The assassination of the Father of the Nation on August 15, 1975 shocked the nation. Many of today’s industry leaders, business people and independent business owners tell the Dhaka Tribune where they were and what the shock of hearing the tragic news was like for them personally.
I was studying at Dhaka Residential Model College (DRMC), living in their hostel when our Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman was assassinated on August 15, 1975.
In an instant, everyone seemed worried. Soon, the DRMC authority announced a shutdown and ordered us to leave the hostel.
Everybody was unsure what would happen next. It was beyond our comprehension.
I had the privilege to be close to Bangabandhu and his family.
As I lived at the DRMC hostel, I used to visit Ganabhaban, which was just opposite to our premise.
This was because Sheikh Jamal was a very close friend of my elder brother, and he was also a senior of mine in school.
Back then, my family used to live at Dhanmondi road 26, while Bangabandhu and his family lived at their iconic residence on road 32.
Some of my friends also lived on road 32, so it was a regular activity for me to visit that road for afternoon walks, hanging out with my friends or playing.
The son of the then-principal of DRMC was also my classmate and friend.
The principal used to meet Bangabandhu frequently, for various reasons.
I too, have had the privilege of meeting Bangabandhu several times.
That is why August 15, 1975 was a black night for the entire nation.
That night witnessed the worst assassination in our country's history, which set Bangladesh back for many years.
The dream that Bangabandhu had for restructuring the country and its economy was relevant and realistic during that time's context of the country.
That initiative was severely thwarted by his tragic assassination.
However, by turning that grief into strength, our Prime Minister, also his daughter, Sheikh Hasina, is taking the country's economy forward.
She is working tirelessly to realize the dream of a self-reliant country that Bangabandhu envisioned back then.
In the last fifty years, GDP has grown at a remarkable pace, with Bangladesh gaining the capability to transition from the LDCs.
Bangladesh is now a role model in the world in terms of exports, investment, poverty reduction, per capita income and GDP growth.
We are one of the few countries whose growth is increasing even amid the Covid-19 pandemic.
The country is moving forward at a breakneck pace with Bangabandhu's ideology.
Moreover, the country's apparel sector is fanning this phenomenon.
Starting from zero, the sector has become the lifeline of the country's economy with 84% foreign earnings.
Bangabandhu also dreamt about a green Bangladesh, so we have initiated a green revolution in our garment sector.
The country now has a significant number of LEED certified green factories. We have started planting trees in the garment premises too.
Bangladesh will be self-reliant in all respects only if we move forward on the path that Bangabandhu dreamt for the development of the country’s economy.
Faruque Hassan is president of the Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA) and managing director of Giant Group