How does it feel to be a part of the central committee of the Awami League?
It is overwhelming. And of course, I am grateful.
It is a bigger responsibility than that of a unit president of the student affiliate, is it not?
Well, from the organisational point of view, the DU unit of Chhatra League has the same status as its district unit. And there is the fact that Dhaka University has been the centre of student politics for the entire nation, not just the Chhatra League. So I have had the opportunity of working with all active student organisations as well as to serve as a leader at the national level.
How did you get involved in politics?
My first formal introduction to student politics was when I was in Class IX – I was made general secretary of a Chhatra League unit in my school.
When I took admission at DU’s geography department in 1991-92 session, I started participating in the DU Chhatra League’s activities and worked my way up. In 2001, I became the president of the DU unit.
What are the potential challenges that you may face as you take up your new role in the party?
Our problems are well-identified. After being elected in 2008, our leader and Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has taken initiatives to address these problems, and we have to work to implement those initiatives to achieve the intended development goals. Our job is to strengthen the party and the government as there are many forces that are always trying to destablise the country. As for my role, there are a lot of environmental challenges. I will try my best to address these challenge as much as possible.
How do you consider your responsibilities as a young leader?
We have a huge population of young people. Our development largely depends on them, so we have to use their force, using the experiences of the elderly, to mobilise our country towards development. The opportunity to work with such a big young population comes once in a century.
Your party has a longstanding stance against communalism. In the national council, you pledged to fight militancy. There are other important challenges, such as women empowerment. What is your message to young people regarding these challenges?
Communalism is a colonial legacy, which is aggravated by lack of proper education. A coordination in the learning process is crucial to solve problems like this. And there are some political parties who want to take ill-advantage of public sentiment.
But people of all religions took part and sacrificed in our Liberation War. Awami League believes in the everyone’s right to practise their own religion. We are keen on using the potential of all young people, irrespective of their religious faith.
They can play a vital role in bridging the gap among all communities and create harmony.
No other party accommodates women in their activities like the Awami League. Other parties should also come forward to contribute to the our women’s development. Without women’s participation, there would be no development. Educated women should come forward and take a lead in this regard.