After several breakthroughs, Bangladesh has appeared as a rising tiger in South Asia. Breaking the circle of hunger and poverty, leaving all threats behind, this Bangladesh is invincible-irresistible. The frenzy of indomitable energy of millions of people leads the nation to achieve a new identity- 'Solvent Bangladesh' in its golden jubilee of independence, from the stigma of a 'bottomless bucket.' Bangladesh is now an incredible amalgamation of communal harmony with unquestionable success in economy, enterprise, industry, culture, education, and health.
However, before the impact of the deadly coronavirus is over, the Ukraine-Russia war and global inflation have shaken the economy of the whole world. Bangladesh has also been affected by the worldwide recession. In the meantime, the global economic downturn has put the country's entire economy in extreme danger. The declining trend of the foreign exchange reserve of Bangladesh is the result of the global economic recession. It directly impacts the lives of people from all walks of life. Especially low-income people suffer severely since the cost of living is increasing while income is decreasing badly.
The capital market could be the center of safe income for ordinary people and small investors in this transitional period of inflation and increased cost. If there is a developed, modern, and stable capital market, even if inflation increases, people will have the strength to combat it. Unfortunately, it was not possible to do that.
But everything is not over yet. We have a chance to turn around. To build a prosperous and self-reliant Sonar Bangla of Bangabandhu, the capital market, one of the essential parts of the financial sector, must be radically changed. We want to come forward as a savior in this situation. Keeping that goal in mind, ABG Limited, a subsidiary of Bashundhara Group, is interested in becoming a strategic partner or strategic investor of the Chittagong Stock Exchange (CSE). Happily, we are moving towards achieving that desired goal. Now we will focus on establishing this capital market as an equally supportive shelter for all.
Chittagong Stock Exchange already accorded permission for commodity market from Bangladesh Securities and Exchange Commission, the apex body of the capital market of the country. Now-a-days foreign exchange has also become one of the pioneer instruments/securities among all other securities of the capital market. Popularity of the foreign exchange increased gradually over the years in the developed countries across the world. You would be very happy to hear that, ABG already has taken notable initiatives to on board foreign exchange, commodities and derivatives into the trading platform of Chittagong Stock Exchange. We are particularly working on how to on board commodities, derivatives (equity, commodity, FX) and indices at the CSE’s trading platform with a collaboration of global capital market leading companies. We believe, ABG will be able assist CSE to introduce all above mentioned securities at the trading platform of Chittagong Stock Exchange by 2030.
As the country's leading business conglomerate, Bashundhara Group does not only focus on making money; it also performs some responsibilities for the people and nation. Our slogan is -`For the welfare of the country and people’, which was introduced by my elder brother. Since then, we have all taken this sentence as a vow. One of our big goals is to achieve the welfare of the country's people, and we are doing it differently. However, it is good to get an opportunity to do something in people's interest through the financial sector and the capital market. Hopefully, here too, we will be able to achieve the target.
We have already started working. A US-based firm is being tapped to make CSE technology-friendly. One of our goals is to bring the capital market into the hands of every people in the country by making it advanced and technology-friendly, primarily through modern technical management. So that people can start investing from 5-10 thousand BDT for the long term. It is better to make a small profit rather than keep money uncirculated in the bank.
People from almost every country worldwide invest long-term in the capital market along with bank insurance, which is a different source of income. From this income, they can spend extra money at the end of the year, or people can go on outings on holidays. But two big crashes in our capital market in 1996 and 2010 have scared ordinary investors; now, people are terrified of investing in the capital market. Even hearing the name of the capital market brings negative questions to many people's minds. Most people now need more confidence in investing in the stock market, including foreign investors. This is mainly due to a need for more adequate information, fear of manipulation by evil syndicates, and lack of stringent action against the culprit of the capital market.
Although the two incidents have frightened ordinary investors, no attempt has been made to restore the investors' confidence. We want to light the lamp of lost hope in people's minds with a proper action plan and make the process easy. So that investors trust the capital market again and invest. It should work as an alternative source of their family income. As a strategic partner or investor of the Chittagong Stock Exchange (CSE), ABG Limited will first work to ensure easy access to information. Besides, through the responsible officials of CSE, regular transactions in the capital market will be monitored. So that no one can steal the money of the investors. For this, the capital market regulatory body Bangladesh Securities and Exchange Commission (BSEC) cooperation will be required.
Our neighboring nation India's National Stock Exchange (NSE), has an average daily turnover of 22,724 crore rupees. Whereas the average daily transaction in the two stock exchanges of Bangladesh is less than a thousand crore. Many people will say that their population is around 140 crores, their economy is large, and the number of companies listed in the capital market is high. But our population is more than 165 million. We are lagging in terms of investment as a proportion of the population. So, why will our transactions not be 1 part of 7? Why large capital companies will not be listed in our capital market? Why foreign investment will not increase in our capital market? Why can't trust be returned? It is possible.
Let me come up with an example of NSE; the National Stock Exchange of India (NSE) became the world's largest derivative exchange' in 2021 despite corona infection. The information came from the statistics conducted by the Futures Industry Association (FIA). Also, according to the World Federation of Exchanges statistics, NSE ranks fourth in the world in cash equity based on the number of trades. We are at the very end of the list. The reason for this is interdependence. We have to look to developed world countries for technology. When you want to start something new, you are told that it is impossible with us. But no one learns everything from the mother's womb. New tasks, new challenges, and new experiences will come up, and we have to face those. If necessary, we will hire a consultant to complete the work. But we must be in charge of the work. If not, the multinational companies will smuggle the money of this country abroad by earning in our country.
Look at the telecom companies in Bangladesh; Grameenphone has 8.4 million subscribers, Robi Axiata has 5.48 million subscribers, and Banglalink Digital Communication Limited has 3.85 million subscribers. There, the number of subscribers of Teletalk Bangladesh Limited, owned by the Bangladesh government, is only 67 lakh. Following the laws of the Bangladesh government, other multinational companies have taken billions of money abroad for telecom business, but Teletalk is not in that competition. The main reason is the fear that we can't do it. At the same time, we have extra love for foreign companies.
Multinational companies are also responsible for the unlimited dollar crisis in the country today. Although these institutions make thousands of crores of profit in the country, the new investment is minimal. As a result, money is going abroad. The situation could have been different if domestic companies were given investment opportunities like multinational companies. Because the profit we make from the business is reinvested in the country. The domestic labor market is our main strength.
Bashundhara Group has always been giving importance to domestic products and domestic production. Many daily essential products are being produced here to meet the needs of the country's people. Not only that, the group has opened many avenues to earn foreign currencies which are helping the country to curve down trade disparity. We are determined to play a role as one of the regulators in the country's transitional period. Respecting the country's laws and policies, we play a role in critical sectors. Similarly, we want to have a positive impact on the capital market as well so that ordinary investors regain their lost confidence.
But there needed to be an initiative to restore the confidence of investors. Last year was the perfect time to take such a step. Everything came to a standstill when the coronavirus started in 2020. Despite that situation, the price of 300 companies increased in 2021 out of 368 companies listed in the capital market. Among them, the share and company prices of 70 companies increased by more than 100 percent. Even after such an unnoticed rise in the capital market, we could not attract investors. Or those who came to the capital market at that time also moved to the sidelines due to the fear of gambling. But if we could secure capital market investment, Chittagong Stock Exchange could be a source of additional income for the middle class.
Even though multinational companies invest in our country and withdraw thousands of crores of money, there is little foreign investment in the capital market of Bangladesh. Last September, only 1 crore 41 lakh BDT was invested in CSE. At the same time, DSE's foreign investment fell to the previous seven-year low. This situation must be changed. Commodity exchanges, as well as derivatives and options markets, will also be set to open at the CSE. It will take three years to fully realize the dream that is starting today. After 36 months, you will see a new CSE, which will be more modern and secure. The system will be fully digitized and automated.
With investment in different countries of the world, it becomes a settlement. The buyer gets the shares, and the seller receives the money. But our settlement cycle is still T-2, and it is- the percentage can be sold two days after buying the share. Similarly, the share sale money is deposited to the investor's account after two days through the banking channel. Banks are making a profit by using the money at this time. But the investors do not get any benefit from this money. We should change the trade cycle. ABG Limited will work to change this situation. Investors can buy and sell shares whenever they want. Foreign investors will come to the capital market of Bangladesh.
In addition to the secondary market, we bring reforms in our primary and small-cap markets. Because the nameless companies are stealing money from the capital market by submitting fake prospectus. Many people think managers and audit companies are involved with this process. But these issues should be presented to investors through proper investigation. As a result, many companies went bankrupt after going public, but the investors still needed to get their money back. In such a situation, restoring people's trust without transparency and accountability is impossible. ABG Limited and CSE will work together to protect the interests of investors.
Although many public and private companies in the country have made thousands of crores of profit, they have yet to come to the capital market through Initial Public Offering (IPO). Because, in the capital market, investors must give financial accounts in four quarters a year, assets and income-expenditure must also be shown. The annual General Meeting (AGM) of all enlisted companies has to be held at the end of the year. As a result, those associated with the company will be unable to do money laundering or embezzlement even if they want to. They must come under the umbrella of transparency. They don't want to do that. Therefore, the government should reduce the tax benefits of multinational companies with large profits and list them in the capital market. It will increase the fund of the capital market as well as increase its depth. Investors will also be interested in the market.
Big companies want to avoid coming to the capital market. But some companies struggle a lot to go to the capital market. For example, a company applied to BSEC in February 2020 to raise funds for business expansion. But the company was allowed to withdraw money in 2022. In the meantime, the company has completed the development by borrowing from the bank; this should be different. A one-stop service should be introduced for the registration of new companies. Also, there should be the facility to open a BO account through an app with only NID and mobile number. This will attract new investors.
The investment process should be simplified for ordinary and foreign investors. A strong unit should be opened to bring them to the capital market. This unit will attract investors from different countries to direct investment in Bangladesh. Apart from this, the students of various public and private universities in the country should be allowed to invest in the capital market under easy conditions, besides teaching them capital market investment strategies.
At the same time, a balanced, orderly, and sustainable capital market should be developed to maintain the continuity of how Bangladesh is creating new successes in the development stage. And for this purpose, Bashundhara ABG Limited is determined to stand by the investors with all the necessary services and support.
As we all know, investors of our country have already lost their faith in capital market. Again here we found to do something good for the economy of the country. We believe an exchange with all types of securities and sustainable secured global standard trading platform eco system will be able to attract not only all classes of investors but also compel all citizens of the country and foreign investors to invest in the capital market instead of investing or depositing funds anywhere else. Hopefully we, ABG will be in a very good position to transform the living standard of all citizens of the country through revamping CSE. Moreover, to expedite the eco system of Capital market in Bangladesh, ABG also integrated three more new business ventures with a vision for vertical integration and financial inclusion. We, ABG Limited is very happy to share the business identity of these specialized ventures with business prospects.
ABG TECHNOLOGIES LIMITED has been incorporated to create a digital payment gateway for faster transections of CSE. We believe it will help to transform BSEC’s instant settlement desire to reality. Investors may obtain an easy and transparent way to invest in the capital market. By using this channel both investors and government of Bangladesh will be benefitted and get direct privilege. The company may contribute to fulfil the dream of digital Bangladesh of our Honourable Prime Minister. You would be pleased to know that, the company is ready to work with CSE dedicatedly.
ABG Media Limited has been incorporated to establish a dedicated TV channel, magazine, and newspapers for all types of business ventures, especially the capital market. The company will be able to contribute to branding and acquisition of new investors at the CSE.
ABG Datafication Limited has been incorporated to act as the data centre of all companies of the biggest business conglomerate known as Bashundhara group. The company has the ability to provide e-KYC services to the exchange along with datacentre and other facilities subject to the prior approval from relevant authorities.
With the contributions and assistance of ABG Limited, capital market of the country will rise and CSE will become one of the top exchanges of the world.
Developed world has already moved to the digital economy. This digital economy will keep contribution to achieve Vision-2040 of the government of Bangladesh. ABG Limited will contribute to transform Bangladesh into digital economy by introducing utmost technology in the capital market. We envision engaging grassroots-level people with capital market and would like be a stakeholder of building Bangladesh with digital economy.
'Bishad Sindhu' of Mir Musharraf Hossain fails. The brutality is as terrible as the Maidan of Karbala. The father of the nation was killed but no one staked his life. Nobody made a single noise. Nobody sacrificed. Leaving the body of the father of the nation at Dhanmondi number 32, some went to take oath, some to recite the oath. Some was busy saving lives. Some cried silently. Some remained indecisive. Some waited for voluntary imprisonment. Some ran away from home. It was a brutal history of failure. The stigma of not being able to come to the streets to protest the incident. Everyone is talking a lot now. Giving pompous speech. But the answer to that question is not found. At the time of writing this article, 50 years of independence have passed. Bangladesh, under the leadership of Bangabandhu's daughter, now stands tall in the world. He who founded the country could not see this rise. He was brutally murdered just three and a half years after independence. Domestic and foreign conspirators targeted the newly independent-sovereign nation. The father of the nation was brutally killed to stop the progress of Bangladesh. The Awami League at that time failed to protest that killing. The security forces of the President could not resist. The armed forces did not take a counter position after receiving the call from the army chief. Those failures are still a mystery. The Awami League had a huge organization. There was no shortage of leaders and workers, bureaucrats and flatterers. Where were they? The army did not descend across the country. They were roaming in certain areas of Dhaka. Despite that, why didn't Chhatra League, Jubo League, Krishak League, Sramik League take out a single procession. After the formation of Baksal, there was an urge to join groups. Government officials, journalists, university teachers from all over the country used to attend, give long speech every day. They used to declare to give their lives for the Father of the Nation. Those news were all over the newspapers. There was no lack of bureaucrats, leaders and workers, security guards. After the brutal murder, everybody kept quiet. Chhatra League, Jubo League leaders went silent. If 100,000 people gathered at Dhanmondi 32 in the morning, the murderous gang would not have survived for a second. On August 15, there was a program at Dhaka University. Leaders and workers from all over the country were in Dhaka. The campus was bustling with BCL workers walking throughout the night. Why didn't anyone march after hearing the news in the morning? Can the then Chhatra League president and general secretary avoid responsibility for that failure? A march from the campus would spread across the country like wildfire in no time. Because of the failure and silence of the leaders, the workers stopped. And Bangabandhu's companions went to take oath. Bangabandhu Government's Cabinet Secretary HT Imam conducted the oath ceremony. The then Foreign Secretary Fakhruddin and HT Imam went to Bangabhaban together in a car. They did not have to be forced. Went voluntarily. Our history is very cruel.
No one, including the armed forces, can escape the responsibility of failure. Politicians were total failures. Bureaucrats changed in an instant. Like other forces, the police chief also went to show allegiance. In an instant, everyone became an accomplice of the murderous gang. All the intelligence agencies and security forces of that time failed to protect the president. Those who joined Baksal in groups changed their tune in a moment. Those who sat under Bangabandhu's feet and used to flatter, were also not found. Everyone became busy protecting themselves. Not a single leader of the party called the workers to come out. The Rakkhi Bahini also failed. All the members of Rakkhi Bahini were freedom fighters. Two members of the Rakkhi Bahini committed suicide in Savar due to anger and humiliation of not receiving any command. Weapons from their arsenal inside the BDR were intercepted. They were not given weapons. The situation would have changed if the Rakkhi Bahini had come out. It is said that the isolated members of the army were responsible for the incident. The question remains, why the others did not listen to the army chief? Why didn't those who realized the urge to take a counter position on November 3 come out on August 15? Why didn't they stand up against the murderous Major gang? The founder of Bangladesh was killed with his family, everyone sat and watched the prank of the murderers. There is nothing more scandalous and sad in the history of this nation. Never will. Shafayet Jamil, Khaled Musharraf were definitely in favor of Bangabandhu. But they were also indecisive. History would have changed if the resistance on 3 November had been on 15 August.
I was reading a book about Bangabandhu written by Dr. MA Wazed Mia. A book by AL Khatib and Anthony Mascarenhas also contains many unknown facts of history. Nimmi, wife of murderer Dalim, was a classmate of Sheikh Rehana. Nimmi used to visit Dhanmondi 32 regularly. Dalim's mother-in-law was not left out. They often had lunch together. Dalim used to come too. One day Dalim said to Begum Fazilatunnessa Mujib that he doesn’t have a mother. I remember my mother's face when I see Begum Mujib. With permission Dalim called Begum Mujib mother. Begum Mujib used to give him food with son's love. A cruel irony of fate, that Dalim was one of the killers of August 15. Did the murderer Dalim not remember Begum Mujib's love and kindness for once? How can people be so terrible! Bangabandhu made Mostaq, the leader of the killers victorious. Awami League won 291 out of 300 seats in 1973 elections. All won by huge votes but Mostaq won by only 700 votes. There was a delay in declaring the result. One day Mostaq came to Bangabandhu during the election campaign. Requested to visit his constituency. Bangabandhu defended that request. Despite that, winning by only 700 votes shows how unpopular Mostaq was in his area. If the murderer Mostaq did not win that day and Rashid Engineer came to parliament from the opposition party, what would have been such a loss? Even if Awami League did not get so many seats, nothing would have happened. Someone asked Bangabandhu about this, was it very important for you to help Mostaq win the election? Bangabandhu smiled in response. He said, he is an old colleague of mine. On August 15, Mostaq did not remember Bangabandhu's contribution.
Bangbir Quader Siddiqui is the protesting hero. Like many, I don't feel bad when the beneficiaries of 1971 and 1975, are insulted. Kader Siddiqui is a brave warrior. Kader Siddiqui is a brave warrior. In 1975, he was the leader of Tangail, not of the Centre. He was the governor. From that position he was the only one who declared armed resistance. Hundreds of his comrades gave their lives. Many have gone to the gallows. Someone had a lifetime imprisonment. This state has not recognized them even in all these years. But rewarded the murderers' accomplices. Those who play a role in team adversity have passion. They cannot be flattered. Nobody likes them. But their contribution cannot be underestimated.
There were two Deputy Directors of Rakkhi Bahini - Late Anwarul Alam Shaheed and Sarwar Hossain Molla. I talked to both of them several times about those failures. I also published some of Sarwar Molla's words in Bangladesh Pratidin. Who called them to Bangabhaban and Cantonment that black morning? Kept them busy all day in the name of various discussions. Looking at the list of those army officers is shocking. Awami League has received a lot from the families of many of the November 3 coup victims. The families of those who resisted on November 7 were not left out. I don't want to discuss them today. Instead, let’s talk about General Khalil. He was the chief of BDR. He did not give the weapons kept in Pilkhana to the Rakkhi Bahini, a 100% freedom fighter organization. General Khalil was also among the influential people of Mostaq's Bangabhaban. He also later joined the Awami League. Nominated repeatedly. In 1991, he received the boat symbol for the last time. I interviewed him for Bhorer Alo in 1992. He said he got the news early in the morning while he was shaving. He could not answer the question why he had left the radio to shave so early in the morning.
Who took General Khalil Awami League? And why? Many questions are not answered. How did Amin Ahmed Chowdhury become the president's military secretary? Who gave Colonel Mateen the security responsibility of Bangabhaban? Why did Ziaur Rahman, BDR chief Major General Khalilur Rahman, IG of Police Nurul Islam, Brigadier Mashurul Haque meet at Bangabhaban so quickly? On whose order Army Adjutant General Colonel Moinul Hossain Chowdhury went to Savar camp on August 17 to pacify the members of the Rakkhi Bahini? General Shafiullah was removed from the army chief and Ziaur Rahman was made the army chief. Khaled Musharraf was given CGS on the same day. History has many hard truths. They cannot be hidden. After the assassination of Bangabandhu, MAG Osmani became the Defense Adviser. And Major General Khalilur Rahman became Chief of the Defense Staff. Ziaur Rahman's most trusted officer was Brigadier MA Manzoor. He was in the Defense Attaché in Delhi. He came to Dhaka after hearing the news of Bangabandhu's murder. He was like a shadow with Ziaur Rahman. He was upset because Khaled Musharraf was CGS. He didn't give up. In a twist of fate, Manzoor was accused of murdering Zia. Director of Defense Forces Nuruzzaman was out of the country on August 15. After he returned home, the Rakkhi Bahini were assimilated into the Army in early October. At that time, Nuruzzaman repeatedly talked to Shafayet Jamil and Khaled Musharraf to do something in return. They both agreed with Nuruzzaman to overthrow the murderers and oust Mushtaq. Their efforts were thwarted on November 7 by Jasad under the leadership of Colonel Taher. They supported Ziaur Rahman. In the last 14 years, they have received no less awards from Awami League.
Security was not strong enough to protect Bangabandhu. The father of the nation lived a simple life. Even as the country's statesman, he lived in a small house at Dhanmondi 32. He did not think about his personal safety. I was talking about this with the Deputy Director of the Rakkhi Bahini Colonel Sarwar Molla. He said that police EA Chowdhury, SP Mahbub was worried about Bangabandhu's safety. They went to Bangabandhu with two second men of the Rakkhi Bahini, Sarwar Molla and Anwarul Alam Shahid. They told Bangabandhu about their security concerns. Advised to leave the Dhanmondi 32 house and go up to Bangabhaban or Ganabhaban. Bangabandhu did not agree to this. Bangabandhu told them, 'People have found me among them all their lives. If I leave Dhanmondi I will move away from them. I am a leader of people. Begum Mujib also did not agree to leave Dhanmondi 32. Sheikh Kamal and Jamal also liked this house. Sarwar Mollah said that other forces including the President Guard Regiment were in charge of the President's security. Not the Rakkhi Bahini. The task of the Rakkhi Bahini was to maintain law and order in the newly independent country. Taking action against arms holders, black marketeers, hoarders. All the members of this force were freedom fighters. They had a commitment. The security forces and the police had information that proletariat and Jasad masses might attack Bangabandhu's house. Sarwar Molla said, I increased the patrol around Dhanmondi 32 on this news. Sheikh Mani did not like that patrol of the Rakkhi Bahini. He misunderstood. He thought that the security forces had stepped up patrolling in Dhanmondi on someone's orders to disturb him. As this complaint went to Bangabandhu, the patrol had to be reduced. He said that Savar was the base of the members of the Rakkhi Bahini. The head office was at Sherbanglanagar. It did not have its own arsenal. Weapons were kept in the Pilkhana. The next day BDR chief Khalil did not give us weapons. As the Rakkhi Bahini chief was not in the country, the top army officers kept both of them busy all day in the cantonment and Bangabhaban in the name of discussion. He said, the army officers of our generation asked the Rakkhi Bahini to be patient. Two of our members in Savar committed suicide after hearing the news of Bangabandhu's death. No political leader, minister, government has not received orders from anyone to do anything.
There are also many questions about advance intelligence. However, Indira Gandhi warned Bangabandhu based on information from Indian intelligence. Indira's friend Pupul Jaykar, a minister in her government, has a book. The book is autobiographical of Indira Gandhi. She wrote that at the end of 1974, Rameshwar Nath Kao, the head of intelligence agency 'R', met Indira one day. He told Indira that a rebellion was being fomented within the Bangladeshi military. Indira ordered to go to Dhaka and convey all the information to Mujib. Kao came to Dhaka. He met Bangabandhu at Dhanmondi 32. The lax security system surprised him. While walking in the garden, he informed Bangabandhu about the conspiracy. Then Bangabandhu assured him, 'Nothing will happen. They are my people. Pakistan Army did not dare to do anything, what will they do in Bangladesh?' Kao returned to Delhi upset. He informed Indira about everything. Bangabandhu had one faith in his nation. To the party, the government and those responsible for protecting him. Despite having so much faith, he was deceived. In fact, it does not take time to change the appearance of people. After the assassination of Bangabandhu, everyone changed. And those who did not change remained with failure, disappointment and suffering.
Lets think about an ethereal world; where the ozone hole is not increasing in size anymore, where you don’t have the ethical conundrum of using electricity with the cost of air pollution, where you don’t have to squander money on electricity, where you don’t see countries hitting the highest temperatures ever recorded, where you don’t see wild fires destroying whole areas and people not only dying to these fires but also from the heat of the temperature rise. Instead, let’s imagine a world free of all of these. A world where we are sustaining our environment rather than destroying it. This imaginary world can only be brought into reality when usage of fossil fuels is completely brought to a standstill. In a world where our dependency on electricity is proliferating each day, the carbon emission and air pollution is also multiplying equivalently. Today, fossil fuels are supplying 84 percent of the world energy, whereas renewable energy sources are only supplying a measly 16 percent of it. To explain further, nonrenewable energy comes from sources that will be depleted within our lifetime, examples include fossil fuels like coal, natural gas and petroleum. Whereas, renewable energy comes from sources which cannot run out for instance; sunlight, wind, water. What if I told you there is a trump card above all these energy sources, which is much more efficient and eco-friendly. “Nuclear power”; which was previously seen as a weapon and a mode of destruction by mankind has come out to be the exact opposite. Before beginning to judge nuclear power on the premise of the Hiroshima and Nagasaki tragedy or a nuclear energy crisis like Chernobyl or Fukushima, let’s dive into it without any previous dubious assumptions because you might be surprised to learn that nuclear energy is actually considered one of the most environmentally friendly forms of energy production in the world. The applications of nuclear technology far exceed the provision of low-carbon energy. It fuels our most ambitious space exploration projects and helps stop the spread of diseases. It also helps doctors diagnose and cure patients. These manifold applications put nuclear technology at the center of the global movement toward sustainable development.
Bangladesh plans to build the Rooppur nuclear power plant, the most ambitious project ever attempted in the history of the nation’s development, in an effort to join the exclusive “nuclear club” of 31 other countries. Being a part of Least Developed Countries (LEDC), Bangladesh had already begun the construction of its first nuclear power plant back in November 2017 and a year later another unit of the power plant had also commenced construction. With growth in demand and grid capacity Bangladesh is aiming to reduce its dependence on natural gas. In an effort to combat climate change, Bangladesh has set an idealistic aim of reducing carbon emissions by 21.85% by 2030. Power facilities using fossil fuels are primarily responsible for these emissions. Being one of the most climate-vulnerable nations in the world, nuclear power is an essential answer to the climate emergency. In addition, by agreeing to transport spent fuel abroad to reduce hazards, Bangladesh has wisely tackled the issue of nuclear waste disposal. Now let’s come to a more pressing question. Being a LEDC, why should Bangladesh stump up such a huge amount of money on nuclear power when there are much cheaper alternatives. This is because nuclear power is the most reliable energy source and it is not even close. An average nuclear reactor can generate 1 GW of electricity. This does not imply that a 1 GW coal or renewable facility may be installed in its stead. Two coal plants or three to four renewable plants (each of 1 GW size) would be required to provide the same amount of power for the system. Although the initial cost of establishing a nuclear power station is high, the cost of producing electricity from them is comparatively low, and they have low running expenses. Additionally, nuclear energy is less susceptible to price fluctuations than conventional fossil fuel energy sources like coal and natural gas are. This makes it possible to anticipate the cost of nuclear energy long into the future. As technology develops, that price is expected to stay low or even decrease. Moreover, one of the most significant advantages of nuclear energy is its reliability as a source of power generation. Nuclear energy may be produced at any time of day, unlike solar and wind energy, which require the sun to be out or the wind to be blowing. This implies that there won’t be any pauses in the generation of electricity at a nuclear power plant because it can produce energy continuously.
Nuclear energy might be one of the most controversial energy sources we have. For some people, the potential risk associated with nuclear power is too great. For others, nuclear looks like the answer for a zero-carbon future. Strict safety regulations have been put in place for nuclear power facilities. Nevertheless, no matter how careful you are, accidents might still occur. We know from incidents like the Fukushima accident, Chernobyl, and Three Mile Island in Pennsylvania that a nuclear plant meltdown may have disastrous effects on the neighbourhood. It is important to keep in mind, however, that these types of accidents are rare. Plus, many studies show that the fossil fuel industry is substantially more deadly than the nuclear industry, even when you include catastrophes like Chernobyl.
As you can see, there are several justifications for and against nuclear energy. This carbon-free energy source has the potential to progress us toward a clean energy future with additional technological advancements. In the future, new plants could appear. Other sources of energy, such as geothermal, wind, and solar power, are really renewable and may help us move toward a more environmentally friendly future. By adding solar panels, you can now power your house with green energy. You can power your home with solar energy even when the sun isn’t shining if you combine solar panels with energy storage. Plus, installing solar panels can completely eliminate your utility bill!
Like everyone else, I am also drawn to chatter. Sometimes I just want a storm in a cup of tea. Whether it is politics or literature. I was talking to a senior leader of Awami League. We were talking about the current political and economic situation. Another colleague of mine was also at the table. We discussed about whether or not BNP will participate in the next election. The current state of Sri Lanka, the war in Ukraine, the global reality and the challenges facing the government were not left out from the storm in a cup of tea. We questioned what will be the role of America and India regarding Bangladesh in the upcoming elections and why diplomats are so active about Bangladesh now. The leader was giving his opinion. Again he was throwing questions to us. The leader said, 'Neither BNP nor foreigners are a factor for us. The politics of Bangladesh is not dependent on foreign countries. Nothing will happen in this country at the behest of any other country's ambassador or high commissioner. BNP's attempt to fish in troubled water will be of no use. Sushil and doctors' multifaceted activities in the country and abroad will be ruined if we are good.' I was listening to the words attentively. I asked, what do you mean by saying we are good? Please elaborate. In response, the leader said, 'We mean the Awami League. Talking about the activities of our leaders and workers. Common people see the activities of the government party. But some people do whatever they want without understanding. They engage in fights among themselves. Creates unnecessary controversy. Manifests unrestrained behavior. Does not want to understand reality. People are disappointed by this. The workers of the government party are angry and saddened. Our problem is with our inner troubles. Outside conspiracies were there before; they are still there. Only by dealing with them Awami League is in today's position.
I liked the words. Awami League is an old, traditional and experienced political party. Over the ages, this party has fought various movements. This party has led the liberation war. Sheikh Hasina fought with Bangabandhu's Awami League all her life. Established human rights. Today's Awami League is enjoying the benefits of her sacrifice. She has created a record of consecutive powers. Bangabandhu and Sheikh Hasina's Awami League knows how to agitate and how to disrupt a movement. The party has equal experience of being in and out of power for a long time. BNP does not have the strength to do anything with a strong stand against this party. Tiredness has developed within the BNP for being out of power for a long time. After Begum Khaleda Zia went to jail, there was despair. BNP is no longer in its previous position. They could not create any movement for the release of the party chairperson. Couldn't stand by the leader. There is still no end to the problems inside and outside the party. Begum Khaleda Zia is now physically ill. She is surrounded by doctors, lawsuits and jails. General leaders and workers are worried about her physical condition. Another top leader of the party is in London. Bangladeshi politics cannot be led at the top level while sitting on foreign soil. Mirza Fakhrul is fighting to manage the team in this difficult environment. It is still not the time to tell how much he can do. However, as a gentleman, Mirza Fakhrul has established a position in the country and abroad. And surviving.
The political reality of ruling party and opposition parties are completely different. There is account of demand in government party. Assault case and jail on opposition party. Awami League was in the opposition for a long time. They are in today's position after facing difficult situations including assault case and lawsuits. No one faced more adversity than Awami League. After August 15, 1975, this party was out of power for 21 years. 1975 to 1980 was a miserable time for the party. Then the leaders decided to bring Bangabandhu Daughter to support the party due to the difficult reality. Millions of Awami League workers welcomed the news of the leader's arrival. Enthusiasm was created in the team. These workers were Bangabandhu's trust. Sheikh Hasina also survives in their love. 1977 paved the way for Sheikh Hasina to take charge of Awami League. The conference was held on April 3 and 4 that year at the Eden Hotel in Dhaka. Sheikh Hasina was brought to a silent discussion among the party workers of that conference. In the conference, Mizanur Rahman Chowdhury was one of the claimants of the party president. Syeda Zohra Tajuddin inaugurated the conference under the chairmanship of Molla Jalaluddin. Many leaders including Fanibhushan Majumder, Zahirul Qayoum directly opposed Mizan Chowdhury in that conference. Young leaders agreed to it. In that council Syeda Zohra Tajuddin was temporarily made the convener. Later, Abdul Malek Ukil took over as president. Abdur Razzak became the general secretary and Tofail Ahmed became the Organizing Secretary.
In that conference, Mizanur Rahman Chowdhury paid tribute to Bangabandhu and said, 'The leader is gone but the workers are left behind. If a civilian government is established in the country, then it is possible for Awami League to form that government.' Mizan Chowdhury's speech encouraged the leaders and workers of Awami League. The idea was created around Sheikh Hasina. The next conference of Awami League was held on February 13-15, 1981. A year before that conference, the leaders started coming and going to Delhi. They requested Bangabandhu Daughter to take charge of the party. Dr. SA Malek, Zillur Rahman, IV Rahman, Abdus Samad Azad, Korban Ali, Amir Hossain Amu, Syeda Sajeda Chowdhury and other senior leaders repeatedly went with the request. In the 1981 conference, Sheikh Hasina's name was announced as the president. There was no other alternative to keep the Awami League together and to energize the workers. After the conference many leaders including Abdul Malek Ukil, Dr. Kamal Hossain, Zillur Rahman, IV Rahman, Abdul Mannan of Tangail, Abdus Samad Azad, Korban Ali, Zohra Tajuddin, Sajeda Chowdhury, Golam Akbar Chowdhury, Amir Hossain Amu, Abdur Razzak, Tofail Ahmed and many others went to Delhi again. Separately, SA Malek was the first to go. They met with the leader about the date of return to the country. Awami League leaders and workers all over the country were waiting for her return. Finally, the wait ended on May 17 of the same year.
Before Sheikh Hasina took the lead, there was apprehension about the future of Awami League. There were fears about survival. Sheikh Hasina took the helm of Awami League in a difficult environment. She was only 34 then. It was a challenge to lead such a big team at that age. Bangabandhu's daughter faced the challenge and brought the Awami League closer to power in 1986. Became the leader of the opposition party in the National Parliament. As in 1986, Awami League could not come to power in 1991 due to conspiracy. With infinite patience she tackled everything single-handedly. Awami League came to power in 1996 due to her single activism. After five years, in 2001, the conspiracy started again around Awami League. Awami League's preferred CEC was in the net of that plot. No support was received from the Awami League nominated president. After BNP-Jamaat came to power, riots started all over the country. Khaleda Zia's government had to send in the army to stop the violence. Operation Cleanheart was conducted across the country. The army went back after dealing with the situation. But the conspiracy against Sheikh Hasina was not over. This time, a grenade attack was carried out to kill Bangabandhu's daughter. The head of various agencies of the state has been accused in this incident and is now in jail. Allah saved her from death in a grenade attack on 21 August. Allah has kept her alive for people because she wants to do great work for the country.
Not only on August 21, Sheikh Hasina was repeatedly attacked after coming to the country in 1981, before 1996 and after 2001. She faced death. She was imprisoned. But she dealt the situation with extreme patience. Handled everything inside and outside the party. Many people may have forgotten many realities. Awami League would have come to power in 1986 and 1991 if Bakshal was not formed under the leadership of Abdur Razzak. We didn't have to wait until 1996. She handled the challenges of Dr. Kamal Hossain, Mostafa Mohsin Montu. Brought Abdur Razzaq back home. Abolished Razzak’s Bakshal. During and after the 1991 elections, we toured the country with Sheikh Hasina and saw people's love for her. She is responding to the love of the people of Bangladesh by coming to power with the surprise of development. Her philosophy, strong leadership of thought gave new height to Awami League and brought to a new level. Expectations have increased about Bangladesh in the country and abroad. Countries like Pakistan sees Bangladesh as a role model of development. Appreciates the Padma Bridge. This is the success of Sheikh Hasina; the success is of Bangabandhu's ideological style. People's expectations have increased for the healthy development of Bangladesh in the future. A new dream has been created. This achievement cannot be hindered by the childish behavior of some fools. I don't think Sheikh Hasina herself will let anyone do that.
The over-enthusiasts destroy Awami League all the time. Damaged reputation at home and abroad. Why would the party take responsibility of some ministers, MPs, leaders and bureaucrats? It is not the responsibility of an MP to beat. Committee Trade is not the responsibility of responsible affiliate leader. Many leaders and activists at the field level regretted the committee trade. Expressed disappointment about not holding the conference. For two and a half years, the Central Jubo League could not protect the request of Comilla South District Awami League President, General Secretary to make a committee. This organization is now of no good. One of Omar Farooq Chowdhury's critics said that he used to take decisions in haste. At the end of the day, he would organize and return home. Now it's the opposite. That day, an MP lamented about the Chhatra League. He said, they are taking money from both sides with the committee. Such committee trade is not the political culture of Awami League. If dynamic leadership is not created, if competent leaders do not come, the influence of government bureaucrats in politics will naturally increase. I have seen many bureaucrats become Awami Leaguers in the last 12 years. I have also seen it changed. Many people make new calculations after retirement. Forget about becoming a super Awami League during service. Some become civils. They speak on talk-shows and criticize the Awami League government. They express their displeasure if they do not get a contract appointment or a new five-year appointment to a commission. Forget what get got during their tenure. Awami League cannot depend on bureaucracy. Awami League is a political party based on labor. There are twelve types of people gathering in this group. But field workers are different. They have no demand. They worked for Bangabandhu. And working for Bangabandhu Daughter. They don't compare what they got and what they didn't. Because of that Awami League surviving. And will be surviving. As long as Sheikh Hasina is there, I don't see anything to worry about this party. She is handling everything single-handedly. She is the center of trust.
No positive and long-standing results come out from a short-time relationship. This is much more complicated in politics and diplomacy. Only a few countries can maintain a very good relationship with their neighbors. However, the relationship between Bangladesh-India is exceptional. The relationship between these two neighbours stands on a historic milestone...
'Bishad Sindhu' of Mir Musharraf Hossain fails. The brutality is as terrible as the Maidan of Karbala. The father of the nation was killed but no one staked his life. Nobody made a single noise. Nobody sacrificed. Leaving the body of the father of the nation at Dhanmondi number 32, some went to take oath, some to recite the oath. Some was busy saving lives. Some cried silently.
Lets think about an ethereal world; where the ozone hole is not increasing in size anymore, where you don’t have the ethical conundrum of using electricity with the cost of air pollution, where you don’t have to squander money on electricity, where you don’t see countries hitting the highest temperatures ever recorded, where you don’t see wild fires destroying whole...
Like everyone else, I am also drawn to chatter. Sometimes I just want a storm in a cup of tea. Whether it is politics or literature. I was talking to a senior leader of Awami League. We were talking about the current political and economic situation. Another colleague of mine was also at the table. We discussed about whether or not BNP will participate in the next election.