Reiterating her determination to build a hunger and poverty free country, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on Wednesday said Bangladesh will be elevated to the developing country status from least developed country very soon.
Inaugurating a four-day program organized by International Mother Language Institute (IMLI) in Dhaka, coinciding with the Language Martyrs’ Day, she said Bangladesh by now has fulfilled all conditions to becoming a developing country taking "our dignity one step forward".
She said the very word "lower" in any term did not befit a country which earned its independence through shedding blood and "we must build Bangladesh as a middle income country by 2021 and a developed one by 2041,” reports BSS.
It is possible for Bangladesh to upgrade its status if most countries of this region can, she added.
Education Minister Nurul Islam Nahid chaired Wednesday's function, which was also addressed by Unesco's representative in Dhaka B Kaldun, among others.
Cabinet members, the premier’s advisers, parliament members, litterateurs, academics, writers, poets, journalists, Ekushey Padak winners and high civil and military officials were also present.
Secretary of National Coexistence Dialogue and Official Languages of Sri Lanka WMPG Wickramasinghe presented the keynote paper on the theme of the day – “Linguistic Diversity and Multilingualism Count for Sustainable Development.”
At the outset of the function, a minute's silence was observed as a mark of profound respect to the memories of 1952 Language Movement martyrs.
‘Practice and use Bangla properly’
Addressing the program, the prime minister also put utmost importance to greater practice and proper use of Bangla as it is one of the world's richest languages earned through the sacrifice of blood, reports UNB.
"We had to give blood to protect the dignity of our language. We have earned international recognition of this language, which is a matter of great pride. We must not forget the practice and use of Bangla. As Bengalis, we have to uphold our culture, heritage and other national glories," she said.
She said the Bengali nation will have to maintain its tradition and everything it has in its culture. "We have to practise this and we have to learn this.”
Mentioning that Ekushey means not to bow down to anyone for the Bengali nation, she said on February 21, 1952, the people of this country established the dignity of the language. "Following the path of Ekushey, we earned our independence.”
Hasina said Ekushey February is observed across the globe in a befitting manner as a mark of honour to the mother tongue of the people of all languages around the world who also now know Bangladesh and the unforgettable sacrifice of the Bengalis.
Hasina also mentioned that to destroy a nation, conspirators always strike its culture, language and literature. "The Pakistani rulers did the same. As an outcome of the conspiracy, we won the Liberation War and put ourselves in a dignified position in the global arena as Bengali nation, and we got our state.”
She paid rich tribute to the martyrs of the Language Movement and recalled the memories of the movement veterans as well as Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman who had played a key role in organising the movement in 1952.
Hasina said Bangla is one of the richest languages of the world and Bangabandhu addressed the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) in Bangla, taking it to a new height in the global arena.
"We are following his footprint," she said, adding that she has also been delivering speech in Bangla in the UNGA.