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Awami League: 69 years of journey

Bangladesh Live News | @banglalivenews | 14 Aug 2018

Awami League: 69 years of journey
On June 23, 2018 the Awami League celebrated its 69th anniversary. The party was initially named Awami Muslim League. Subsequently, it was renamed Awami League by dropping ‘Muslim’ from it in 1955, thus initiating the journey of secular politics in the country.

Ever since its formation in 1949, the party has remained the most credible vanguard of secular politics in Bangladesh. The party despite all its inadequacies and shortcomings has contributed to making Bangladesh a relatively liberal Muslim majority State with reasonably acceptable democratic credentials.

 

For the most part of independent history of Bangladesh the Awami League has faced violent challenges from the so-called Islamic nationalist and pro-Pak forces. These forces are broadly represented by Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP) and Jamaat-e-Islami. These groups have always found religion as a convenient tool and hence they advocate a strong Islamic nationalist identity for the country and paint India in a negative light to generate a sense of psychological insecurity among the people.

 

Awami League commands the widest support base in the country, even though in the major power structures of the State like the armed forces, media and business, its penetration has so far remained limited. Legacy of Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahaman confers a unique symbolic identity to the party which is credited with the very creation of Bangladesh and laying of foundation for the Bengali nationalism.

 

Awami League came to power for the second time in 2009 with an unprecedented majority in what has been described by the international community as the fairest election in the history of Bangladesh. During this election, Awami League focused on development related issues and promised to curb terrorism in its election manifesto, which has been captioned ‘Charter for Change’.

 

When the Awami League President Sheikh Hasina took over the Prime Ministership of Bangladesh for the second time in 2009, she pledged to root out terrorism from Bangladesh, and try the 1971 war criminals who had colluded with the Pakistani occupying army and committed crimes against humanity.

 

Sheikh Hasina has honoured her pledge, but the forces of fundamentalism and terrorism had taken roots so deep, that to get any tangible result will take more time as Hasina and her government are highly constrained. In 2014 the Awami League won the election once more and it continued its development strides towards achieving a poverty and hunger-free Bangladesh by 2021 and becoming ‘Switzerland of the East’ of Hasina’s imagination by 2041.

 

While the immediate object of the Awami League seems to be consolidating political gains for the party, Sheikh Hasina has all along been conscious of the need to provide good and transparent governance. She is well aware that corruption and failure to address aspirations of the masses could force her party in to the same plight as that of the BNP.

 

Forty seven years ago the nation had the dream of freedom. The Awami League was the party to lead the nation to freedom. Now the nation had another dream – seeing Bangladesh as a developed country. It is once again Awami League that is leading the nation towards this goal. It is the party’s vision for better economy that the national GDP rose to 7.65%, per capita income soared to $ 1610 and poverty dropped by its half to 22%. From July 2017 to May 2018 the expatriates sent back $ 13.57 billion by remittance.

 

Awami League’s promise was ‘Digital Bangladesh’. The government led by the party is tirelessly working to achieve this goal and ensure every citizen’s access to Information Technology. Forty seven years in to the liberation, the Awami Leage-led government set up the International Crimes Tribunal to bring the war criminals of 1971 to justice. Six of the convicted war criminals have already been hanged following a due process of law.

 

The only political party in the world that fought for a nation’s language, freedom and flag is Awami League. The party was the symbol of hope in 1971 when it led the nation to freedom. In its long years of journey the party had been on the forefront of all struggles, including the Language Movement of 1952, that eventually led to the liberation war and emergence of Bangladesh in 1971. At present, quite a few decades in to the liberation, the Awami League is still the strongest advocate of democracy, secularism and humanity in the country.




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