Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman not only worked for Bangladesh's independence and emancipation but also gave invaluable post-emergence guidelines on building a prosperous Bangladesh, speakers told a webinar on Saturday.
Addressing the webinar on Bangabandhu organised by the Bangladesh Institute of International and Strategic Studies (BIISS), Dr Syed Anwar Husain, Bangabandhu chair professor at the Bangladesh University of Professionals, said the state of independence in this region from the ancient to the mediaeval times had shown that the people had no participation in how state affairs would be run.
He said an independent identity of Bangladesh had emerged in 1971, and that was the first time the people had a participatory voice.
Bangabandhu had been the prime leader throughout the struggle for Bangladesh's independence, he added.
Foreign Minister AK Abdul Momen said there must not be any confusion about the fact that Bangladesh, the Bangali nationhood, and Bangabandhu are inseparable.
He said the people of then East Pakistan had long cherished an independent land to be politically democratic, culturally secular and pluralistic, and economically egalitarian.
Bangabandhu, the leader of the common people, could easily sense the pulse of the masses, he said.
While cementing the sense of the Bangali nationhood among the people of then East Pakistan, Bangabandhu, as part of his long-term vision, strived to gradually and systematically move his people towards the ultimate path of emancipation, the minister added.
Shamsul Alam, state minister for planning, said Bangabandhu had left his marks in all aspects of Bangladesh.
"Typical of his visionary leadership, Bangabandhu established institutions aimed at ensuring progress for Bangladesh, thus preparing the basis for a good future for his country's people."
Dr Atiur Rahman, Bangabandhu chair professor at the University of Dhaka, said Bangabandhu had generated emotions, developed co-leaders, maximised engagement, and also had long-term visions.
These traits made Bangabandhu a great leader, he said.
He also said Bangabandhu had dreamt of a prosperous Bangladesh and emphasised long-term planning for people-centric transformations.
Despite resource constraints, Bangabandhu was committed to building institutions, infrastructure, and human capital for attaining inclusive development, he noted.
He further said the nation had been derailed when Bangabandhu was killed on 15 August 1975.
"But after a prolonged struggle, we got back on track under the leadership of Bangabandhu's daughter," he added.
The speakers said Bangabandhu's belief in emancipation and social justice for the downtrodden people is still alive today and is an exemplary motivation for generations to come.
The foreign minister launched a book titled "Bangabandhu and Bangladesh: An Epic of a Nation's Emergence and Emancipation" at the webinar. It was published by the BIISS.
Since the beginning of last year, the BIISS has undertaken a number of initiatives and programmes to observe the birth centenary of Bangabandhu.
It has organised different seminars and webinars since then.
The book is a compilation of the revised and edited versions of the papers presented at those seminars and webinars.
BIISS Chairman Ambassador M Fazlul Karim chaired the webinar while its Director General Major General Md Emdad Ul Bari delivered the welcome remarks.