Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on Tuesday asked all to refrain from doing religious excesses as the government wants to ensure peaceful coexistence of people from all religions.
"Bangladesh is a country of secular spirit; the people of all religions will perform their religious rituals freely as our Constitution has given that directive," she said.
Sheikh Hasina said this while addressing a discussion on the birth anniversary of Sheikh Russell, the youngest son of Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, marking Sheikh Russell Day 2021.
Awami League organised the programme at its Bangabandhu Avenue central office. The Prime Minister joined it from her official residence Ganobhaban.
The Prime Minister, who chaired the programme, said Islam also advises peaceful performing of the religious rituals of all religions. "Our Prophet (PBUH) advised not to do excesses with religion. We want no one to do excesses with religion," she said.
Hasina said the aim of the government is to ensure the coexistence of people from all religions in a peaceful environment.
Hasina said Bangladesh is a small country in terms of its geographical size, but it is a big one if the size of its population is considered. "I want all to have a prosperous and beautiful life and enjoy their basic rights."
Talking about the ill fate of Sheikh Russell who was assassinated with other family members of the Father of the Nation on August 15, 1975, she said no other child of the country should embrace that fate anymore. "Unfortunately, we're seeing that cruelty till today," she said.
She mentioned the arson terrorism of BNP under the leadership of then opposition leader Khaleda Zia. "We saw people getting killed in arson attacks, and children burnt alive."
When Khaleda Zia was the opposition leader, running buses were set afire when a father saw his son was burning alive. "That time of cruel incident happened in the country ….that was the most unfortunate for Bangladesh," she said.
Hasina vowed to ensure a better life for all children of the country. "Not a single child will roam in the street, everyone will get shelter, every child will have the opportunity to flourish his or her talent, knowledge and creativity so that the children can take Bangladesh forward," she said.
Recalling the bloodshed of the past, she said not these types of bloodshed will ever happen in the country.
"Russell is no more, but thousands of children of the country are there, we want to ensure a better life for them so that they could grow as the worthy citizens of the country imbued with patriotism. We want to do that," she said in her emotion-choked voice.
AL general secretary and highways and bridges minister Obaidul Quader, AL presidium members Matia Chowdhury, Dr Abdur Razzaque, Jahangir Kabir Nanak and Abdur Rahman; AL joint secretary AFM Bahauddin Nasim, AL central working committee member Mofazzal Hossain Chowdhury Maya, AL relief secretary Sujit Roy Nandi, AL office secretary barrister Biplob Barua, AL women affairs secretary Meher Afroz Chumki, Dhaka South AL president Abu Ahmed Mannafi and Dhaka North AL general secretary SA Mannan Kochi also spoke at the programme.
Earlier, the Prime Minister unveiled the cover of a book titled "Education Philosophy of Bangabandhu" published by the AL Education Sub-committee.