Having reached the 50th year of our emergence as an independent nation, this March 26 bears a special significance. The significance is that Bangladesh as a nation has come of age and as such should act its age. But that is not to say that with ageing the memories of Bangladesh's birth pangs should get any dimmer. On the contrary, it is time that alongside the reminiscences of our bloody birth and of the heroics of the freedom warriors half a century back, we are also able to tell new stories of creativity and courage.
In fact, Bangladesh can and already has presented itself before the rest of the world as a strong nation through its resilience in the face of cycles of natural as well as manmade calamities. Our historians have chronicled the great examples of sacrifice, courage and resilience that the common people of the country set during the War of Liberation. And again, they demonstrated the same courage of their convictions and resilience during protracted war of nation-building soon after their fight with the enemy was over. All through, it has been the faceless common people who have been the real heroes. Their success stories are awe-inspiring in the face of all odds.
In fact, the entire world already knows what the people of this country are capable of. They could prove their mettle in all conceivable areas of work they have been involved with. Farmers did it in the fields, the women in the garment industries, migrant workers from abroad and small and big entrepreneurs from the urban centres and the countryside. They have told their stories through the wonders they have done. So, no wonder that international agencies that monitor how different countries are performing in their respective social and economic arenas often admit their errors while making forecasts about Bangladesh. The wonders are reflected in the bumper crop yields even after havocs wrought by floods and cyclones. There are many more stories of success. And these stories must be told. Bangladesh has long been negatively portrayed in the international media as a poster boy for poverty, hunger and victim of endless sufferings. During its early days of emergence out of a devastating war of independence, some international diplomats even tried to project the fledgling polity as 'an international basket case.' Some of those international diplomats are still alive. We believe, the time has come for Bangladesh and its people to tell the true story.
The story begins with the materialisation of the dreams of putting a smile on the face of the downtrodden people that the Father of the Nation Bangabandhu had envisioned. Under his able leadership, the nation rose like a phoenix from the ravages of the war. It was at his instance that the allied troops left the soil of the newly independent Bangladesh. It is also due to his visionary leadership that the new nation won its international friends through implementation of the policy of friendship to all and malice to none. Now Bangabandhu's daughter Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina remaining steadfast to Bangabandhu's ideals has been carrying further forward the dreams of building a Sonar Bangla (Golden Bengal). As a nation we are also aware of the enormous challenges facing us. But as always, undaunted, we are ready to take all those challenges in our stride. So, we want to reiterate our readiness to face all odds as a pledge on this fiftieth anniversary of our nationhood.