1953Published on December 16, 2022
Awami League was founded on June 23, 1949, against the backdrop of deception and discrimination in name of religion after the partition. However, Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, the young Awami League leader, turned this party into a party of the people by visiting every part of the country to understand and realize the public suffering and grievances. As a result, Bangabandhu, Awami League and Bangladesh concreted places in the mind of the people of Bengal, which helped the party to lead every movement of the long journey of the Bengali liberation struggle and brought freedom in 1971 through the Great Liberation War. Later Bangladesh Awami League is working to achieve the goals of national liberation step by step with the help of Bangabandhu's daughter and Awami League leader Sheikh Hasina.
The extremist dictator tried to eliminate the Awami League by the assassination of Bangabandhu and his family members and four national leaders in jail in 1975, but they could not suppress the party.
Braving her life, Bangabandhu's daughter Sheikh Hasina reorganized the party and ousted the dictators from the country. She promised to deliver the benefits of freedom to the people of Bengal by confronting all conspiracies. As a result, Awami League freed people from BNP-Jamaat's anarchy and exploitation and established Bangladesh as a prestigious country in the world.
Achieving great independence and establishing Bangladesh as a dignified state:
The biggest achievement of the Awami League as a party is to organize the liberation struggle for two long decades by uniting the people of many religions, castes, tribes and professions, and establishing an independent state in the world through the Liberation War. Another major achievement was repatriating the allied forces within three months of independence, rebuilding the country with its own manpower, and getting recognition from most of the countries. The international image and vision of Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, the Awami League chief and the architect of Bangladesh, gave the newly-independent country global recognition and acceptance.
But everything stopped, and Bangladesh lost its international image after extremists and dictators grabbed power in 1975 after the murder of Bangabandhu and Awami League leaders. The nation plunged into darkness again.
In 1996, the Awami League, once again, formed the government under Bangabandhu's daughter Sheikh Hasina and began rebuilding the country. Bangladesh again surprised the world by facing the 1998 devastating floods, which inundated 70 per cent of the country, without any loss of life, thanks to the relief activities and voluntary works of the Awami League government.
Later, after the formation of the government in 2009, Awami League established Bangladesh as a middle-income developing country in the world, liberating the Bengali nation from the grip of militancy and extremism. Again, Bangladesh made history by digitising the country within just 12 years under the direct supervision of Awami League Chief Sheikh Hasina's information and technology advisor Sajeeb Wazed Joy. The United Nations and the international community are enthusiastically lauding the rise of Bangladesh, which was once mired in hunger, poverty and extremism.
'Smart Bangladesh' in keeping pace with the developed world
Only 47 per cent of the country had access to electricity with frequent load-shedding when the Hon'ble Prime Minister took office in 2009. The sorry state of the power sector hampered the growth of small and medium businesses. However, the Awami League government ensured hundred per cent electrification within just one decade. Internet facilities also reached every house in a bid to make the country digital, which has created new job opportunities in rural villages.
Awami League government made mobile phones and the internet available to mass people from the monopoly of the BNP-Jamaat government. Awami League Chief Sheikh Hasina directed the government to launch digital banking systems using the internet and mobile phones. As a result, now more than 8 crore people in the country can do money transactions and business through mobile phones, boosting the participation of mass people in economic activities.
Bangladesh is, even, exporting software and other digital services worth 1.3 billion dollars using digital facilities. In addition, about 650,000 freelancers are earning more than 500 million dollars as remittances annually through outsourcing. The government is working to achieve a target of at least $5 billion in exports from this sector by 2025.
Based on Bangladesh's economic growth, the World Economic Forum predicts that Bangladesh will be the 24th largest economy in the world by 2030. Bangladesh Awami League is working to reach the goal of a hundred per cent digital inclusion of the people under the slogan ‘Smart Bangladesh’.
Reviewing the amazing progress of Bangladesh, the UN resolution opined that Bangladesh has achieved its potential as a developing country. If this trend of development continues, Digital Bangladesh will join the list of developed countries in a short time. Bangladesh's massive transition in just one decade is not a miracle, but the implementation of Awami League’s far-reaching and well-planned initiatives.
Creating new generations with women's emancipation & economic progress:
After independence, Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman introduced free education for women and a 10 per cent quota in government jobs. The Awami League government is also reserving 60 per cent of primary teaching positions for women, which made it convenient for women to teach in primary schools staying at home. As a result, both the number of female teachers and the rate of female students in educational institutions are increasing.
As half of the country's population is women, Awami League gives special priority to empowering women financially and socially to make the future generation educated. The Awami League-led government is making maximum efforts to advance women through free primary and higher education and stipends. Sheikh Hasina, the daughter of Bangabandhu, is implementing the policy of freeing about seven crore women from the grip of extremism and social slavery and giving them a life with a sense of self-respect and thus strengthening the country's economy through their actions.
Facing disaster and standing by the masses in danger:
When the whole world came to a standstill in 2020 due to the coronavirus, Awami League leaders and activists risked their lives to stand by the people. When all the political parties moved to safety fearing death from the virus, the Awami League and the party's organizations took to the streets to support the government on the instructions of the honourable Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina. Around half a hundred Awami League leaders and activists lost their lives due to the virus while engaging in humanitarian activities such as providing medical assistance to people infected with coronavirus and completing the burial of the dead. Still, Awami League delivered sanitisers, masks, soaps, medicines, essential food items and cash to the homes of one crore helpless people of low income.
During the Covid-19 pandemic, several cyclones hit the coastal areas of the country badly affecting the crops and fisheries of the farmers. The Awami League government used digital facilities to pay cash to around 50 lakh farmers and day labourers. Even Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina donated Tk 250 million for the development of mosques, temples, madrasas and orphanages across the country and about half a million people associated with these.
The government also built durable multi-storied buildings to protect the people of coastal areas from cyclones, high tides and any natural calamities. Embankments have been built along the coastal areas to protect the farms from salty seawater. The Awami League government is implementing a comprehensive plan to protect the environment to ensure the country's sustainable economy.
The Awami League government has adopted the eighth five-year plan for the period 2021-2025 to make the people of Bangladesh more economically capable in the post-Covid world. The estimated cost of implementation is Tk 64 lakh 95 thousand 980 crores. During this period, a total of 1 crore 16 lakh 70 thousand employment opportunities will be created while the extreme poverty rate is expected to reduce to 7.4 per cent. Bangladesh Awami League is working to implement the goal of establishing a humane society by reducing social inequality.
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has arranged interest-free loans for the economic liberation of low-income people. Her government has also established rural savings banks in every upazila to help farmers, workers, unemployed youth, and poor, helpless and low-income people. People are now getting loans without security bonds for animal husbandry, vegetable cultivation or agriculture.
The Awami League government has been continuing the work of constructing houses with land for about one million landless and homeless people so far. No other party except Awami League has taken such an initiative to fulfil the basic needs of people.
Development of sports culture and 'Bangladesh' brand in the international arena
The Awami League government led by Bangabandhu took initiatives to promote sports for the future of the country's youth right after the independence. As part of reconstructing the war-torn country, Bangabandhu organized the first game in February 1972 with the country's star footballers. In May, Mohun Bagan, one of India's best teams, was invited to play against Mohammedan. Bangabandhu brought the Minsk Dynamo Club of Russia to Dhaka in 1973 to introduce the country's football to the international arena. Even the enthusiasm of Bangabandhu and the initiative of the Awami League government helped the Bangladesh football team play in the Merdeka football tournament in Malaysia in 1975.
Following his footsteps, the Awami League, under the leadership of Bangabandhu's daughter Sheikh Hasina, again put special emphasis on the development of the country's sports and culture immediately after the formation of the government in 1996. In 1999, the Bangladesh football team became the SAFF champion due to immense support from government facilities. Even in cricket, the Awami League-led government organized the board and started bringing coaches to train the players. As a result, in 1997, the Bangladesh cricket team qualified for the World Cup for the first time by winning the ICC trophy, and later gained ODI status. After that, the cricket team stunned the world by winning the tri-series in 1998 and defeating Pakistan and Scotland in the 1999 World Cup.
Also, in 2000, the Bangladesh cricket team got Test status thanks to the table diplomacy of the Awami League government. It made Bangladesh worthy of enjoying all the privileges of the ICC and improved Bangladesh cricket significantly. The Awami government resorted to diplomatic communication with the far-reaching goal of improving cricket by obtaining Test status. On the occasion of celebrating 25 years of independence, Bangladesh invited international cricket teams by organizing Independent Cup, ICC Knockout Championship and Tri-nation series in 1999, and Merrill Cup in 1999.
The government highlighted the prospects of Bangladesh cricket before the Test playing nations. Even in 1999-2000, the Awami League government introduced four-day matches through the National Cricket League for the first time to form the basis of Test cricket. Bangladesh cricket team finally got Test status in 2000, and Team Tiger has been established as an international cricket team worldwide today.
Later, after forming the government in 2009, Awami League gave special attention to women's sports and brought ODI status in 2011. Women cricketers won Asia Cup in 2018 and Test status in 2021 due to regular support from the government. The government's special patronage in district-based sports across the country helped the women's football team also achieve success. In 2021, the U-19 women's football team won the championship in South Asia. In 2022, the national women's football team became the SAFF champion for the first time.
The development of infrastructure creates the base for the overall progress of the people:
The dictator and extremist BNP-Jamaat coalition started oppressing the people of the country by killing the Father of the Nation after the independence. But when Awami League came to the government, the entire country's communication system with the capital changed rapidly. All highways across the country were upgraded to four and six lanes, helping communication from one remote part of the country to another become easier. Marginal farmers and small traders can connect with the capital in the fastest time.
Also, from 2009 to 2021, the government constructed 451 km of new railways, repaired 1,181 km of existing railways, and built 428 new railway bridges. The construction of the 4.8 km long Bangabandhu Railway Bridge over the Jamuna river is progressing rapidly.
A 14-km metro rail from Uttara to Agargaon and the country's first tunnel under the river Karnaphuli in Chittagong are waiting to be functional soon. The communication on the multipurpose bridge over the mighty Padma river is now on. Power generation will also start shortly from the country's first nuclear power plant with a capacity of 1200 MW at Rooppur in Pabna. Dictators and the BNP-Jamaat alliance did not try to exchange enclaves with neighbouring countries, determine land boundaries, and conquer new maritime borders of almost equal size to the country. It is the Awami League government that Bangladesh has such achievements. The Bengali nation was able to send a new message to the world about its prospects by sending a satellite into space for the first time because of the Awami League-led government.