Awami League steps in 72 years today

Shahjahan Molla, Senior Correspondent,, Dhaka
Photo: Collected

Photo: Collected

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June 23, the 71st founding anniversary of the Bangladesh Awami League. The party was born on this day in 1949 in the historical Rose Garden of Old Dhaka. This party, which led the war of liberation, has become an organization of the masses by leading every democratic, political and social movement in Bangladesh at different times.

Through this, the Bangladesh Awami League crossed the 71-year path of glory and tradition and entered 72 years.

The Awami League formed the government for the first time after the independence of Bangladesh under the leadership of Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman. After assassination of Bangabandhu and his family on 15 August 1975, Sheikh Hasina returned to the country in 1981 and took the helm of the party. Under the leadership of Bangabandhu's daughter Sheikh Hasina, the Awami League embarked on a new struggle to restore the spirit of the war of liberation and the lost democratic rights of the Bengali nation. At present, the party is in charge of running the government for the third consecutive terms under the leadership of Sheikh Hasina.

After election debacle of 2001 Awami League won three-fourths of the seats in the December 29, 2008 elections and regained the responsibility of running the state. The party has been running the government for three consecutive terms in the history of Bangladesh after winning the general elections on January 5, 2014 and December 30, 2016.

The Bangladesh Awami League is the largest and oldest political organization in the country. After the end of British rule in 1947 and the establishment of Pakistan, the Awami League was established on 23 June 1949 under the leadership of political legends Hussain Shaheed Suhrawardy, Maulana Abdul Hamid Khan Bhasani, Shamsul Haque and Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman. At the time of its birth, the name of this party was 'East Pakistan Awami Muslim League'. From its inception, the Awami League has laid the foundation for secular politics, Bengali nationalism, democratic culture, the ideal of building a society of equality free from exploitation and the political-economic-social and cultural philosophy of building a prosperous, modern, progressive society and state system. In view of this, the East Pakistan Awami League was renamed as a non-communal political party by adopting a secular policy in the 1955 council.

The rise of independent Bangladesh and the history of Bangladesh Awami League are intertwined. The language movement started in 1948 to make Bengali one of the state languages of Pakistan turned into a mass uprising in 1952. Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, a young militant leader who was the victim of continued political persecution, played an important role in the language movement even while he was in jail. Against the backdrop of the victory of the language movement, the Awami League-led Jukta Front won the provincial assembly elections in 1954. The Muslim League collapsed in this election. The Awami League government ensured a free democratic environment in East Bengal.

At the initiative of the Awami League, the mother tongue Bengali gained the official state status of one of the state languages. Ekushey February was declared the national holiday 'Martyr's Day'. The construction work of the central Shaheed Minar was completed on the initiative of the Awami League government.

After formation of government of Jukta Front, leaving the ministry, Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, the leader of the people, took over as the general secretary of the East Pakistan Awami League and devoted himself to building party organizations at the grassroots level. Then a decade of anti-dictatorship movement of Ayub government, education movement of 1962 and 1964, historic 6-point movement of 1966, Agartala conspiracy case of '66, mass uprising of '69, 6-point based '70 - the historic victory in its election, Bangabandhu's speech of March 7, 1971, 'This time the struggle is for our liberation, this time the struggle is for freedom' and the subsequent non-cooperation movement against the Pakistani rulers continued.

After the most brutal genocide in history by the Pakistani army on the night of March 25, 1971, with the declaration of independence of Bangladesh by Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman on March 26, the Awami League-led Bengali nation plunged into armed struggle for the establishment of an independent nation-state. Finally, in a bloody war of 9 months, independent sovereign Bangladesh emerged in exchange for the blood of 30 lakh martyrs and the chastity of 2 lakh mothers and sisters.

But just three and a half years after independence, just when war-torn Bangladesh was dedicated to the struggle for economic liberation, the anti-independence clique assassinated the Father of the Nation and his family on 15 August 1975 with the help of international forces.

On 17 May 1981, Sheikh Hasina returned to the country as the President of Bangladesh Awami League and took the rein of the party. Under the leadership of Bangabandhu's daughter Sheikh Hasina, the Bangladesh Awami League embarked on a new struggle to restore the spirit of the Liberation War and the lost democratic rights of the Bengali nation. In the course of long movement and struggle, the Bengali nation got back the 'right to food and vote' in exchange for many sacrifices and blood.

The party has formed the government three times so far under the leadership of Bangabandhu's daughter. At present, the party is in charge of running the country by forming the government for the third consecutive term.

The Awami League has continued its struggle for the democratic rights and economic emancipation of the people of the country in the course of seven decades of struggle. Continuing the success achieved by the Awami League, the people of Bengal believe that Bangladesh is moving ahead with the goal of standing tall in the world forum as a developed country ahead of schedule.

Along with the people, Bangladesh Awami League has taken various programs to observe the day with due dignity like every year.

In a message Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina said the Awami League has a role to play in every great and auspicious achievement of the Bengali nation. Today, under the leadership of the Awami League government, we stand tall in the world as a self-respecting country.

Mentioning that his government will continue to cooperate in overcoming the crisis and stand by the people as an Awami League party, she said Bangladesh Awami League will continue to work with the people to establish the hunger-poverty-free, happy-prosperous, developed and modern golden Bangladesh of the father of the nation's dream.

Awami League General Secretary Obaidul Quader said due to coronavirus outbreak on 23 June, the glorious 71st founding anniversary of the founding of the Awami League, the national and party flags will be hoisted in accordance with the hygienic rules to pay homage to the portrait of Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman. He urged all the leaders and activists of Bangladesh Awami League and all the martyred children of the country who sacrificed their lives for the establishment of independence, liberation, democracy and progress of the Bengali nation, pray for the forgiveness and peace of souls and pray to the Most Merciful to celebrate the founding anniversary with due dignity. He appealed to the leaders and activists, supporters and the countrymen. The party's office secretary Barrister Biplob Barua said this in a press release.

In the crisis caused by the global pandemic this year, the Awami League has been avoiding all kinds of mass political programs under the direction of Awami League President Sheikh Hasina. Millions of Awami League leaders and activists across the country are engaged in serving the people in the corona crisis. This year, the Awami League has decided to save the cost of decoration and other programs of the founding anniversary and spend it on the welfare of the needy people.

A delegation of the Awami League Central Executive Committee will pay homage at the tomb of Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, who was laid to rest in Tungipara. Jahangir Kabir Nanak, a member of the presidium of the Awami League, Joint-General Secretary A. F. M Bahauddin Nasim and organizing secretary S. M Kamal Hossain, Central Executive Member Shahabuddin Faraji will be present at Tungipara.
On the occasion of the founding anniversary, the Awami League will organize a special webinar on the night of June 23.

This webinar titled 'Ganamanusher Dal Awami League' will be aired on the party's official Facebook page ( and YouTube channel ( at 8:30 pm. ) It can be viewed directly. The event will also be telecast live on several media screens.