The prime minister remembers her brother, who was killed in August 15 massacre, on his 71st birthday
Had he still been alive, Sheikh Kamal could have done a lot more for the country, as he had already made significant contributions to the country’s politics, culture and sports, his sister and Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina said on Wednesday.
“If Kamal was alive today, he could have given the country many things. His all-round talent could have made contribution to every sector if it had blossomed,” she said at an online discussion marking the 71st birth anniversary of Sheikh Kamal, the eldest son of Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman.
The Ministry of Youth and Sports arranged the discussion, followed by special prayer for Kamal at Jatiya Krira Parishad Bhaban.
The prime minister took part in the discussion via videoconference from her official residence, Ganabhaban.
She said on one hand, Kamal was a sports organizer and was involved in the cultural arena, while on the other hand, he had an impressive role in politics.
“Kamal had played an active role in each of the struggle and movement since the Six-Point Demand was put forth, as well as after the arrest of the father of the nation in Agartala conspiracy case,” she added.
She said Kamal actively took part in the country’s Liberation War in 1971 after going through proper training.
His greatest contribution in sports was making arrangement for sports events in Dhanmondi and founding Abahani Club, and making it even stronger after the Liberation War, she added.
“Kamal had a great passion for Abahani,” the premier said, recalling his demand for Adidas boots for the players of the football team when she went to Germany after his wedding in 1975.
Getting emotional, Sheikh Hasina, who is the elder sister of Sheikh Kamal, said Kamal never asked for anything for himself.
“Kamal had great sense of responsibility since his childhood; he used to help our mother in household work since he was a child,” the prime minister said.
Recalling childhood memories, she said: “Kamal was two years younger than me. We used to play together, fight with each other.”
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She recalled how her brother had asked for her permission “to call my Abba (father) as Abba, as our father used to stay in jails (most of the time) since Kamal’s birth.”
She said that Kamal used to sing songs, play the sitar and formed a band named Spondon Shilpa Gosthi, through which he tried to promote local music.
Kamal had a role in establishing the Dhaka Theatre as well, she added.
“Kamal is no longer with us now. But the Abahani Club and Spondon, which he had founded, are still with us,” she said.
Narrating the heinous killing of Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman on August 15, 1975, the prime minister said she and her sister, Sheikh Rehana, had never imagined that they would lose everyone in such a way.
“Kamal, along with other members of our family, were assassinated by the people with whom he worked and stayed together,” she added.
She said they had been deprived of justice for a long time and even were barred from returning to Bangladesh.
The premier said the then government had even enacted a law so that they could not file any case regarding the assassination of Bangabandhu, who sacrificed his entire life for the welfare of the country and its people, and the rest of their family.
After assuming office in 1996, 21 years later, the Awami League took initiative to hold the trial of Bangabandhu’s killers, she continued.
The premier greeted the people who took part in the discussion in Kamal’s memory.
She later unveiled the cover of a book on Kamal’s life.
PM’s Private Industry and Investment Affairs Adviser Salman F Rahman, State Minister for Youth and Sports Md Zahid Ahsan Russel, State Minister for Cultural Affairs KM Khalid, member secretary of the national committee to celebrate Bangabandhu’s birth centenary Dr Kamal Abdul Naser Chowdhury, Bangladesh Football Federation President Kazi Salahuddin, and Editor-in-Charge of the Ekattor Television and member of the board of directors of Bangladesh Sangbad Sangstha (BSS) Mozammel Babu spoke at the event, among others.
Sheikh Kamal’s birthday was observed by the Awami League and its affiliate organizations across Bangladesh, as well as many sports and cultural orgnizations.