Let the dream of democracy and justice come true
Today is the immemorable 26 March. The final struggle to set up independent and sovereign Bangladesh began on this day. We remember the martyrs who lost lives in the war of independence. The independent country is the result of their glorious self-sacrifice. We pay tribute to their memory. Tributes to the leader of the war of liberation and Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman and the leaders of the provisional government including the acting president Syed Nazrul Islam, prime minister Tajuddin Ahmed. Our condolences and solidarity to the families of the martyrs, and the women who were victims of gruesome atrocity.
The Pakistan army conducted genocide on the people of East Bengal to curb their democratic rights. The armed resistance the people of East Bengal built up against that oppression at that time, continued for nine months. An unprecedented national unity was formed. Many were killed while fighting the enemy in the battleground. There were many who did not fight with arms, but helped the freedom fighters to the best of their ability. The whole nation, directly or indirectly, was on the side of the freedom fighters. And that is why it was possible to win victory and set up the independent country.
Bangladesh has been progressing in ups and down since then. We will be celebrating the golden jubilee of our independence after two years. This is not a short time for a nation. Bangladesh has achieved success in various sectors within this period. Though the population has turned more than double in the meantime, basic needs of food and education have been met. Education has been spread much, especially in primary education. There was progress in the health sector too. Infant mortality has decreased as well as the death in childbirth. Women’s involvement in economy has increased. We have ranked better in the human resource development index. Bangladesh has achieved the capability to step into the list of developing countries.
This has been possible because of our independence. The celebration of Independence Day also brings forth introspection. The war took place for democracy. How far have we been able to establish that? The key spirit of the liberation war was democracy, overall justice, equality, human dignity and social justice. We had dreamt that the independent country would be free of any oppression, injustice and oppression in the economic, political, social and cultural sectors. Bangladesh would be a democratic, developed and happy state and the state would be run by the rule of law. We dreamt that democracy, freedom of speech, tolerance and all the political activities would be systematic and peaceful.
Unfortunately, we are lagging behind in these sectors. An independent and impartial election system which is an essential element of democracy has deteriorated badly. Freedom of speech has been restricted, political culture has been incongruous and contradictory with democracy, governance has turned weaker while misuse of power and corruption are rising. If this continues, the economic development would be hard to uphold. Democracy and rule of law are crucial for the overall development of an independent sovereign country. The dream of the glorious independent struggle can thus come true.