratic regime. She took charge of her father’s party strongly and through democratic movement came into power after 21 years of Bangabandhu’s killing. She has presided over the Awami League for 41 years in a row. For more than 18 years, she has served as the nation’s prime minister. Throughout this journey she had faced 21 attempts on her life but never lost her courage and willpower.
Securing the nation’s unparalleled socioeconomic development is one of Sheikh Hasina’s greatest triumphs. Bangladesh was a lower-income nation when she became its prime. Because of her leadership, the nation graduated from LDC. The GDP and per capita income have increased dramatically over a short period of time, outpacing several South Asian nations. Bangladesh has transformed into ‘Digital Bangladesh’ under her leadership. Her protection of respect and completion of the Padma Bridge using internal resources is another outstanding accomplishment. Trials of war criminals and those responsible for the murder of Bangabandhu will be documented as her courageous achievements.
She committed to full electrification of the country and succeeded in doing so. She has stated that there will be no homeless people in the nation during the ‘Mujib Year’, and her government is making quick progress toward that goal. She conducted the Chittagong Hill Tracts Peace Treaty in her first term. Under her leadership, the longstanding maritime dispute between Bangladesh and Myanmar came to an end after the International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea gave its final verdict on 14 March 2012. Moreover, during her reign, the 2015 LBA was signed on 6 June 2015 in Bangladesh. The historic agreement facilitated the transfer of 111 enclaves, adding up to 17,160.63 acres, from India to Bangladesh.
Sheikh Hasina is a great patron of sports as she is often found in the field enjoying matches of Bangladesh. She honors and adores the sportsmen and sportswomen. Her government is in the process of establishing a stadium in each district and upazilla. Moreover, her government supports the religious activities too. Establishing model mosque in each district and upazila is a massive work. Sheikh Hasina provided recognition of ‘Kaomi’ madrasa and their certificates and thatwill allow the religiously educated students in come in mainstream and will also reduce the risk of religious fundamentalism. Along with that, she is a great advocate of women’s development. She declared at UN to ensure gender equity in Bangladesh.
In her political career, she has essentially accomplished everything and demonstrated her dedication to the welfare of the populace. Now, she may fight corruption for the remainder of her current tenure as prime minister. Corruption, according to Bangabandhu, was the main vice impeding Bangladesh’s growth. He constantly brought it up in numerous speeches, like; January 25, 1975 and March 26, 1975 speeches, he gave across the nation between 1972 and 1975. And in order to create a secular, corruption-free, welfare Bangladesh, he began his campaign for the Second Revolution in 1975. However, on August 15, 1975, he was brutally assassinated and the Second Revolution came to an abrupt end. It is therefore time for Sheikh Hasina to launch war on corruption, following in her father’s footsteps.
Sheikh Hasina had won admiration for her consideration of human rights in international forums. As per the recent declaration at UN and a survey conducted by Singapore-based research firm ‘The Statistics International’, Sheikh Hasina is the second best prime minister of the world. On September 12, 2019, the renowned Diplomat Magazine from the Netherlands released its issue, which included a cover story about PM Hasina with the heading “Sheikh Hasina: The Mother of Humanity”, praising her decision to shelter the brutally tortured Rohingyas from Myanmar on Bangladeshi soil. Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina was ranked number 43 on the Forbes list of the 100 Most Powerful Women in the World in 2021. The Daily Leadership, one of Nigeria’s most significant newspapers, has described her as one of the world’s most stern leaders. Additionally, Time Magazine’s list of the 100 most influential people in 2018 includes her. She is also among one of the top 10 thinkers in the world in the field of “Defense and Security”. She was listed among the top 100 intellectuals in the world by the esteemed publication Foreign Policy.
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has taken the lead in addressing international challenges while implementing dynamic development projects at home. She received more than 50 accolades and recognitions for her dynamic leadership. She transformed herself into a brave leader, the mother of humanity, and a world leader during her voyage. Additionally, she elevated Bangladesh to a position of distinction in front of a global audience by transforming it into a role model for growth.
Bangabandhu, unfortunately, had only three and half years as the leader of the independent Bangladesh. Sheikh Hasina, fortunately, received much more than that in power. Though many questions her remaining in power for straight 14 years, the only thing that matters is if her leadership is bringing good for the country or the people and Sheikh Hasina is the most successful leader of Bangladesh in that consideration. She is chasing her father’s dream with a great pace and hopefully will complete the rest of the task with utmost focused and her name will be written in golden letters in the history of Bangladesh.
Sheikh Hasina has taken herself and Bangladesh to such a position that she is not comparable to any other leaders considering the constraint this country has to overcome. Being on such a height, she has nothing to lose. Hence, she must dedicate her focus to achieve the rest of the goals in front of her like; eliminating corruption, establishing democratic practices inside and outside her party, ensuring social security for the people, drastic aesthetic improvement of the country etc.
The most significant aspect of Sheikh Hasina is her passion for her countrymen. Her political insight, integrity, commitment, patriotism, and ability to lead in the global arena give us confidence that Bangladesh was given the right leadership at the right moment. Bangladesh has many more to achieve and we hope those achievements also come holding her strong hands.
As we pay respect to Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, we wish her a healthy, happy and long life on her 76th birthday. We hope she will take Bangladesh much further on the course of development and progress.
– The writer is Chief Editor at Mohammadi News Agency (MNA), Editor at Kishore Bangla and Chief Patron, BangabandhuShishu Kishore Mela