Hasina conferred honorary D.Litt
Kolkata: Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina was on Saturday conferred a honorary Doctorate of Literature by the Kazi Nazrul University here on the 119th birth anniversary of the 'Rebel poet'.
University Vice-Chancellor Sadhan Chakrabarti handed out the degree to her at a special convocation, in which a number of senior ministers of her Cabinet and state Education minister Partha Chatterjee were present.
The Vice-Chancellor, who presided over the function in the absence of the indisposed Chancellor — Governor K N Tripathi — said the Bangladesh Prime Minister was honoured in recognition of her outstanding contribution towards building a democratic society free from exploitation and disparity, for empowering women, alleviating poverty and promoting socio-economic development, which were the ideals of poet Kazi Nazrul Islam.
Speaking at the event, Hasina dedicated the honour to all Bengalis and said: "I get requests for receiving such awards from lot of universities across the globe. However, the only reason I agreed to come here was because it is named after Nazrul Islam. This is an honour for our entire countrymen. Nazrul is there in the heart of one and all. I accept the honour you have given me with all humility and dedicate it to the people of Bangladesh and all Bengalis," she said, as the auditorium burst into thunderous applause.
Seeking cooperation to combat terrorism, she said: "By the cooperation of all Bangladesh has been successful in curbing terrorism." Urging countries to put pressure on Myanmar to take back the Rohinga refugees, she said: "Bangladesh has given shelter to 11 lakh Rohingas."
Hasina also expressed her gratitude to government of India for its unflinching support during the Freedom movement of Bangladesh in 1971. "Later also the Indian government, particularly Indira Gandhi, had given us full support and shelter after my father Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujib was brutally murdered," she remarked. She said the relationship between Bangladesh and India has improved over the years and "this will continue in future." She said she had visited Churulia, the birthplace of Kazi Nazrul in 1998-99 but was pained to hear that there was no development in the area. "But I have seen the development today and I must thank the Mamata Banerjee government for restoring the entire area."
The birth anniversary of Nazrul was observed throughout the state with great enthusiasm. The Information and Cultural Affairs department had organised a programme at Nazrul Tirtha in New Town. Earlier in the day, Debashis Sen, chairman of Housing Infrastructure Development Corporation garlanded the poet's statue at Nazrul Tirtha where cultural programmes were held. Well-known Nazrul Geeti exponents paid their tributes to the great poet.