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Night_wolf
July 26, 2011, 01:41 AM
Former Indian premier Indira Gandhi was yesterday conferred the "Bangladesh Freedom Honour" for her unparalleled support and contributions to Bangladesh's Liberation War in 1971.

Her daughter-in-law also president of India's ruling Congress party, Sonia Gandhi, received the posthumous award from Bangladesh President Zillur Rahman on behalf of Indira Gandhi at a ceremony in Bangabhaban.

Indira Gandhi is the first among the foreign friends of Bangladesh to be conferred the highest state honour.

Expressing her heartfelt thanks for the honour, Sonia recalled the tumultuous days of 1971 when her mother-in-law took a firm stance to side with the Bangalee people fighting to establish their own country.

"If Indira Gandhi could have been with us, I know she would have been overwhelmed by the high honour you have bestowed on her," Sonia said.

"There can be no honour higher than the one conferred for the freedom of an oppressed people and the birth of a great nation," she said.

She said she felt humble and privileged but also proud to accept the award on her mother-in-law's behalf. "I do so with a very full heart and consciousness that the honour is not her alone but also India's, and in a sense yours as well."

She said she came to Bangladesh not just to visit another country.

"Memories and emotions flood my mind. My husband and I were present at the airport along with Indira Ji amid massive crowds on the historic morning on January 10, 1972, when Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman was welcomed in Delhi on his way to his newly free country," recalled Sonia.

"The amount of excitement and sense of optimism, indeed the knowledge that history was being made, I can never forget," she said.

Sonia concluded her speech by saying, "Joy Bangla, Joy Bangladesh-India friendship."

President Zillur Rahman said, "This is a very special and historic occasion for us, an occasion that will certainly be written in golden letters in the history of both of our nations."

He said Indira Gandhi inspired millions of Bangladeshis and Indians to fight against all oppression and injustice.

"She launched an intense and bold diplomatic move for Bangladesh, despite challenges by some major powers. She also vigorously pursued the Pakistani authority for safe release of Bangabandhu," he said.

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina described Indira Gandhi as a true and great friend of Bangladesh, its people, and Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman.

"On Bangabandhu's request, she withdrew the Indian soldiers within three months of Bangladesh's independence. That was a unique gesture of Mrs Indira Gandhi," Hasina said.

"We are delighted to honour her with our highest award," she said, recalling the eventful days of Bangladesh's liberation war in 1971.

She said Indira Gandhi travelled the world to rally support of the world community for the independence of Bangladesh, and for saving the life of Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, who was then facing capital punishment in a Pakistani jail.

Foreign Minister Dipu Moni said, "We are here to honour a friend who played the most critical role among all our foreign friends in our nation's journey to statehood. Indira Gandhi changed the course of events in the fateful months of 1971. And with the support she gave to our embattled people, the Peoples Republic of Bangladesh was born. Today we are here to recognise and express our gratitude, and to honour Indira Gandhi."

The award's teak frame contains two gold plates on both sides of a folded box. Fifty-year-old teak, preserved by the Department of Forest, has been used for the frame.

Sreemati Indira Gandhi's name is inscribed on the plate on the left side in Bangla and English while the plate on the right has the signatures of Bangladesh President Zillur Rahman and Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina.

The plate on the left mentions that the award was conferred as the highest token of respect and gratitude of the Bangalee nation to Indira Gandhi for her immense contribution to Bangladesh's War of Independence.

A brief audio-visual documentary was played at the 50-minute ceremony which showed images of Bangladesh's Liberation War, Indira Gandhi's activities during that period, and some of her moments with Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman. The documentary made the audience quite emotional.

The entrance of Bangabhaban was decorated with pictures depicting historic moments of Indira Gandhi during Bangladesh's struggle for liberation. Both Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina and Sonia Gandhi saw the pictures with curiosity.

State Minister for Liberation War Affairs Capt (retd) AB Tajul Islam gave the welcome speech. A large number of dignitaries including some foreign guests were present at the ceremony.

Cabinet Secretary M Abdul Aziz read out the citation conferred on Indira Gandhi.

The event concluded with the playing of the national anthem of Bangladesh.

Indira Gandhi was the third prime minister of India for three consecutive terms from 1966 to 1977, and for a fourth term from 1980 until her assassination in 1984.

in my view a wonderful news...truly deserved..a wonderful friend of Bangladesh

source daily star

bujhee kom
July 26, 2011, 01:57 AM
Right on! Great news! Respect for Indira Gandhi, a true friend of the opressed, hurt and neglected! My heart-felt salaam for this great leader of humanity.

Rabz
July 26, 2011, 02:12 AM
For a change, that is something the Govt has done right.
Whatever feelings we might reserve for India due to the more recent and contemporary issues, it would be nothing less than a crime to deny the role Indira Gandhi has played during the birth of our nation.

If there was one single foreigner who had the greatest contribution for Bangladesh,it would be Indira Gandhi.

We salute her valiant effort for our cause and thank this govt to take this initiative to finally officially recognise with the highest state honour.

I believe the govt has made a list of foreign friends to be honoured and hopefully all the awards will be given on time.

Naimul_Hd
July 26, 2011, 02:48 AM
For a change, that is something the Govt has done right.
Whatever feelings we might reserve for India due to the more recent and contemporary issues, it would be nothing less than a crime to deny the role Indira Gandhi has played during the birth of our nation.

If there was one single foreigner who had the greatest contribution for Bangladesh,it would be Indira Gandhi.

We salute her valiant effort for our cause and thank this govt to take this initiative to finally officially recognise with the highest state honour.

I believe the govt has made a list of foreign friends to be honoured and hopefully all the awards will be given on time.

right on money bro ! :up:

Night_wolf
July 26, 2011, 02:52 AM
although with sonia in power the decision may have been political but nevertheless it came atlast:)

Rabz
July 26, 2011, 03:57 AM
^^ There is nothing political in recognizing your friend's help when you needed the most.
We are just lucky that we could hand over the award to not only one of her closest family member, but to the just torch bearer of her legacy.

There are things we should keep clean of politics and this is one of them.

Night_wolf
July 26, 2011, 04:19 AM
^yeah i completely agree...i was just saying what i read in the newspaper..political or not...Indira Gandhi deserves this award..it was long overdue...finally our government understands

Rabz
July 26, 2011, 04:55 AM
http://edailystar.com/contents/2011/2011_07_26/content_zoom/2011_07_26_1_5_b.jpg

http://edailystar.com/contents/2011/2011_07_26/content_zoom/2011_07_26_19_5_b.jpg

Source : www.edailystar.com

BANFAN
July 26, 2011, 05:03 AM
Great News. While It is right to honour her and give due credit for indian support in 1971.
We shouldn't be confused to conclude this support as merely a friendship .. it was a pure case of mutual interests.

WarWolf
July 26, 2011, 05:16 AM
A lot of love is going on between Bangladesh and India. We are doing all the things to support them and honor them. What are we getting in return?

We are taking loans from them in interest to serve their transit needs. We are so gentle that we think that asking money as service charge is a immoral. As a friend we are awesome. We do all the things with no return.

They even didn't stop killing in the border. Water sharing agreement on Padma river failed completely. Now Padma in Rajshahi is empty without water even in the full rainy season.

http://www.banglacricket.com/alochona/01072011%28013%29.jpg

I am not opposing the decision. All I am saying is do for yourself and do for others also. Without looking at myself, it doesn't mean any sense to me.

Finally she had given her best support during the liberation war. Thanks to her.

simon
July 26, 2011, 06:45 AM
Sonia Gandhi will be a lot better than Manmohan Singh for BD.

BANFAN
July 26, 2011, 06:56 AM
Sonia Gandhi will be a lot better than Manmohan Singh for BD.

What does that mean? Don't they pursue same policies of congress?

roman
July 26, 2011, 08:25 AM
Well done Hasina Apu. My salute to Indira Ji...

BanCricFan
July 26, 2011, 10:44 AM
A lot of love is going on between Bangladesh and India.

But it seems to be a One-Way traffic only. Rather, one sided love affair. Amra Bangladeshi shotti-i premik jaati. 1LUV. :-D

shaad
July 26, 2011, 10:53 AM
A lot of love is going on between Bangladesh and India. We are doing all the things to support them and honor them. What are we getting in return?

We are taking loans from them in interest to serve their transit needs. We are so gentle that we think that asking money as service charge is a immoral. As a friend we are awesome. We do all the things with no return.

They even didn't stop killing in the border. Water sharing agreement on Padma river failed completely. Now Padma in Rajshahi is empty without water even in the full rainy season.

http://www.banglacricket.com/alochona/01072011%28013%29.jpgI am not opposing the decision. All I am saying is do for yourself and do for others also. Without looking at myself, it doesn't mean any sense to me.

Finally she had given her best support during the liberation war. Thanks to her.

WarWolf, basically this costs us nothing, and serves to partially counter one media-dominated thread in the Indian discourse which tries to paint Bangladesh as a hotbed of anti-Indian terrorism.

However, the realpolitikal and other benefits of supporting Bangladesh (then East Pakistan) during 1971 should be clear to most. It helped alleviate the refugee crisis, allowed considerable concessions from Mujib's government (which the Pakistanis would never have allowed), demoralized a rival, and eliminated one possible front of a future war. Again, that's not to say that we don't appreciate the assistance, but the more cynical and savvy among you should know that nations don't have friends, only interests.

Rabz
July 26, 2011, 12:13 PM
I hope this doesn't become yet another India bashing thread.
Please let us stay on the topic.

Zeeshan
July 26, 2011, 10:40 PM
An apt posthumous honor indeed!
May her soul rest in peace.

Alchemist
July 27, 2011, 12:07 AM
Agree with Shaad bhai's comments above.

I agree with Rabz bhai as well. Although India's interest (regarding BD) has changed a lot since '71, but let's not make this thread a India bashing thread.

Respect for Indira Gandhi, who tried her best to help the Bangladeshi people in 1971. We'll never forget that.

Unfortunately, I won't be able to show any respect for our current PM and President, sorry.