Eastern Times Correspondent, Dhaka: Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on Tuesday hailed Pranab Mukherjee as an inspiration saying that his death has created a vacuum both in the intellectual as well as political arenas of this subcontinent.
“He will remain as an inspiration for the coming generations of our region. We will remember him for his support and love for Bangladesh,” she said.
Hasina said this in a video message on the occasion of the First Pranab Mukherjee Memorial Lecture organized by “Pranab Mukherjee Legacy Foundation” on a virtual platform.
It is hard to pass a year without Pranab Mukherjee, said Hasina, adding: “He was a true friend of Bangladesh and a great political icon of the subcontinent. I pay my deep homage to the memory of this towering personality on his death anniversary.”
She mentioned that Pranab Mukherjee had a deep love for Bangladesh. “His contribution to our great Liberation War would never be forgotten.”
As a young MP, Hasina recalled, he took bold initiatives to support and table a motion in Rajya Sabha in June 1971 for the recognition of Bangladesh.
“The people of Bangladesh gratefully remember his support. Pranab Mukherjee had enormous respect and deep regards for our Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman,” she added.
The prime minister said as he had been given “Bharat Ratna” in recognition of his contribution by the government of India, it was an honour for Bangladesh to confer the prestigious Muktijuddho Sammanona (Liberation War Honour) upon him in 2013 for his invaluable contributions to Bangladesh’s Liberation War.
“Bharat Ratna Pranab Mukherjee had a colourful political career and he was known for his extraordinary wisdom, farsightedness and visionary leadership,” she mentioned.
Hasina said, Pranab Mukherjee efficiently managed important ministries like Finance, Defense and External Affairs of the government of India with his versatile talents.
“His extraordinary qualities eventually led him to become the first citizen of the country and the first Bengali president of India.”
The prime minister said she had close personal relations and very fond memories with him and his wife Shubra Mukerjee, who was from Bangladesh.
“Pranab dada and Shubra didi had deep affection for me and my sister Rehana. They remained beside us as guardians and family friends during our difficult days in India after the assassination of my parents along with 18 other close family members on August 15, 1975.
She said the demise of Pranab Mukherjee was a personal loss for her and her family, and she will continue to miss him and his affection.
The lecture was delivered by Vice President of India M Venkaiah Naidu.