Sheikh Hasina would arrive at her 71st birthday on 28 September of 2017. The current Prime Minister of Bangladesh, in office since January 2009, her political career has spanned more than four decades.
by Anwar A. Khan
A POET OF DEVELOPMENT
( September 28, 2017, Dhaka, Sri Lanka Guardian) It is aptly said, “If Rabi Thakur is the poet of thinking, reflection and thought, if Bangabandhu is the poet of politics, then Sheikh Hasina is the poet of development.”
HAPPY 71ST BIRTHDAY
Sheikh Hasina would arrive at her 71st birthday on 28 September of 2017. The current Prime Minister of Bangladesh, in office since January 2009, her political career has spanned more than four decades. She previously served as opposition leader from 1986 to 1990 and from 1991 to 1995, as Prime Minister from 1996 to 2001, and has been leading the Bangladesh Awami League since 1981. In 2008, she returned as Prime Minister with a landslide victory. In January 2014, she became Prime Minister for a third term. Hasina is one of the most powerful women in the world, ranking 36th on Forbes’ list of The World’s 100 Most Powerful Women in 2016. She is a member of the Council of Women World Leaders, an International network of current and former women presidents and prime ministers. In 2017 she has been featured distinctively in a book named Women Presidents and Prime Ministers as one of the 18 current women national leaders of the world.
DAUGHTER OF FOUNDING FATHER OF BANGLADESH
She is the daughter of Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, the Founding Father of Bangladesh and the first president of Bangladesh, and Sheikh Fazilatunnesa Mujib. As she said in many interviews that she had grown up in fear due to her father’s political works. During the peak of violence of the 1970 Elections in Pakistan as well as her father’s arrest she had lived in refuge with her grandmother. She says, “I was not allowed to go to the school. Because I had to cross the canal by a wooden bridge, she was very much afraid that if I fall from this wooden bridge I will fall in the river”. She was active in the student politics of Dhaka University. Hasina was not in Bangladesh when her great father was assassinated barbarically on 15 August 1975. She was not allowed to return to the country until after she was elected to lead the Awami League Party in 16 February 1981 and returned to Bangladesh on 17 May 1981.
AL, LEFT-OF-CENTER POLITICAL PARTY
The Awami League has been described as a “left-of-center” political party. Hasina was in and out of detention throughout the 1980s. In 1984, Hasina was put under house arrest in February and again in November. In March 1985, she was put under house arrest for three months. Leader of the opposition, 1986-87 Hasina and the Awami League participated in the 1986 parliamentary elections held under President Ershad. She served as the leader of the opposition in 1986–1987. Hasina’s decision to take part in the election was criticised by her opponents, since the election was held under the martial law, and the other main opposition group, led by Khaleda Zia, boycotted the poll. However, her supporters maintained that she used the platform effectively to challenge Ershad’s rule. Ershad dissolved the parliament in December 1987 when Hasina and her Awami League resigned from the parliament in an attempt to call for a fresh general election to be held under a neutral care-taker government. During November and December in 1987, mass uprising happened in Dhaka, several people were killed.
After several years of autocratic rule, widespread protests and strikes created so much unrest that the economy was not functioning. A huge mass protest in December 1990 ousted General Ershad from the power, who resigned in favour of selected Vice President Justice Shahabuddin. The caretaker government, headed by Shahabuddin Ahmed, the Chief Justice of the Bangladesh Supreme Court, administered a general election for the parliament. The Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP) led by Khaleda Zia won a general majority, and Hasina’s Awami League emerged as the largest opposition party. In 1996 elections, the Awami League, with other opposition parties, demanded that the next general elections be held under a neutral caretaker government, and that provision for caretaker governments to manage elections be incorporated in the constitution. The ruling BNP refused to act on these demands. Opposition parties launched an unprecedented campaign, calling strikes for weeks on end. The government accused them of destroying the economy while the opposition countered that BNP could solve this problem by acceding to their demands. In late 1995, the MPs of the Awami League and other parties resigned from the parliament. Parliament completed its term and a general election was held on 15 February 1996. The election was boycotted by all major parties except the ruling BNP. Hasina described the election as a farce.
2ND CTG GOVERNMENT
The new parliament, composed mostly of BNP members, amended the constitution to create provisions for a caretaker government (CTG). The next parliamentary elections on 30 June 1996 were held under a neutral caretaker government headed by retired chief Justice Muhammad Habibur Rahman. Sheikh Hasina served her first term as prime minister of Bangladesh from 1996-2001.She became the first Bangladesh’s Prime Minister since its independence to complete the entire term. She signed the 30 year water sharing treaty of the Ganges with India. Her administration repealed the Indemnity Act, which protected the killers of the country’s Founding Father, BangabandhuSheikh Muijibur Rahman, her father and the first president of Bangladesh. Her government opened the telecom industry to the private sector which till then was limited to government owned companies. In 1999 the government started the New Industrial Policy (NIP) which aimed to strengthen the private industry and encourage growth its growth.
During her second term as leader of the opposition, political unrest and violence increased. Ahsanullah Master, an MP, was killed in 2004. This was followed by a grenade attack on 21 August on an Awami League gathering in Dhaka, resulting in the death of 21 party supporters, including party women’s secretary Ivy Rahman. Shah M S Kibria, Hasina’s former finance minister, was also killed that year, in a grenade attack in Sylhet that year. Caretaker government and military intervention happened in October 2006–2008. The months preceding the planned 22 January 2007 elections were filled with political unrest and controversy. Following the end of Khaleda Zia’s government in late October 2006, there were protests and strikes, during which 40 people were killed in the following month, over uncertainty about who would head the caretaker government. The caretaker government had difficulty bringing the all parties to the table. Awami League and its allies protested and alleged that the caretaker government favoured the BNP. Later in the month, the president Iajuddin Ahmed imposed a state of emergency and thus Lt General Mueen Uddin Ahmed took over the government behind the screen. Political activity was prohibited. Fakhruddin Ahmed became the chief advisor of the care-taker government with the support of Bangladesh army. On 16 July 2007, Hasina was arrested by state police at her home and taken before a local court in Dhaka. She was accused of extortion and denied bail, and was held in a building converted into a jail on the premises of the National Parliament. The Awami League said the arrest was politically motivated. On 17 July 2007, the Anti-Corruption Commission sent notices to both Hasina and Khaleda Zia, instructing them to provide details of their assets to the Commission within one week. These arrests of the political leaders were widely seen as a move by the military-backed interim government to force Hasina and Zia out of the country and into political exile.
On 30 July 2007, the Dhaka High Court suspended Hasina’s extortion trial and ordered her release on bail. On 2 September 2007, an additional case was filed against Hasina by the Anti-Corruption Commission regarding the awarding of a contract for the construction of a power plant in 1997, for which she allegedly took a bribe of 30 million takas and kept the contract from going to the lowest bidder. Six others were also accused of involvement. A graft case was filed against Begum Zia on the same day. On 13 January 2008, Hasina was indicted on extortion charges by a special court along with two of her relatives, her sister Sheikh Rehana and her cousin Sheikh Selim. On 6 February, the High Court stopped the trial, ruling that she could not be prosecuted under emergency laws for crimes alleged to have been committed prior to the imposition of the state of emergency.
9TH NATIONAL PARLIAMENTARY ELECTIONS, 2008 AND DIGITAL BANGLADESH BY 2021
On 11 June 2008, Hasina was released on parole for medical reasons. The next day she flew to the United States to be treated for hearing impairment, eye problems and high blood pressure. On 6 November 2008, Hasina returned to Bangladesh to attend the Ninth National Parliamentary Elections 2008 scheduled for 29 December 2008 and decided to participate in the parliamentary election under the name of “Grand Alliance” comprising 14 political parties. On 11 December 2008, Hasina formally announced her party’s election manifesto during a news conference and vowed to build a “Digital Bangladesh” by 2021. Her Bangladesh Awami League and its Grand Alliance won the general election held on 29 December 2008 with a two-thirds majority, numerically the party controls 230 seats out of 299. But Khaleda Zia leader of BNP-led coalition (4-Party Alliance) rejected the results of the election by questioning the Chief Election Commissioner “for stage-managing the parliamentary election”. Finally Hasina was sworn into office as the Prime Minister for the second time on 6 January 2009.
Hasina removed many of her party politicians who supported reforms forced by the previous caretaker government. She had to confront a major national crisis in the form of the 2009 Bangladesh Rifles revolt. In 2012, she maintained a hardline stance and refused to allow entry to Rohingya refugees fleeing Myanmar during the 2012 Rakhine State riots. On 27 June 2013, a case against Hasina and 24 other Bangladeshi ministers and security personnel was lodged at the International Criminal Court. She has been “credited internationally” for the achievement of some of the United Nations Millennium Development Goals. In 2012 a coup attempt against her by some mid ranking army officers was stopped, with Bangladesh army being tipped off by intelligence agency.
WOMEN’S POLITICAL PARTICIPATION – MOST FASCINATING DEVELOPMENTS IN BANGLADESH’S POLITICS
One of the most fascinating developments in Bangladesh’s politics has been the increase in women’s political participation since the mid-1990s. Women are becoming more engaged in a variety of institutions from local government, to legislatures, and even the executive. Today, Bangladesh is a leader in women’s parliamentary representation globally. Finally, women are often perceived, rightly or wrongly, as outsiders to politics and therefore, untainted by corruption and clientelism. They are seen as not having fomented conflict. This gave them greater credibility in the newly reconstituted political order. These perceptions may not have always been accurate, but they are there and have given women added credibility in seeking office. Research on women and politics in Bangladesh has made important contributions to both scholarship on Bangladesh, and the more general literature on gender and politics. This area of study is fast evolving and has made key advances in helping explain the increasing rates of female legislative representation; the role of women in conflict; state policies and processes regarding women’s rights; women’s patronage of politics; and the role of traditional authorities with respect to women’s leadership and rights.
WOMEN’S HISTORY AND ITS OUTSTANDING PLAYERS
Women’s history is more than the sum of its outstanding players: Rosa Parks, Susan B. Anthony, Sacagawea, Helen Keller, Amelia Earhart, et al. These women enjoy a firm place in society’s collective consciousness. As icons in the respective fields, they represent firsts or standouts. In those headlines we do find extraordinary people who just happen to be women, and these women of the extraordinary services act as inspiration for current and future generations—for both women and men. These woman and others like them did not just prevail, they excelled when personal, economic, political, and other obstacles threatened. If you will stroll down Cliché Lane for a bit, the cards were/are stacked against these women, but they bet the firm and won. Everyone can relate to that—and to their stories. Their stories are full of adventure, loss, and triumph. While we can certainly agree that specific documents and battles and elections do alter the course of history, we the pedestrians are rarely the stars of these monumental events. We are the extras in a cast of thousands, more footnotes than headlines, to mix metaphors. In that sense, the majority of women’s history is closer to us, male and female, than any other kind of history. Let’s face it, as amazing as we humans think we are, the truth is we are more apt to serve tea than sign treaties. Women’s history, like other subsets of history (ethnic history, art history, social history, cultural history, archeology, etc.) is mostly about the other 99.9% of things that are going on outside of the treaties, battles, and elections. By studying these subsets, we benefit from a richer perspective on what is generally considered regular history.
PM Hasina: Out of busy schedule
Other historically accurate concepts include girls receiving education, women earning the right to vote and own property, women playing sports, women serving as heads of state, women making important scientific discoveries, women taking to the skies, and eventually, women outnumbering men in schools, colleges and universities. The political concepts inspired by great women like Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Sheikh Hasina, Benazir Bhutto, Madame Curie, and Beryl Markham should be celebrated because they were or are firsts or were/are important to society or both. They should be recognised not just within the sub-category of women’s history but as part of all of history, threads that have altered the pattern of history for everyone. By studying Sheikh Hasina, we can glean more about what life was like for the common folk in any historical period. Let’s face it, unless you are Bill Gates or Barack Obama or even Hilary Clinton, you are the common folk of the early 21st century. She is Sheikh Hasina, so many years later. History, good history, the kind with gripping stories and messy morals and surprising twists, is more than just a highlight reel with pink or blue graphics. History is also the rest of the movie, and of course, the credits.
The UK, Canada, USA and Australia celebrate Women’s History on every March. The month is used to reflect on the many different roles women have taken throughout history. It began under Jimmy Carter as Women’s History Week and later expanded to the entire month. Famous Women in Modern History are Joan of Arc, Queen Isabella, Queen Elizabeth I, Pocahontas, Queen Anne, Catherine the Great, Abigail Adams, Sacagawea, Harriet Beecher Stowe, Queen Victoria, Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Susan B. Anthony, Florence Nightingale, Harriet Tubman, Clara Barton, Emily Dickinson, Louisa May Alcott, Annie Oakley, Marie Curie, Gail Laughlin, Helen Keller, Eleanor Roosevelt, Georgia O’keeffe, Amelia Earhart, Margaret Chase Smith, Margaret Mead, Mother Teresa, Rosa Parks, Mildred Ella, Margaret Thatcher, Anne Frank, Sandra Day O’ Connor, Jane Goodall, Gloria Steinem, Barbara Jordan, Madeleine Albright, Hillary Rodham Clinton, Oprah Winfrey, Sheikh Hasina…Sheikh Hasina may be recognised saying the words of, “All women together ought to let flowers fall upon the heart of her … for it is she who has earned Bangladesh’s women the right to speak their minds.”
SHEIKH HASINA’S MASTERFUL POLITICS
Sheikh Hasina can work which rings around all of us who consider themselves as politicians. In her work is so stark one can smell the effluvia of the salted herring, breathe in the clean, cool sea air, and sink into the homey chairs at the local inns. One can also feel her emotional pain. She not only changes lives, it changes history. She belongs to those women who are a mere quintet who, by refusing to play by the rules that society handed to them, forever has altered the course of history. Hers is women’s History, sure, but it is also a critical piece of Bangladesh’s History. Her story demonstrates how women in history are overlooked. Her gift to humanity has to be recognised to honour her work. Imagine being so famous and important she has an era be named after her’s name. You would either have to be incredibly lucky or really good. Hasina is probably both. She has created the persona of Sheikh Hasina, a woman who says little and makes few strong alliances. She is masterful at keeping her enemies at bay.
These discussions are relevant today. A significant amount of historical narrative is still being written by those with the most power. If you walk into any of the worlds most powerful institutions (government, academic or corporate) you will also identify that the group that are shaping history are Bangladesh’s women. I am not saying that this group is intentionally shaping history for the rest of us, or that other groups aren’t contributing in large measures to what future generations will consider history. Rather, I want to highlight that the power of political contribution one’s own history seems to be what history making is all about. Knowing the sources of our politics that shape our lives, they help to combat the danger of the single story. Today we shall reverse the order and use our Hasina to play the role of a great politician. No woman is known in the history of the Bangladesh’s reactions and responses to the foreign power better than Sheikh Hasina.
A few women can lay claim to as many legacies for their countrymen as Hasina. I am just telling the world the truth. And if my truth then becomes political, I can’t do anything about that though I have been thoroughly apolitical in life. We should celebrate great women who have shaped our history and our admirable cultural values. This hero is not only brought true meaning to the words “courage, sacrifice and determination”, but their immense legacy and tremendous fortitude should inspire and inform both women and men of the future. Throughout our glorious history, Bangladesh has prided itself on great, fearless women to the extent that – while the F word (feminism) is widely derided among both men and women on the sub-continent – I think many feminist thinkers worldwide draw their inspiration from leadership roles played by Bangladesh’s women past and present.
BANGLADESH’S WOMEN AND MODERN BANGLADESH’S POLITICAL LIFE
As writer Belal Bangalee couches it: “Bangladesh’s women have been an important and increasingly visible part of modern Bangladesh’s political life. We participated in anticolonial struggles as trade unionists, political leaders, wives and mothers, often in the more traditional ways that women have entered politics. But we have also made fundamental changes to the body politic of Bangladesh in very significant ways. Therefore, as we bring up a generation of future leaders, we have a responsibility to narrate her-story in much the same way as the history of the great political leaders like Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, Tajuddin Ahmad, Syed Nazrul Islam, M. Mansur Ali, AHM Kamruzzaman, Maulana Bhasani, Prof Muzaffar Ahmed, Moni Singh and so many others is told. In the present times of Bangladesh’s politics, Sheikh Hasina steadfastly remains pillars of society, promoting values of peace and justice.” To this day, her words imbue her with indescribable courage like, “If you men of Bangladesh will not go forward, then we will. We women will. We, the women, will. I will call upon my fellow women. We will fight the evil forces until the last of us falls on the battlefields.” Empathy for her people, she has motivated our womenfolk to fight for the protection of their people. Although she rarely receives the same accolade, all those famed women have worked for our country side by side with men in liberating Bangladesh from the Pakistani colonialism and its offshoots in 1971. According to the Oxford Advanced Learners Dictionary, a hero is a person, especially a man, admired by many people for doing something brave or good. A heroine is, to be specific, the female counterpart. Thus, these men and women are Bangladesh’s heroes and heroines. We salute all of them, along with the countless other women who served in the various liberation parties, including ordinary women of all religions who participated in the historic Liberation War of 1971.
SHEIKH HASINA IS LIKE A ROCK
Sheikh Hasina is like a rock. If you strike a woman, you strike a rock. She is not a woman but a world. A strong, visionary, spirited woman whose transcendental life, or whose legendary stories, have elevated mankind with their mystique, incomparable ethereal beauty, wisdom, wit, virtue, grace, talent, kindness or exceptional courage. Start your “Extraordinary Heroines” genealogical journey, experience past worlds, stroll through the annals of world history to meet the remarkable ancestors upon whose stalwart shoulders we stand today. She personifies outstanding attributes of her times to help you capture the spirit of the times, and the mood of the moment. We will encounter the influence and persuasiveness of her power through the ages. Be awed by the transcendental qualities of the breathtaking, bold, brave women of the sacred Scriptures, and the powerful women icons of ancient, classical and civilisations. Admire the zealous, valiant, spirited, pioneering, wise women of the Middle Ages who paved the way for the passionate, creative, revolutionary, luminary Renaissance Thinkers.
Revel in the victories of the empowered liberated woman like Hasina of the present century, champion crusaders of liberty, unbridled free spirits who has been campaigning so that we should be able to enjoy our new Millennium free of all gender challenges in an altruistic, unconventional, and boundary breaking 21st Century. Our historical tour will continue by paying homage to immortal portraits of women through the Ages. Please note, to meet the bright new living legends of tomorrow, just catch this patriotic and bold figure of Sheikh Hasina. Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, and undoubtedly the people of Bangladesh are thunderstruck by this great woman and her people. He has taken great pains to accommodate every need of her people. She has been observed as the wise and compassionate as ruler as she interacts with her people in everyday affairs. Speaking of her values, one may summarise or state the below words:
“How happy I am for my people. Would that I could remain here always, if but as the humblest of your workers, so that I could always hear your words and obey our people! How happy I am when I interrogate them! How happy when they answer me. My whole being is moved with pleasure; my soul is filled; my feet no longer stumble; I thrill with delight. People’s wisdom and goodness are beyond all measure. They are excellence themselves. Under their influence I am placing new values on life. I see light in the darkness; the fire flying the garden reveals itself in newer beauty. I discover added lustre in the pearl; a greater radiance in the morning star, and a softer harmony in the moonlight. Blessed be the people that has brought me here; blessed be them who have permitted their majestic mind to be revealed to me; blessed be the one who has brought me into their house to hear their voice.” She is a gifted communicator – and a well-respected advisory to her political colleagues.
It is like as if the words,”…remember the gentlemen and ladies, and be more generous and favourable to them than your ancestors. Do not put such unlimited power into the hands of the husbands…. If particular care and attention is not paid to the ladies, we are determined to foment a rebellion, and will not hold ourselves bound by any laws in which we have no voice or representation.” She is an inspiration for women all over the country. Her struggles have proved that being a woman doesn’t make you incapable of being a brave and glorious politician to serve her country. She is my hero because she is strong, brave, smart and determined. These heroic qualities have made her want to serve her country. She also has not let social barriers keep her from being the second woman in the premiership of Bangladesh. She is my hero because she is not afraid to do something different, is not afraid of being judged for her choices, and has been making a difference in the world in which she lives. She can help them create change far beyond our own imagination of scale and impact. She is someone I cherish so much.
HER IDEAS AND EXPERIENCE ARE INTERESTING AND VALUABLE
When you are sitting with her … she makes you feel like your ideas and your experience are interesting and valuable. She emboldens lots of young women who are often at the bottom of the totem poll … to feel confident enough about themselves that they have gone on to be on television or to change governments. If she is ever in a position where she could do something which she would not turn away that she would act. She has made general people feel happy and cheerful. She is a very courageous woman…She is a politician the country has ever produced! She is loyal to her country and knows exactly what it stands for. To me, a hero or a heroine is someone who is respected and does not care what others think. A hero or a heroine is someone who has done things which have made a difference, thinks for themselves, and of course, has a sense of style. The one person who matches every one of these traits is a Bengali of Bangladesh. However, this is not what she has to be remembered for. Sheikh Hasina has to be remembered for being herself. She represents her strong-mindedness and her wise decision-making ability. All these reasons encompass why she is my hero. She has no problem doing what she thought was right, no matter how unpopular the decision was. She is also educated, unlike many other women of her time, so she could make a decision and back it up. She is the very definition of the kind of person I want to be, and for this, she is my hero. Someone once asked me what I regarded as the three most important requirements for happiness. My answer was: “A feeling that you have been honest with yourself and those around you; a feeling that you have done the best you could in your personal life and in your work; and the ability to love others.” She is a remarkable politician in the annuls of present world history. She has used her position in society to do great good for poor people.
HER HUMANITARIAN EFFORTS
She has demonstrated humanitarian efforts in many ways. She has touched many lives and is a hero to many people. She is a role model in public life. She has gone out of her way to help so many people with their problems and needs, even when she had things of her own to deal with. That is why she is a heroine to the world and me. A hero is a word that can take on many meanings, each different with every person. But to me, a hero is someone who has an unbelievable amount of courage and bravery, someone who is not afraid to say what they feel, someone who doesn’t pretend to be something they aren’t, someone who is independent, and does things for the wellbeing of others, but most importantly, my hero must be determined, and dedicated to their goal. Her determination has never died. She is so brave for standing up and fighting for her people’s rights as a woman, especially during a time when women were looked down upon and laughed at for wanting the same rights as men. I am truly inspired by her bravery, courage, and determination. Without a doubt, Sheikh Hasina is my hero in the present world.
RESILIENT PEOPLE OF BANGLADESH
Bangladesh’s people are a resilient people. They have suffered through a lot but they are committed to moving ahead to a future of hope and promise. Across Bangladesh and around the world, we must show that freedom can deliver prosperity and peace. Failure to do so will be more costly than we can contemplate and in our country that failure could be catastrophic. Our children are beginning to smile again with faith in the future. I tell you there is one thing that bores down on us very, very hard and that is a sense of urgency. We have got to deliver fast to be able to keep that hope alive and to have that hope build on a solid foundation for PM Sheikh has been working tirelessly. Her leadership is bringing change and hope to the Bangladesh’s community. The desperately needed economic, social and political development of her resource-limited country is underway and the world is watching and hoping, too.
OUR HERO TO BANGLADESH’S CAUSES
A hero is a person who fights to make a difference in the world, a person who is modest, unselfish, diligent, honest and caring. I thought this person was non-existent, and it would be impossible to have all of these traits in a single being. This is because everyone has ‘another side.’ For example, even Hitler, himself, was loyal to his wife. But, he is most noted for being one of the most evil men to ever live. He had ‘another side,’ an evil one. To me a hero is a person who has ‘other side’ is not apparent, but Sheikh Hasinais a person who I admire most in the present day leadership. She is a person who is very valuable to this society and the world today. She is an exceptional woman, a fighter who has willpower and who has helped the country’s people in many ways. She is a multifaceted woman in every possible sense of the word. Her objectives can best be described in the words of Ms. Farkhonda Hassan, a famed Professor and popular Egyptian television personality and UN Economic Commission for Africa, “The objective now is not to renegotiate our dreams, but to emphasize the accountability of all actors. We are no longer seeking promises, but are demanding action.” Tying it all together is her role as a woman political leader, passionately dedicating all of her various service endeavours to Bangladesh’s causes.
HER FLAWLESSLY POLITICAL ENDEAVORUS
She has been throwing and catching several objects simultaneously in her political pursuits with her political roles and activism and intertwining all her various endeavorus flawlessly. Gender disparities still exist. Such disparities undermine not only women’s capacity to participate in and benefit from development, but also the effectiveness of development as a whole. This is the reason for the PM Hasina’s insistence that illiteracy must be eliminated within a short period of time. She also feels that the general public still doesn’t view women as fully credible within the political spectrum. She has been trying to implement programmes promoting the contributions and capacities of women to help sway the general public away from archaic male-biased ideologies. In everything she does, Hasina is devoted to promoting the advancement of women. She uses her various political pursuits, her political prominence, her Bangladesh’s and international connections, as well as her passionate grass-roots approach — towards supporting female empowerment in public policies, education, science, technology, public service, culture, and within society as a whole.
SHE IS A WOMAN WHO DOES NOT HAND OUT AID
She is a woman who does not hand out aid. She has been creating innovative new ways for women – and men – to lift themselves out of poverty. What is a hero? Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary defines a hero as, “A Myth. Legend. A man (or woman) of great strength or courage…” Whom do you think of? Some might think of Superman or Gandalf. Others would say firefighters or policemen – anyone who risks their life to save someone else. My definition of a hero is someone who, even in the face of opposition, perseveres in the job people have laid out for them, continuing to trust in them. One of the people I most admire is Sheikh Hasina. Throughout all her life, she has done things for other people and not for herself. When I hear the word “hero” I instantly think of the three H’s: someone who is honourable, hardworking, and happy. When I think more about this word I picture someone who has accomplished good things for people and tries to do the right thing. Hasina is one person whom I find to be very heroic. She seems proper and serious, even stern at times, but inside her seemed to be a completely different person; a caring lady who is interested in other peoples’ lives.
HER FAMOUS THINGS, THINGS WORTH HONOURING
She did famous things, things worth honouring. Trialing the war criminals……She really is a true hero. When most people think of heroes, they think of strong, muscular people who save lives. These types of people are usually thought of as men. I believe that you don’t have to be physically strong to be a hero, but you must be emotionally strong. You have to have something inside yourself that can pull you through hard times. Hasina is my hero because she is a hard worker who put all of her effort into helping others and most importantly, she has a good political background. Her positive attitude and strength have helped her accomplish great things for others. She has given them her strength by standing against their difficult times, and by doing so, have made them stronger. This is what makes her my hero and Jane Addams is absolutely right when he says, “The good we secure for ourselves is precarious and uncertain until it is secured for all of us and incorporated into our common life.” To me it seems that to give happiness is a far nobler goal that to attain it: and that what we exist for is much more a matter of relations to others than a matter of individual progress: much more a matter of helping others than of getting ourselves. Jane Addams personifies this quote with the way she has dedicated her life completely to helping her fellow men and women regardless of race, gender or social standing. Her independence and drive to be involved in the world around her stems from her close relationship with her successful political leader and philanthropist father, Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman.
AS A LEADING REFORMIST
As a leading reformist, Hasina’s open-minded approach to politics, well-earned intelligence, and complete disregard for what others thought about her makes her an important figure in bridging the gap between social classes and races. To stand up for what one believes in – to save the world. These are the goals that we imagine the ideal hero striving for. This is what we see come up from our subconscious minds when the word “hero” is uttered…but perhaps, just perhaps, a hero is something more. Someone who would sacrifices all of herself or himself for the good of others for a just cause. Someone who isn’t afraid to be right, even if it means being wrong to achieve their ends. Maybe then, this someone is a true hero. To me, this hero is Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina. There are few people in life, that when you meet them for the first time, you just know you have been blessed by God. Well, Hasina is one of those people. If you ever get the chance to be graced by her presence, consider yourself lucky. I sure do. She is a great woman whose name will remain an inspiration to the people of Bangladesh, while our history endures.
SHE IS A STRONG, DETERMINED WOMAN
Three heroic traits that a hero should possess are being a leader, strong, and devoted. Leadership skill because lacking this skill will keep people from knowing what is expected for them to accomplish. Strong will power would allow the hero to get things done. And lastly the hero needs to be devoted to their cause, while having the mindset of not giving up until something is accomplished. She portrays great leadership, a strong will for what’s right, and a devoted mindset; all of which signifies that she deserves the title of a hero. With a strong-will to get something done, she has proven that hard work pays off. She has been showing she is a strong leader by her good deeds. She is a strong, determined woman who has stopped at nothing to achieve her goal. By being able to accomplish her goal, she has become a major icon for the people’s rights. To say ones strong is one thing but to be able to prove it is another, she is able to prove it.
Telling people to accomplish something without a purpose is one thing, but being able to lead a vast amount of people with a purpose to succeed their goal is a whole other story. She has proven that with great leadership skills, she is able to band together many organisations and people to help support her just causes. Every great battle, event, or movement always has an amazing leader that is meant to lead the group to victory. That’s where she comes into play, she is the people’s leader that sets up everything and organises what everyone is supposed to do to be a part of her on-going development efforts in the country. Without a good leader how will the people know what to do, the whole thing might as well come crumbling down and everyone just give up. But “NO” that is not what the people want. They want a fierce leader that will stand up for what they believe; just like how she has stood up for the people’s welfare. Leaders also need to be able to stand up for them. She believes everyone deserves the right to speak up in anything from politics to society in general.
SHE JUST MIGHT CHANGE OUR LIFE
Anyone who knows Sheikh Hasina will tell you to beware – she just might change your life. She is known as a hero because she always put her country before herself. She loves to help her country out when its people in desperate need of her. She is a very strong hero also because she didn’t become depressed when many close people to her passed away. She is an inspiration to many people in Bangladesh. “My message is that your light is as bright as mine. It’s like sunlight. There’s no difference. You just need to have it lit,” she says. “It’s not about just me. It’s about a lot of people, working together.” She is not a bantam woman, above five feet tall, but she has a larger presence, seeming to fill a room with her positive energy. When talking about her work, she jokes that “This old girl did something good.” But it’s hard to think of her as old. She still scurries up precarious ladders to paint, still enthuses about her development works, her hands waving in the air as she speaks. “I owe everything to my people” she says like her glorious father Bangabandhu. It is a new kind of empowerment. People’s minds are opened to new possibilities and affirmation. “When I see people’s lives transformed for the better, it gives me deep fulfillment,” she says. She further adds, “It makes my life meaningful.”
She encourages all individuals to maintain self-discipline, respecting others right to maintain global peace and harmony. There is so much violence in the name of religion everywhere in the world and she requests to world leaders, religious leaders, and all citizens to take appropriate action to stop incidents of violence. She requests that the youth of the world, actively engage in their studies and community service to bring positive change to their own lives as well as others. Thank you, venerable Apa, for being who you are and for the change you are making in the country. She believes that education is very important to everyone. It is our third eye, the eye of wisdom that will take one very far in life. Personally, quality education is important to girls and women in Bangladesh; because only with quality education will they understand their roles, rights, and responsibilities as good citizens, daughters and wives. Without it, they will not be able to advance in life and will forever live in poverty and be at the mercy of their male family members, be it their fathers, brothers or husbands.
ADMIRATION TO SHEIKH HASINA
I really admire Hasina because she is so determined to overcome the view that men are dominant over women. She is not afraid to step out of a society-made box and voice her opinion. She has stood up for what she believes in. She has been fighting for what she feels is the right thing, and she did not give up if there were obstacles in her way. Some would often harass her at her speeches, but that did not make her quit. She really is an astonishing lady. What she really doing has been mining for gold and the gold is what is in the women: They are enabling them to discover their own value. And that is immeasurable. She says she has so much more to achieve. “I want to make my dreams come true before I leave this world,” she says. She possesses many attributes that help shape her into a heroic figure. She holds a courageous and selfless view on life that has helped many women today, which makes her a hero. She triumphantly marches through life’s many challenges; the multiple threats, the assassination attempts… Selflessness means to worry and care about others more than you, which is exactly what she is now. She strives to set equal rights for both genders, even if she has to face the toughest situations. Hasina states, “In my life, I have tried to respect the rights of others, to appreciate and value the capabilities of women and men, and to encourage these capabilities in other women and men. She always respects rights of others and appreciates their values and capabilities. She encourages others and aids them more than she aids herself. She is altruistic in various types of ways, one of them being that she fights for who and what she believes in, even if it hurts her in the end. She obtains many heroic traits, but being selfless is one of her strongest. She treats others and puts their problems in front of hers. This trait helps frame her into the hero she is today.
Sheikh Hasina is a hero because she courageously has stood up for what she believes in, even if powerful forces are against her. She is a hero because she admits the challenges and faces reality, which takes courage from anyone. She is a true hero because she carries herself with courage, through any situation she is put in. She is a woman full of courage and selflessness, that helps shape her into the heroic character she is today. Women have been taught that, for them, the earth is flat, and that if they venture out, they will fall off the edge. Some of them have ventured out nevertheless, and so far they have not fallen off. It is her faith that she will not. She has ventured out. Instead of falling off the edge, she has found a new opportunity for her people. She is still making a change. If there are no obstacles that stand in her way she could have made an even bigger historical influence.
SHE REALISES THAT CONNECTEDNESS MATTERS FOR SOCIAL CHANGE
“When people are educated, when they have the information they need, when they have human rights and they know their rights…when they are working together…I think we will see a huge change in the world”, she says in confidence. She means “breakthrough” in one language–like the hatching of an egg–and peck by peck is how Hasina seems to work so well. She realises that connectedness matters for social change as well. She sees that large changes rarely widen from isolation. It is fine for a single village to make a small change, but it takes many villages acting together to make a big change. And for people in Bangladesh, that is a huge, huge change in the world. She is a hero because she has spent almost her whole life improving the lives of others. When she was younger, a man said, “We, whose hearts have been touched by grace, we must not eat our bread alone.” and that changed her view on life. She also wanted to fight for the women who didn’t know how to voice their concerns, had too many responsibilities, and who were overworked. She believes that “no nation could ever rise higher than its women, and that women, freed, organised, and made efficient could abolish the harms of drug addictions, child labour, slum conditions, hunger, and “lead the nation to a better life.”
ACCOMPLISHING HER GOALS AND CHANGING THE LIVES OF HER PEOPLE
She is recognised in her field for accomplishing her goals and changing the lives of Bangladesh’s people. She should be remembered because she has followed her dreams, achieved her goals, and changed the lives of her people. She has taught many others to follow their dreams, accomplish their goals, and never give up. She is an amazing person and achieved her dreams. Reuters has reported, “Women have proven to be a powerful force in the fight against global hunger and poverty, especially in agriculture. Women farmers face a variety of obstacles, including a lack of access to information technology, agricultural training, financial services, and support networks like co-operatives or trade unions. Without these services, women cannot develop resilience to political, economic, social, or environmental upheaval, and they remain dependent on their male family members. The good news is that women worldwide are developing and utilising agricultural innovations to sustainably nourish their families and communities. There are many innovations that are helping women get access to credit, improve their incomes, feed their families, introduce sustainable crops to markets, and reduce rural poverty.” In today’s world, this is quite amazing. No one does anything for free. She is indeed a very special woman who cares for others dearly. Wise far beyond her years, she has since devoted herself passionately to a number of important humanitarian and social causes near to her heart, as well as to her life as a wife and mother of two.
SHE BELIEVES IN THE FUTURE WELFARE OF BANGLADESH
She believes that the future welfare of Bangladesh is in great part also dependent on the economic development and success of its citizens, and likewise, they are also working to improve economic conditions for the less fortunate. Her works have not gone unnoticed by the world either. In fact, she has received a number of awards and commendations for her works. She merges the roles of wife, mother, philanthropist, activist, and of course, she, seamlessly, with all facets of her life given equal dedication. As a crusader for the rights of women and children, an advocate of advancements in education, technology and healthcare, a promoter of entrepreneurship and microfinance, and a forerunner in the battle to eradicate poverty and to bridge educational and other divides, it is clear why so many consider Sheikh Hasina to be a role model, not only for people in the South Asian world, but for people everywhere. She is incredibly passionate about her work, which is what I think inspires many people to get involved and support her work. And it’s clear the people who go through her work love her, too – they flock to her like a den mother! She is a great woman, who will for be remembered for helping others. When someone thinks of a hero they usually think of someone that wears a mask, a cape or has superpowers, but I think a hero is someone who pushes you to be the best you can be, or to do what you want to do without caring about who you are, what you do, or how old you are. My hero is Sheikh Hasina.
MY ADMIRATION TO HER
I admire her. She shows us that we just need the determination and desire of living life to the fullest to take the first step and start a new life. There are basically two types of people. People who accomplish things and people who claim to have accomplished things. The first group is less crowded. My hero definitely falls under the first group; she is someone who has dedicated her life to making the Bangladesh world a better place one step at a time. She was born into a family who had a passion for making the world a better place. As she says us these stories her face would light up with a passion, a passion to make a difference and to stop all the wrong in the world. It is the fact that she would never think herself higher than anyone, even though she has every right to. Her heart is always set on her goal, and she never lets her heart sway in the direction of fame and fortune. She has made such an impact on our lives and I am happy to say that I understand her.
“I am only one, but still I am one. I cannot do everything, but still I can do something; and because I cannot do everything I will not refuse to do the something that I can do.” This quote from Edward Everett Hale, I hope, really inspires Hasina! Alone she cannot change the world. But just because she can’t change the whole world doesn’t mean that she can’t make a difference in her own way, no matter how small! She has become my role model! I am ever grateful to her for the difference she has made in our lives and the way she has inspired us and continues to inspire us every day. She has inspired people to make a difference in whatever way they can. To be the change she wants, to be kind to everyone, and to always be ready with a hug, but most of all she has taught us to light up every day with a smile! One asked her if she could say one thing to the whole world what would it be and she responded with this quotes: “Your silence cannot protect you; my silence did not protect me.” She never backed down from a challenge. I admire her perseverance; she always has kept her head up during the hardest times. I look up to her because she has the strength to never give up hope.
HER INTELLECTUAL TOUGHNESS
Her intellectual toughness can be summed up by saying, “She would stand up for herself and not be intimidated by anyone.” She can be described her as a “warm, extraordinarily kind and caring person.” A senior citizen of the country has remarked, “She has an amazing story, but she’s also just an amazing person.” He also added that she has the ability to get to know all of the people around her. She really has gone out of her way to get to know everyone and is well loved by everyone,” which truly shows the kind of person Sheikh Hasina is. Her humility is another great trademark of hers. She mentions, “I stand on the shoulders of countless people, yet there is one extraordinary person who is my life aspiration – that persons are my parents.” She has demonstrated that as long as you put your mind to something, you can do it! She is a perfect role model and a prime example that anything is possible. She is a great representative of Bangladesh’s people and for that we consider her our hero!
THAT IS WHAT A HERO IS ALL ABOUT
Heroes are people who often go against what is expected of them. They fight for what is right, even if they are persecuted and silenced. It takes great inner strength to become someone in a world where you are oppressed and looked down upon by those who hate you or envy you. To rise above this is to go beyond what is expected of you. To overcome the obstacles that are put in your way to victory is to triumph. That is what a hero is. PM Hasina is one of them. She has made a deep impact in the world, by being a female politician in a world where most women live a life of servitude and silence. She has broken this silence that was expected of her and made a yell that rocked a nation. When she was told to be quiet, she would not back down. She has defended her right to knowledge and she has made sure that her ideas are made known to everyone. That is what a hero is all about.
Even though she was threatened, she managed to break the silence that women had been forced to keep. She fought to protect her rights and when silenced, she fought back, with even greater strength than before. In a world that was entirely against her, she made her voice known and through her actions, she dealt a powerful blow to a male dominated world. It is through her that women know that they too can be heard. She is a great person that hopefully everyone will remember. She is the woman that is engaged in daily activities that improve millions of people’s lives. She says, “We can ignite a lot more change together than we can apart.” She goes on to say: “I believe that by engaging people to talk about connectedness in their own lives and in the world, the ripple effect of these conversations will have far reaching impact for good that will create lasting change.”
AS A WOMAN SHEIKH HASINA, AS A LIVING HERO
As a woman Sheikh Hasina, as a living hero is so amazing because she has clarity and humour and a directness that has represented people and equality in the best terms. She delivers what she says with laughter but it is very clear. She is courage. She is a hero. I am so glad we have her in this world right now. I have a list of heroes I am always adding to. Men heroes, women heroes, couples, comedians, artists! I love looking at them and thinking about what I admire about them. If you have the attention of the world for 5 minutes what would you do or say? I think everyone has their own hero. Some people adore Kartini for her struggle in education, some might adore Cut NyakDien for her braveness, or perhaps some might adore Martha Tillaar for her creative innovative talent in beauty world. However, I choose PM Sheikh Hasina as my hero.
HER WORDS SHOW NOT ONLY ABOUT LOVE BUT ALSO THE PORTRAYAL OF SOCIAL AND FRIENDSHIP
Her words show not only about love but also the portrayal of social and friendship. Therefore, I adore Sheikh Hasina for several reasons. I adore her because she is a woman who has inspired so many people through her beautiful and everlasting hard works for her people. She is not only a politician, but also a composer of politics. She is inspired to create songs of loving people every day. She has made lots of improvement of the lives of our people with her deepest empathy and sympathy. Those works have talked about people who are always forgotten and cornered by their environment. She has picked up some inspiring themes in her politics. Those themes are translated into many different accomplishments. She has started from the sadness point of human’s life, for example: the brutal death of her parents or beloved people and the other life stories.
She is a hero because she strives for the weak people. She always struggles for good causes as she has struggled with her own challenges in life. She always defends those on the weaker side without taking personal advantage. She has strived to help people and their difficult situation. I think she has been a great Banladesh’s woman who portrays inspiration, independent, and women’s struggle. So I think she deserves to be everybody’s hero. We can learn a lot from her. Furthermore, there should be more women like her, to do and to continue what she has done. I think that it is a great advantage when Bangladesh’s women want to take a look on what she has done for us. So in the future there will be more women who want to carry out lots of ideas, inspirations and braveness. She is a positive female role model. She considers her life perfect. She has a loving family, supportive friends, and a wonderful place to live. She has a view of the ocean when she wakes up in the morning. To me, she is a hero because she is very brave and kept a positive attitude through her whole experience. She is a good role model because she is able to make the best of her time in the country and she is now very involved in her hard work to improve the lot of her people. She is able to get over this obstacle in life positively, and that is why, she is strong, inspiring female figure and can be a hero to many.
Prime Minister “Sheikh Hasina” (L) and Former Prime Minister “Khaleda Zia
WHAT SHE HAS BEEN DOING IS SAVING HER PEOPLE
She knows despite all the work, sleepless nights, and heartbreak, what she has been doing is, in a small way, saving the people of Bangladesh at a time. “It was never easy to give so much to so many children while giving my own family the love they deserve,” she says. “But I have never considered quitting. I have found the strength in my heart to keep going because I know I am giving these children something many of them had never had: unconditional love. I know most would not remember me, but I also know many would carry the imprint of that love with them. It is like giving a tiny piece of me to each child to carry into their lives. Giving to them gives me the strength to keep going.” She has demonstrated that a belief in oneself gives us the strength to accomplish a great deal. She is a pioneer in many things we think about today. In truth, she is a woman who lives a century before her time. The lessons she has taught — to question, to be honest, to believe in your power, to value your mind and body, to fight for what is right — are all lessons for today. “That’s the course. If you’re not on the blue line, you’re not doing the course. People run away from their difficulties. This is my life,” she says. “I have a right to be here and face whatever comes my way. If I give up once, then I will have lost something very special.”
SHE IS A LIVING PROOF THAT IT’S NOT WHERE ONE STARTS
That outpouring of love and support is enough for Sheikh Hasina, but it’s not enough for others who admire her. In the process of her political odyssey, she has become a spokeswoman and hero, though is not what she has intended. Sheikh Hasina personifies the unstoppable spirit. She has written her noble politics, the winning spirit; life lessons learned in last place and speak to people, sharing her story of achievement in the face of obstacles. But for Hasina, the true reward is how her efforts have inspired so many others. “Over the years I have become a symbol of endurance for people,” she says. “I get supports all year long. I carry them with me when I run. What I do is a metaphor for life, just like the marathon itself. It means you can get somewhere by putting one foot after another.” She is living proof that it’s not where you start that counts. It is where you finish.
HER MOTIVATION AND DIRECTION TO ACHIEVE LARGER GOALS
Whether they led a country, history’s best leaders understood the importance of providing the motivation and direction to achieve larger goals. Poor leaders lose the faith and trust of the people they lead, while great leaders seem to lead without effort. The character, actions and thoughts of a leader, good or bad, permeate an organisation. Your goal should be to demonstrate the best qualities of a leader while encouraging the same from those who follow you. A political leader, or a politician, can be anyone who has taken up the responsibility of governing a tribe, city, state, region or even an entire nation. History has given us a plethora of political leaders, both good and bad, who have dedicated their lives to the betterment of their countries and the people living in the country. Political leaders are not just people who govern nations during peace times but also during times of crisis. They are people who are responsible for making and implementing strategies and policies meant to better serve the interests of the country they govern. These leaders are chosen through various processes, some examples of which would be through elections, in a democratic nation, and through lineage or birthright, in case of a monarchy, or even dictatorships wherein one individual declares herself/ himself the head of state. A look at the political leader’s hall of fame would reveal names like Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, Abraham Lincoln, Mahatma Gandhi, Winston Churchill…
SHE IS A FAMOUS NAME OF BANGLADESH’S POLITICAL HISTORY
Sheikh Hasina is one of the most famous names of Bangladesh’s political history, who is remembered by the masses of today. This great leader has risen to the ranks of becoming the prime minister of her country and has been serving in this position for a period of fourteen years. Her life is an excellent example of leadership which inspires people throughout the world. It is time for her to drag Bangladesh and its people and leaders into a new nation that reinvents itself, rediscovers its lost moral values, and gingered into the new global order. The future beckons us to fight for the restoration of the dreams of our forefathers, who fought for the emancipation of the state. We must, however, not forget in our haste for change, that overhauling status quo is often fraught with obstacles. Whatever happens, the first step is the search for, and enthronement of a leadership that can craft and implement a vision to replace the old and obsolete ideas that has seen us navigating the tortuous journey out of underdevelopment, only to relapse into poverty and despair. The incursion of corruption into every facet of our nation has destroyed the very foundation of our society, drained the life out of the generality of the people, undermined all attempts at genuine reform and negated every positive action.
HER INDEPENDENT SPIRITNESS
Propelled by mediocre leadership and selfish antecedents, the exploitation of our society has ensured that we cannot even make informed decisions that are of national benefit, even though this is doing extreme damage to our collective national image and psyche. Instead, all the assistance that have accrued to us, are a balance of trade deficit, bigger debt profiles and the depletion of all our natural assets by dubious ‘friends’, who line the pockets of our leaders and then force us to buy the refined end-products of our very own resources, at higher prices. They even dictate the terms of our contracts with them and we appear absolutely helpless, but in case of PM Hasina’s leadership, it has no place.
AN ALTERNATE ROUTE FOR OUR SALVATION HAS COME UNDER HER LEADERSHIP
The characteristics of our national ethics, which have seen the enthronement of mediocrity and the reign of impunity as well as the installation of graft, as a ‘god’, have continued to further tighten the noose, as we have set ashore into the realm of a state of development under the able and dynamic leadership of Sheikh Hasina. Our socio-political boil, encapsulated in the unnecessary constitutional crisis on our hands, right in the midst of the killing field of a more serious militant epidemic, among others, needs urgent lancing. Just as the economic strangulation by foreign prowlers, has shown how the state of our current governance and national life, is a dung-heap whose stench lures the most amoral of political creatures. After years of witnessing the faces of the anti-liberation forces gradually robbed of our smiles, devoid of their voices and their willpower; deprived of the zeal and determination that made us a resilient lot in the past, I simply believe that the hour and the moment for us to take a strong look at ourselves and look at alternate route for our salvation has come under her leadership.
Amid the sullenness of the generality of the people, it has become imperative and essential for all stakeholders to take stock of our pathetic past, identify the errors of our ways so far and endeavour to chart a new workable formula that will take cognisance of our available natural and human resources, for socio-political and economic development. Without a shadow of doubt, several detrimental landmarks that have and are blotting our existence, indicate that the opportunity for a political revival has come and we need to seize it with both hands. A cursory look at the lot of the generality of the people shows that they have been fed the wrong diet – hopelessness and despair, for too long. Agenda for change and prosperity – yet the hunger in our land has not been satiated, despite platitudes about agricultural revolution and such mumbo-jumbos. And still, despite the mind-boggling revenue that swells their own coffers, there is nothing natural about the son of the soil in our land, whose crude state of existence in an unnatural environment, is contrary to the platitude of poverty eradication.
Our youths and those who cannot join the cult of those in power are finding it difficult to rise up and take the mantle of leadership, despite being called the leaders of a tomorrow that we are already killing today. It is getting to the stage where a once proud people, hardly know what exactly is true democracy and good governance or political decorum. With lack of transparency and increasing corruption in practically every facet of our existence, we have been forced by man-made problems to accept depravity as a way of life .Greedy, self-seeking men, who promised to enhance the status of the desperately hungry, as long as their own status is substantially enhanced, ruled the roost, committing all sorts of dastardly acts in a flurry of activities that emits heat without fire, motion without movement. While the masses whisper hope, in the very hope that they deserve some succour, they are deafened by the sirens of evil spirits-who-can-do-no-wrong and political leaders who haven’t delivered the promises they made. It is time for us to be serious and let go of these charlatans and never-do-well bunch of politicians. In a nation once full to bursting with gifted, imaginative, creative, skillful, astonishingly brilliant political class, we have ended up with not a single discernible legacy of our proud and awesome heritage. Pale shadows of what the old Athens of Africa used to churn out, is all that we have.
SHEIKH HASINA, THE ARMOUR OF ENLIGHTENMENT
The wholesale failure of governance to improve the lot of the majority of Bangladesh’s people exposes the damage to our political leadership, which is so poisoned by the image of corruption, that the benchmark symbols and tokens of democracy that they deliver to the people undermine the very credibility of those in government. Similarly, their haphazard and distorted delivery, aim a torpedo at whatever integrity they claim to possess. Unfortunately for us, our political and economic set up have always given the advantage and opportunities to individuals within a cabal, who wield enormous power and then rotate it among themselves, without any checks and balances. Mortals in suits made from the same cloth of sorrow. It is a great shame that the dearth of leaders of tomorrow and today is one reason why those who come into reckoning, are either those who don’t know what goes on in the real world of our existence, or those whose only hope of wrestling power is to be part and parcel of the same rot that we are trying to reform. We, therefore, need to establish and entrench the right culture and ethos in our society, and redefine our attitude and perception as well as the mind-set of the electorate and those who seek or attain power. History is inviting and challenging us to re-examine ourselves; to discover our true individuality and awesome natural powers; and to wear the armour of enlightenment and get into battle for freedom… under the great leadership of Sheikh Hasina.
We have to silence the smoking gun of man’s inhumanity to man; of the yoke of man-made oppression, repression, discrimination, subjugation, humiliation, and near annihilation. What Bangladesh needs at this time in its existence, is a new and fresh leadership like Hasina. But it is also high time we gave the chance to bright, young and intellectually, change-inclined personalities, who would be willing to see divergent views as part and parcel of our democracy. We need minds that will see the need for strife towards genuine societal transformation as a huge responsibility and enormous challenge. Minds, whose leadership will galvanise each and every one of us to play a part in salvaging the nation from political and socio-economic decay. I am thinking of minds that will bring form and sequence to our jumbled jungle and show strong leadership and good governance by example; minds that will not let extraneous issues derail the needed climb, out of our bottomless pit. Right now, the country cries out for those whose heart bleed for its current state, to arise and answer the battle call for true change and a clean sweep of its cupboard that is full of characters from the realm of debauchery. This is our last hope, our last card to survival and progress as a nation. We are in the last chance saloon. If you believe, do not give up. Every little contribution to social awareness makes a world of difference. It is the heavy responsibility for Sheikh Hasina to build up such leadership during her precious time.
2018 is nearer than we think. Relics of the present rotten system are already strategizing. Luckily for us, the current groundswell of frustration provides a refreshing reassurance that the totality of our minds has not become ensnared in a lethargic spell that restrains us from rational judgment, in the search for the Holy Grail of democratic sanity. That is part of the change we are talking about. It is not a change from imperfection to perfection. It is a change from hopelessness and cluelessness to some hope and to some expectations. This is our wish! PM Hasina is our true dream in this quest.
SHE IS THE MODERN DAY JOAN OF ARC AND AN IDOL OF THE MASSES
Vandalism was rampant all over the country from 2013, 2014 and early 2015…….Following the terrible events that took place in Bangladesh, and that are foreshadowing a bloodier and more devastative tragedy, we ask our readers to put into practice the request of Sheikh Hasina: Pray to avoid devastation. Because of her tireless work for her people to improve their lot, many international observers have also hailed her as the modern day Joan of Arc. She may be called the “Idol of the Masses.”
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has called for taking up integrated and multidimensional steps to ensure better water management of common rivers and to conserve environment of river basins. She has made the call in a message marking the “Dhaka Water Conference 2017.” Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has said human resources of the country is the best asset, if we can build them up with proper education and training. She added, “Many people consider our human resources as a burden. But there is nothing to be worried about increasing population as it would be our best asset, if we can build them up through proper education and training” while she was inaugurating an international conference on ‘Skill for the Future World of Work’ and TVET for Global Competitiveness’ at Osmani Memorial auditorium in the capital.
The District Commissioners (DCs), the most powerful field level administrators in the country, have received loads of directives from Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina regarding what’s need to be done and what they can do to get Bangladesh moving towards its cherished goals of development and rid the country from menaces like corruption, militancy and drugs. She has disclosed while inaugurating the Dhaka Water Summit-2017, “All canals in Dhaka would be re-excavated for preserving surface water and ensuring better water management.” Her goal is to achieve safe water for all by 2030. In a conference of the Diploma Engineers, PM stressed, “No compromise on quality of work as they are the main force of the country’s sustained development, no matter… this is my request to you.” The country has made a record in human development, made significant economic progress; it is one of fastest growing economies globally. It is self-reliant in agriculture due to advancement made in areas of agriculture, its track record of research on … mitigating climate change risk is impressive.
BANGLADESH IS TRULY A LAND OF POTENTIALS
Bangladesh is truly a land of potentials. Our development narrative speaks for itself. We have proved the doomsayers wrong — and this is through our resilience, our determination, and our innovative and indomitable spirit. Bangladesh is now showcased as a development role model. We saw how Japan was rebuilt within a short span of time after World War II to emerge as an economic superpower. Our aspirations and determination to emerge as an economic powerhouse are no less. In our development journey, we would like to join hands with the rest of the region and world to transform the lives of our people for a better world; for a better planet; and a peaceful and prosperous world order. Sheikh Hasina’s demons are within: graft, terrorism and corruption. Like Gandhi, she has also paid her pound of flesh in serving her country. Throughout her premierships, she has also proven a remarkably effective and un-dogmatic leader. In fact, she has been working indefatigably to come out of those something immaterial that stands in the way and must be circumvented or surmounted.
The then Jatiya Sangsad Chief Whip Abul Hasnat Abdullah signing the Chittagong Hill Tracts (CHT) Peace Accord on behalf of the Bangladesh government while Jotindra Bodhipriyo Larma (Santu Larma) on behalf of PCJSS on December 2, 1997 as Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina looks on. FILE PHOTO
THE ROHINGYA ISSUE
In the UN, she categorically has said, “We do not want war. We want peace. We want people’s wellbeing – not destruction of humanity. We want sustainable development. Let this be our collective goal.” “We are currently sheltering over 800,000 forcibly displaced Rohingyas from Myanmar. The ongoing atrocities and human rights violations in the Rakhine State of Myanmar once again aggravated the situation at the Bangladesh-Myanmar Border,” the prime minister said. She has further made a clarion call to the UN General Assembly, “These people must be able to return to their homeland in safety, security and dignity,” Hasina told “I have come here just after seeing the hungry, distressed and hopeless Rohingyas from Myanmar who took shelter in Cox’s Bazar. This forcibly displaced people of Myanmar are fleeing an ‘ethnic cleansing’ in their own country where they have been living for centuries. Hasina proposes the following actions on Rohingya crisis:
- Myanmar must unconditionally stop the violence and the practice of ethnic cleansing in the Rakhine State immediately and forever.
- UN Secretery General should immediately send a fact-finding Mission to Myanmar.
- All civilians irrespective of religion and ethnicity must be protected in Myanmar. For that “safe zones” could be created inside Myanmar under UN supervision.
- Ensure sustainable return of all forcibly displaced Rohingyas in Bangladesh to their homes in Myanmar.
- The recommendations of Kofi Annan Commission Report must be immediately implemented unconditionally and in its entirety.
Bangladesh’s Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina told the UN General Assembly and proposed creating UN-supervised safe zones inside Myanmar to protect Rohingya Muslims who are fleeing a military crackdown to seek refuge in her country. These people must be able to return to their homeland in safety, security and dignity. The UN says more than 420,000 Rohingya have fled for safety to Bangladesh in the face of an army campaign in northern Rakhine state of Myanmar.
SHE DESERVES NOBEL PEACE PRIZE
The world’s renowned thinkers and educators have proposed the Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina to be awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for the unique example of humanity and peace in the Rohingya issue. It is known that Sheikh Hasina’s name has appeared in the short list of the Nobel Peace Prize for the year 2017. When Sheikh Hasina unanimously accepted the United Nations’ philosophy of ‘people’s empowerment’ philosophy of world peace, her name is being considered for the Nobel Peace Prize. Besides that, Sheikh Hasina was awarded the Indira Gandhi Padak, which was recognized as Asia’s Nobel in 2009. She has also been awarded numerous national and international awards Her ‘people’s empowerment’ has been praised all over the world for establishing world peace. As we see Hasina’s name is now to the list of 10 people the Nobel Peace Prize for the year 2017, people of Bangladesh now hope Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina is to be glorified with the Nobel Peace Prize for her outstanding contribution to peace both at home and abroad. Salute to Bangladesh’s hero. She is not a woman but a world. She is a symbol of confidence. She is a woman who acts on her words. Let woman like her lead her beloved country, Bangladesh.
LONG LIVE SHEIKH HASINA
Joy Bangla. Joy Bangabandhu. Joy Sheikh Hasina on her 71st Birthday. Long live Sheikh Hasina in good health and in good spirits to serve the nation of Bangladesh.
-The End –
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Source URL: Sri Lanka Guardian