Today (Sunday) is the homecoming day of Sheikh Hasina
On this day (May 17) of 1981 Awami league president and the present Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina had returned to the country after a long exile ignoring the fierce regime of Military dictator president Ziaur Rahman.
This year, the day will be observed without any elaborate public program in view of the current COVID-19 situation.
Boarding on an aircraft of the Indian Airlines, Sheikh Hasina reached the then Kurmitola Airport here from the Indian capital of New Delhi via Kolkata at 4.30pm on that day. The afternoon was cloudy and it was drizzling since morning.
Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman was brutally killed along with most of his family members on August 15 in 1975 and his two daughters – Sheikh Hasina and Sheikh Rehana – luckily escaped the brutal assassination as they stayed abroad.
In a national council session of the Awami League on February 14, 15 and 16 in 1981, Sheikh Hasina was elected as party president in her absence and then she returned to the country on May 17. A high powered team of Awami League had gone to Delhi to bring back Sheikh Hasina to take the rein of the party as it became virtually disarray in any strong leadership after the death of Bangabandhu.
I have returned to the country not to become a leader of the Awami League, rather to participate in the struggle for freedom by staying beside the people, said the AL president in a heart touching tumultuous reception accorded by nearly 15 lakh people at the airport at that time.
She added, I want to stay beside you as your sister, as your daughter, and as a worker of Awami League, who believes in the ideals of Bangabandhu.
On the occasion of Sheikh Hasina’s home coming day, various organizations, including the Awami League, generally observe detailed program every year throughout the country, but this year, no formal program will be observed due to the novel coronavirus situation.
Highlighting Sheikh Hasina’s home coming day as an important event in the history of the nation, ruling AL presidium member Mohammad Nasim said, Sheikh Hasina’s return home as a politician on May 17 in 1981 had paved the way for establishing the values of independence and democracy.
After the brutal assassination on August 15 in 1975, the country’s democracy was jeopardized and values of independence also ravaged, he added.
Sheikh Hasina's uninterrupted long struggle began with her return to her historic homeland. For 16 long years, his fearless struggle against the military junta and dictatorship continued.
Like Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, Bangabandhu's daughter Sheikh Hasina has always taken multi-dimensional initiatives for the welfare of the soil and people of this country. Her deepest love and everlasting love for the soil and people of Bangladesh is his political strength. Even in the midst of the global pandemic, the daughter of Bangabandhu Sheikh Hasina is working selflessly to ensure the protection of the lives and livelihoods of the people.
She called upon the people to abide by the 31-point guidelines as the guardians of the nation to ensure the health and safety of the people and to make the people aware. It has taken steps to implement incentive packages to sustain people's livelihoods, health protection, food and nutrition security and economic viability which is 3.8 percent of GDP.
She has provided extensive food aid to prevent anyone from eating during the crisis. Cash assistance is being provided to 50 lakh families through mobile banking.
It may be mentioned that on 23 June 1996, Sheikh Hasina was sworn in as the Prime Minister for the first time and served for 5 years. She then served for two terms from 2008 to 2019. She was also elected Prime Minister in the Eleventh Parliamentary Election on 30 December 2018.
There is no precedent in Bangladesh for being the Prime Minister for 3 times in a row and being the Prime Minister for 4 times.