Prime minister’s private industries and investment adviser, Salman F Rahman, yesterday proposed a constitutional amendment in parliament to declare “Joy Bangla” as the national slogan. “I’d like to place a proposal in parliament through you (speaker). An amendment to the constitution should be made to declare 'Joy Bangla' as our national slogan. It'd be similar to declaring Bangabandhu as the Father of the Nation,” he said during the thanksgiving motion on the president’s address to the nation.
Salman F Rahman, MP from Dhaka-1 (Nawabganj-Dohar), also said students had launched their movements with the ‘Joy Bangla’ slogan before the Liberation War and the people achieved the hard-earned independence by voicing the same chant. “It's not clear how ‘Joy Bangla’ slogan may be dubbed a party slogan. We have achieved our independence with this slogan. It’s the slogan of our country. It should be our national slogan,” he asserted.
He recalled when freedom fighters uttered the ‘Joy Bangla’ slogan during the Liberation War, the occupied Pakistani forces used to panic and say “Mukti aa giya, mukti aa giya.”
The eminent businessman expressed surprise over a section of government officials' hesitation in saying ‘Joy Bangla’ on the pretext of maintaining neutrality at a public function. He pointed out that the officials could hold their posts only because of the independence of the country earned on the basis of that slogan.
He lauded the president for concluding his speech to the nation with ‘Joy Bangla’. He said Bangabandhu during his historic March 7 speech had also ended his speech by saying ‘Joy Bangla’.
Salman F Rahman, also a former president of the FBCCI, the apex organisation of businessmen of the country, expressed regret that some newspapers, including one belonging to the family members of an MP, do not use the term ‘Bangabandhu’ and only write Sheikh Mujibur Rahman. Referring to the significant development of the country, Salman F Rahman said he would not have believed 10 years ago that the country would make such progress and achieve such a development spree. “It's really beyond one’s imagination that the country has reached such a position,” he added.
The prime minister’s adviser said some people attribute the development to the prime minister's initiative to resolve the power crisis, while others give credit to the achievement made in agricultural sector and infrastructure development. “Well, there have been many reasons. But to me, the main reason we’ve made such progress thanks to the honesty, skill, sincerity and patriotism of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina,” he said.
During his 18-minute speech, Salman F Rahman recalled the Father of the Nation under whose leadership the country had achieved the independence in 1971. He also said he was lucky to be a close friend of Bangabandhu’s eldest son Sheikh Kamal, who was honest, sincere and a patriot. He also said Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, her sister Sheikh Rehana and their children inherited the virtues of Bangabandhu and Bangamata.
He also mentioned that prime minister’s son, Sajeeb Wajed Joy, has made a signal contribution by turning Bangladesh into a digital country after being appointed as the premier’s IT affairs adviser. The prime minister’s daughter too has been appointed as international envoy on mental health in recognition to her work on autism, he added. He also lauded the son and daughters of Sheikh Rehana, another daughter of Bangabandhu, for their proactive roles in different areas. Lawmakers from both the treasury and opposition benches extended their support to the proposal and greeted him by thumping on the table.