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SAM

Published:
2018-05-17 07:13:38 BdST

A legend's return


FT ONLINE

The 38th homecoming day of Awami League president and Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina is being observed today (Thursday) in a befitting manner.

On this day in 1981, Awami League President and Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina returns home from India after nearly six years in exile.

Her exile followed the assassination of Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman and most of his family members by a cabal of army officers on August 15, 1975.

Sheikh Hasina and her sister Sheikh Rehana survived the assassination as they were in Germany at the time. A few months before her home return, Sheikh Hasina was made president of the Awami League during its national council on 14-16 February, 1981.

The capital was turned into a city of procession as the countrymen welcomed Sheikh Hasina, braving storms and heavy rainfall.

The then Kurmitola International Airport and Shere-E-Banglanagar turned into a human sea to welcome her.

Tens of thousands of people chanting slogan —Joy Bangla, Joy Bangabandhu — thronged the capital to have a glimpse of Sheikh Hasina.

Returning home, she started her struggle in retaining people’s rights, lost after the assassination of Bangabandhu.

In doing so, she had to overlook red-eyes of the military rulers by risking her life. For her pro-people efforts, she became recognised as the daughter of democracy.

In her long political career, Sheikh Hasina helped Awami League win power in 1996, 21 years after the assignation of Bangabandhu.

The AL returned to power in 2008 under her dynamic leadership and continued office for the consecutive second time through the 2014 general election.

The country also elevated to developing country status from the least developed status this year under her prudent leadership.

The AL president also vowed to turn the country into a middle-income one by 2021 and a developed one by 2041.

The Awami League and its associate bodies have chalked out various programmes, including milad and doa mahfil and discussions, to mark the day.

As part of the programme, the party will hold a discussion at Krishibid Institution in the afternoon in Dhaka city.

Noted citizens and national leaders are expected to take part in the discussion programme at 3:00pm. AL general secretary Obaidul Quader urged the people to observe the day in a befitting manner.

Jubo League, Bangladesh Chhatra League and other associate bodies of the party will also organise various programmes in observance of the day.

President Abdul Hamid has issued a message on the occasion.

In his message, the President said Bangabandhu’s daughter Sheikh Hasina’s homecoming is a milestone in the history of Bangladesh’s democracy which paved the way for establishing the values and spirit of the Liberation War and democracy.

"The country is going forward with her visionary and strong leadership and people-oriented activities," he added.

Abdul Hamid greeted Hasina on the occasion and wished her government’s continued success and good health and long life of herself and her family members, UNB reported.

In a statement, Awami League general secretary Obaidul Quader urged the party’s different units and associate bodies to observe the day across the country with due respect.

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