The young generation has to learn from Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman’s nationalism, wisdom and internationalism to progress in the unprecedented times of 21st century, Professor Dr Haider A Khan has said.
Khan, a Distinguished Professor of Economics at the Josef Korbel School of International Studies at the University of Denver and a member of the Advisory Board of Cosmos Foundation, was addressing a webinar on Thursday to commemorate the birth centenary of Bangabandhu, the founding father of Bangladesh.
The Center for the Study of Genocide and Justice (CSGJ) of the Liberation War Museum arranged a webinar titled ‘Bangabandhu, Nationalism and Internationalism: Lessons for Today’.
Speakers at the webinar discussed how Bangabandhu emerged as the key charismatic leader of the movement for political, economic and cultural self-determination.
Liberation War Museum trustee Mofidul Hoque said the lecture series was part of their effort to observe the birth centenary of Bangabandhu.
“We need to study his life, his contribution and his role in history. Every year we organise a lecture in August but this year is very special as it’s the birth centenary of Bangabandhu so we started this very special series focusing on many different aspects of his life. We are very happy that we are initiating this lecture series with Prof Dr Haider A Khan,” Hoque said.
He said they are organising the discussion virtually for the first time due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. “Even though the doors at the Liberation War Museum are closed now, we’re opening our windows through this social media platform to use it effectively and meaningfully with lectures like this,” Mofidul Hoque said.
Lifelong commitment to democratic ideals
Dr Khan expressed his gratitude to LWM for arranging the webinar and explained that his agenda is to make the young generation aware of the eventful life and aspects of Bangabandhu as a journeyman behind the emergence of Bangladesh.
“For me, it is a lifelong project - and for as long as I am able to write and think, I will continue this,” he said.
Dr Khan discussed a brief manifesto through a set of 11 points of thought and action for the young generation to learn from the life of Bangabandhu. He also discussed his personal experience on what it was like to be alive during the most important political decade in the history of Bangladesh.
In the second part, he briefly discussed the main trajectory of the struggle since the founding of Pakistan until the beginning of Bangladesh’s Liberation War in 1971.
In the final part of his lecture, Dr Khan discussed Bangabandhu's internationalism and international activities after his return in early 1972 in Bangladesh.
“Bangabandhu’s internationalism was not a certain development [but] it was there throughout his life - from his earliest days of political involvement and certainly from the founding of Awami League in 1949 onwards.
“Throughout his life, Bangabandhu has been committed to deeply democratic ideals. Not just parliamentary democracy in its formal manifestation, but really the democracy of the people, for the people, by the people,” Dr Khan said.
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