President M Abdul Hamid has urged all to carry out their respective duties with honesty and sincerity to ensure the country's independence is meaningful and to disseminate its benefits to the masses.
"We need to behave very responsibly in our respective duties in: personal, family, social, political, and state-related affairs," he said at a programme at the National Parade Square in the capital on Friday.
He said independence is the people's right and freedom is meaningful if used properly – without limiting it to the accomplishment of rights.
"Again, freedom diminishes due to its inappropriate use (...) Liberation and autocracy cannot be treated in the same manner," the president added.
"We need to establish principles, morality and ideals in all sectors simultaneously to develop efficient leadership," Hamid told the concluding session of the 10-day celebration of Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Raman's birth centenary and the Golden Jubilee of Bangladesh's Independence.
Noting that the country's development is not the responsibility of political leadership alone, he said, "Instead, as citizens of an independent country, it is the duty and responsibility of all of us."
Referring to Bangabandhu's charismatic leadership behind the birth of Bangladesh, Hamid said Bangabandhu never confined himself as a friend of the Bangalis only. "Instead, he became the friend of the oppressed and exploited people of the world."
He highlighted the importance of ensuring the country's new and future generations are informed about the life, work, principles, and ideals of Bangabandhu – the greatest Bangali of all time.
"Further, researchers, historians and politicians need to play a pioneering role in representing Bangabandhu in the international arena in different languages," Hamid suggested.
Welcoming Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi to join the twin celebrations, the Bangladesh president said India is the closest neighbour and a trusted friend of Bangladesh.
"I recall with deep appreciation the unstinting moral and material support of Indian political leaders and people in the 1971 war," he added.
Hamid also expressed his sincere thanks to the government of India for deciding to confer the Gandhi Peace Prize 2020 to Bangabandhu, posthumously, in recognition of his outstanding contributions towards social, economic and political transformations through non-violent and other Gandhian methods.
Many disputes, including land and maritime boundary issues, with India have been resolved, he said, hoping that bilateral talks will continue to resolve some unresolved matters amicably and in a dignified way soon.
On the Rohingya repatriation issue, Hamid said Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has set a unique example in the history of world humanity by providing shelter to more than a million forcibly displaced Myanmar Rohingyas because Bangladesh believes in peaceful coexistence of all irrespective of race, religion and caste.
The president hopes that the world community, including India, will play an effective role in solving the Rohingya crisis.