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54 years of independence: A splendid mounting voyage for Bangladesh

Published : Tuesday, 26 March, 2024 at 12:00 AM  Count : 859

54 years of independence: A splendid mounting voyage for Bangladesh

54 years of independence: A splendid mounting voyage for Bangladesh

Few stories in history have the same profound resonance as Bangladeshs journey following its independence in 1971. After a liberation war characterized by great hardship and sacrifice, Bangladesh emerged and began a development trajectory that has captured the attention of people all around the world. Following the ideals and aspirations of the father of the nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, the nation has undergone a profound transformation over the past 54 years, particularly in the last fifteen years. It has overcome the obstacles of poverty, political unrest, and natural disasters to emerge as a symbol of hope and resiliency in the international arena. Even while we are commemorating the countrys 54 years of independence today, we also must acknowledge the work that has been done thus far and must strengthen our commitment to the sustainable development and progress of this nation.

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, the eldest daughter of Bangabandhu, has turned Bangladesh into a development role model during the past fifteen years of her reign. She is fervently pursuing Bangabandhus dream of a "Golden Bangla." Following the horrific murder of Sheikh Mujibur Rahman and most of his family members in 1975, dictatorial leaders and anti-liberation forces ruled Bangladesh for a considerable amount of time, erasing our nations history. With Awami League government consecutively in power for over 15 years, we received a great chance to convey the true history of our country to the future generations as only the true history of our proud nation will compel the youth to express their genuine commitment to the welfare of the country and its people.

In less than four years following the liberation war in 1971, Bangabandhu made amazing efforts to reconstruct a nation devastated by conflict. His diplomacy and foresight allowed Bangladesh to break free from foreign rule and avoid a civil war. Patriotism is essential to national advancement since it demands sacrifice from both the populace and the ruling class. Fundamentalism or terrorism could flare up at any time, and anti-national forces could seize control, if anti-sovereign doctrine is prevalent among the populace, particularly the younger generation. Furthermore, Bangladeshs strategic location in South Asia makes it imperative that we shield ourselves from outside influence. Therefore, it has always been crucial that Bangladeshi citizens are proud of their nation and always stay ready to protect their beloved homeland.

Bangladesh was referred to be a "basket case" shortly after it gained independence during a meeting between representatives of the US Agency for International Development and Secretary of State Henry Kissinger. More than 70% of the population was living below the poverty line as a result of years of economic injustices, the war, and the cyclone in 1970. But in the fifty-four years after gaining its independence, Bangladesh has come a long way. With a thriving economy now, it is working toward being a developed nation by 2041.

The striking economic revolution of Bangladesh is at the core of its accomplishments. After gaining independence, the country had the difficult challenge of reconstructing its devastated economy. But Bangladeshs economy has become one of the fastest-growing in the world thanks to wise policies and wise investments. The development of the apparel industry, which has helped Bangladesh become a major exporter of clothing and textiles worldwide, has been essential to this growth. Furthermore, the nations agriculture sector, which has long been the foundation of its economy, has seen notable productivity gains and modernization, bolstering food security and rural employment.

Bangladesh has achieved tremendous advancements in social development and human welfare along with its economic progress. The growth of healthcare and educational options has been essential to this advancement. Bangladesh has achieved notable progress in raising its literacy rates and increasing access to education across the board since gaining its independence. Furthermore, the nations dedication to guaranteeing the welfare of its residents is demonstrated by the significant declines in mother and child mortality rates among many other achievements that have resulted from expenditures in public health programs and healthcare infrastructure.

Another important factor in Bangladeshs development over the past ten years has been the improvement of its infrastructure. The country has invested heavily in creating the fundamental foundations of modernity, from the construction of energy infrastructure and telecommunications to the growth of transportation networks. Greater connection via railroads, rivers, and highways has promoted regional integration and economic progress, while energy infrastructure improvements have strengthened energy security and enabled industrial growth. In addition, Bangladeshs advancements in telecommunications and information technology have established it as a center for innovation and digital transformation throughout South Asia.

Bangladesh has struggled with the issues of environmental sustainability and climate change in the middle of its fast expansion. Bangladesh, one of the most populous nations on earth, is especially susceptible to the negative effects of climate change, such as floods, cyclones, and sea level rise. Nonetheless, the country has shown that it is firmly committed to sustainable growth and environmental preservation. Furthermore, under the visionary leadership of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, Bangladesh has led several international forums to combat climate change.

Bangladeshs dedication to political stability and democratic governance has been essential to its progress. Bangladesh has achieved great progress in preserving the rule of law, bolstering democratic institutions, and guaranteeing the protection of human rights since it began its democratic transition in the early 1990s. The nation has maintained its commitment to democratic ideas and principles in the face of recurring difficulties and periods of political upheaval, building the groundwork for inclusive and participatory administration. Sheikh Hasina, the daughter of Bangabandhu, led a stable government for four consecutive terms despite criticism; this stability was essential to the countrys amazing development.

Bangladeshs success story includes achievements in a variety of areas, including e-governance, innovation and entrepreneurship, economic development, and job creation. The nations emphasis on digitization, more than any other field, has surely contributed significantly to the development of its successful economy. Bangladesh, which was once a technologically and digitally disadvantaged nation, has accomplished an amazing feat in its widespread digitalization efforts. The Digital Bangladesh initiative, which aimed to use technology advancements to enhance the nations economy and peoples quality of life, was introduced in 2009, marking the start of the countrys digital journey. It was unthinkable given Bangladeshs circumstances at the time, yet the administration persisted in pursuing that objective in spite of all obstacles.

The Bangladeshi government unveiled a new goal in 2022: by 2041, it aimed to become a developed nation and a "Smart Bangladesh." In light of the current digital era, the four pillars of the Smart Bangladesh initiative-smart citizens, smart economy, smart government, and smart society-serve as the cornerstones for implementing advanced technical concepts and instruments in the nation. The world is always changing, and Bangladesh is no different. It develops and changes in response to the choices made by the people who live here. Bangladesh has to prioritize closing the knowledge gap that exists now and in the future as well as providing high-quality, easily available digital services if it is to truly become "smart." However, if the people and the government continue to be enthusiastic about the change, it won take long for the vision of "Smart Bangladesh" to come true.

Bangladeshs development has not, however, been without difficulties. As the country strives for growth, enduring problems including poverty, inequality, corruption, and infrastructural deficiencies present significant challenges. Furthermore, the COVID-19 pandemic, the conflict between Russia and Ukraine, and the Israeli slaughter in Gaza have highlighted new issues, heightened vulnerabilities, and emphasized the necessity of resilience and adaptability. Bangladesh is currently facing a number of difficulties. Among them are anti-national propaganda, narcotics, economic hardship, dangers of extremism and terrorism, and corruption. Fostering nationalistic ideology is crucial to eradicating and containing these threats.

As Bangladesh celebrates 54 years of independence, it is at a crossroads in its growth path. Bangladesh, armed with historical lessons and its peoples aspirations, is set to forge a route for a future defined by prosperity, inclusion, and sustainability. Bangladesh has the capacity to achieve its aim of becoming a successful and dynamic nation in the twenty-first century by leveraging its human resources, encouraging innovation, and embracing global alliances. As the nation looks ahead, it does so with optimism and determination, aware of the problems that lie ahead but determined to overcome them and create a greater future for future generations.

The writer is Chief Editor at Mohammadi News Agency (MNA) and Editor at Kishore Bangla

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