386Published on December 17, 2021
Visiting Indian President Ram Nath Kovind today paid rich tributes to Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman recalling that being a youth over 50 years ago he was “electrified” by Bangladesh founder’s powerful voice.
“I remember that I was inspired, as a youth, by the moral courage of Bangabandhu. Like millions of others, I was electrified by his powerful voice, and the understanding that it carried the aspirations of 70 million people of Bangladesh at that time,” he said.
Kovind added: “Like millions of Indians of my generation, we were elated by the victory of Bangladesh over an oppressive regime and were deeply inspired by the faith and courage of the people of Bangladesh.”
He was addressing as the guest of honor an event titled "Mahabijoyer Mahanayak" at the South Plaza of the Jatiya Sangsad Bhaban marking the birth centenary of Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman and the Golden Jubilee of Bangladesh.
Bangladesh President Md Abdul Hamid addressed the event as the chief guest while Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina in the chair.
Bangabandhu’s younger daughter Sheikh Rehana presented a Shraddha Smarak - 'Mujib Chirantan' to the Indian president.
Jatiya Sangsad Speaker Dr Shirin Sharmin Chaudhury and Liberation War Affairs Minister AKM Mozammel Haque also spoke at the event, moderated by chief coordinator of Bangabandhu's Birth Centenary Celebration National Implementation Committee Dr Kamal Abdul Naser Chowdhury.
The Indian president said Bangladesh’s struggle for freedom “has a special place in the hearts of every Indian, especially those of my generation”.
“Visiting the solemn memorial to the millions of martyrs at Savar and the Bangabandhu Museum yesterday were deeply emotional experiences for me,” he said.
“I was especially inspired to hear extracts of his historic March 7 speech. This is justly recognized by the UNESCO in the memory of world register as it always evokes justice freedom and democracy,” he said.
Kovind said Bangabandhu’s vision was of a Bangladesh that was not only free politically, but also of a nation that was equitable and inclusive.
Sadly, his vision could not be realized in his lifetime, he said adding that the anti-Liberation forces who brutally killed Bangabandhu and most of his family did not realize that bullets and violence cannot extinguish an idea that has captured the imagination of the people.
The killers, he said, also did not count on the determination and resilience of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, who faced assassination attempts and dictatorships with remarkable courage.
Kovind simultaneously appreciated her strong conviction to realize Bangabandhu’s dream and his spirit of being a “Bidrohi” (rebel), a character depicted in the famous poem of national poet Kazi Nazrul Islam with same title.