President Zillur Rahman yesterday said Bangladesh would have become a developed country like Singapore and Malaysia many years ago if there was continuity of the implementation of Bangabandhu’s dream and programmes.
The president made the remark while addressing a function titled ‘The Bangabandhu Memorial Lecture’ at Osmani Memorial Auditorium organised by Bangladesh Foundation for Development Research.
Siddhartha Shankar Ray, a veteran Indian Congress leader and also former chief minister of West Bengal, was scheduled to deliver the memorial lecture but could not attend the function due to illness. However, his address recorded in DVD was presented at the function.
Zillur said the nation got rid of the stigma somewhat with the execution of the death sentence of the killers of Bangabandhu and his family members.
He said “Bangabandhu is no more among us but his ideals will always inspire the posterity in building the country.”
The president said there are only a few political leaders in the world with the stature of Bangabandhu considering the height of their patriotism and human values.
“His lifelong dream, devotion and politics were for the welfare of the distressed, deprived, oppressed, neglected, illiterate, and rural poor people.”
He recalled that Bangabandhu was always active against all sorts of injustice and said, “Bangabandhu was expelled from Dhaka University for joining the rights movement of the fourth class employees, but chose not to compromise with injustice.”
He also recalled that while returning to Bangladesh on January 10 in 1972, Bangabandhu had categorically asked Indira Gandhi, the then Indian prime minister, when the Indian forces would be completely withdrawn from Bangladesh.
The president said although Indira Gandhi, who offered all possible Indian assistance during the War of Liberation, became somewhat embarrassed over the question, but Bangabandhu got the reply he wanted.
“Bangabandhu’s role was that of a statesman, as people’s interest was embedded in it,” he said.
National Professor Kabir Chowdhury presided over the function while MA Monayem Sarker, director general of Bangladesh Foundation for Development Research, gave the address of welcome.