Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina today said Bangamata Sheikh Fazilatun Nesha Mujib always stood by Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman as shadow companion, making his all success easier in student and political life.
“You saw my father’s (Bangabandhu) success from his student life. My father’s life reached the peak of success, and all these successes became possible because of Bangamata, as my mother was always beside my father,” she said.
The premier said this while addressing the distribution function of Bangamata Begum Fazilatun Nesha Mujib Padak-2023 as the chief guest in the city’s Osmani Memorial auditorium organised by the Ministry of Women and Children Affairs.
The award distribution function coincided with the occasion of 93rd birth anniversary of Bangamata Begum Fazilatun Nesha Mujib, the better half of Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman.
Sheikh Hasina said Bangamata always assisted Bangabandhu in his entire political life, adding, “Bangamata used to tell Bangabandhu that I don’t mind your politics, but you have to study.”
Stating that when her father sat for his BA exams, there were riots in Kolkata, and her father worked for stopping the riots, she said, “At that time, my mother came to my father to support his education.”
“Bangamata not only took care of her own family but also gave the money whatever came to her for spending in her father’s politics,” Sheikh Hasina said citing the “Unfinished Memoirs” of the Father of the Nation.
Bangabandhu in the Unfinished Memoirs wrote that “apart from Abba-Amma, Renu (Bangamata) always gave me some money”.
“Renu whatever she could do saving; when I used to visit home, and she gave it to me whenever I needed it, she never raised any objection. She didn’t spend at all; she lived in the village house. She kept everything for me,” Bangabandhu wrote in his autobiography.
“In this way, Bangamata stood beside my father and gave him all the support,” the prime minister said.
The prime minister said Bangamata Begum Fazilatun Nesha Mujib had a significant contribution to the independence of the country and all other achievements during the struggle of liberation.
“My mother made the 7th June hartal (a countrywide strike in 1966 in support of the historic Six-Point programme) a success. She knew how to wage movement and keep the organization united (in absence of Bangabandhu),” she said.
Sheikh Hasina said when Bangabandhu was in the jail, Bangamata used to inform him about the situation of politics and organization, as she also used to convey Bangabandhu’s instructions to the party leaders and workers.
“Our house was always under the surveillance of the Pakistan intelligences. My mother used to talk to the leaders and conveyed them the directives (of Bangabandhu) going to different places avoiding the watch of intelligence,” she added.
In this context, the premier recollected her mother’s firm stance in favour of the historic six-point demand when some leaders argued for an eight-point demand instead at that time.
Talking about the detention of Bangabandhu in Agartala conspiracy case, Sheikh Hasina said her mother took firm stance for the release of all the 34 accused through the withdrawal of the case, not accepting a proposal for the release of only Bangabandhu on parole.
“What a firm morale my mother had!” she said.
She also said Pakistani intelligences quizzed Bangamata as well and tried to implicate her in the case.
The premier sought blessings from all so that she could work for the people as her father’s lifelong struggle was to change the fate of the people of this country.
“I’ve been trying to work for the people, based on what lessons I learnt from my mother and father,” said Sheikh Hasina.
The prime minister conferred Bangamata Begum Fazilatun Nesha Mujib Padak-2023 on four prominent women and the national women’s football team at the function.
Apart from the national women football team for sports, the four other women award recipients are- Advocate Sahara Khatun (Posthumous) in politics as well as Nasima Jaman Bobi and Anima Mukti Gomes in education, culture and sports while Dr Senjuti Saha in research.
With State Minister for Women and Children Affairs Fazilatun Nessa Indira in the chair, its Secretary Nazma Mobarek delivered the welcome address.
Dr Tania Huq, Professor at the department of Women and Gender Studies of University of Dhaka made keynote presentation based on the life and activities of Bangamata, while Jatiyo Mohila Sangstha Chairman Begum Chemon Ara Tayab took part in it as discussant.
On behalf of the award recipients, national women football team captain Sabina Khatun spoke on the occasion.
At the outset, an audio-visual documentary on the life and works of Bangamata was screened.
In order to commemorate Bangamata’s contribution, maximum five women are awarded every year in recognition of their contribution to eight fields.
Earlier, the Ministry of Women and Children Affairs nominated the national women’s football team and four prominent women for this year’s award, recognising their contributions to the country’s politics, education, culture, sports, and research.
In the function, the premier also inaugurated the financial donation and sewing machine distribution program. A total of 4,500 sewing machines are being distributed in 64 districts while Taka 2,000 is being given among 3,000 destitute women.