Sheikh Hasina and Raoul Wallenberg in history


Shoeb Chowdhury

Raoul Gustaf Wallen-berg was a Swedish businessman and diplomat. He is still recalled by people across the world for saving the lives of thousands of Hungarian people from German Nazi force’s holocaust during the World War II.
Raoul Wallenberg was posted in Hungary as Swedish Consul General while the World War II was going on. He issued Swedish visa to all these Hungarian people to enable them to move away to Sweden from Hungary during the World War II to avoid the carnage by the German troops.
As Sweden was a neutral country during the Second World War, it was safe for the people who escaped from different European countries to move into Sweden. That’s why Raoul Wallenberg did this immensely humanitarian work by sending such a huge number of Hungarians to Sweden to survive the war.
During the siege of Hungarian capital Budapest by the Russian Red Army, Raoul Wallenberg was detained by the Soviet intelligence unit on 17th January 1945 and was not found anymore. He was reported to have died in July 1947 under KGB imprisonment.
People all over the world have honored the supreme act of humanity by Raoul Wallenberg. There are monuments dedicated to him in different countries and several roads have been named after him in many more parts of the globe. The United States of America introduced an award in the name of Raoul Wallenberg in 1981 to be conferred to people with proven devotion and achievements in the field of humanitarian and philanthropic activities. Postal stamps in his name were issued by Argentina, Canada, Australia, Hungary, United States and some more countries.
In context of Bangladesh’s geopolitical perspectives Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has proven her humanistic approach and broad-hearted views by accommodating over one million Rohingya refugees on the land of Bangladesh who have poured into Bangladesh territory from Myanmar to escape ethnic cleansing by Myanmar army in Rakhine province. 
Bangladesh government is currently dealing with domestic security threats posed by the rise of militant gangs. Radical Islamic militants have in the meantime exposed themselves in a number of places across Bangladesh. As a result the law and order forces of Bangladesh have been working very hard for last couple of years raiding the hideouts of Islamic militants. Several militants have been terminated in shootouts with security forces while some officers from the law enforcement agencies have embraced martyrdom in the line of fire.
Under these circumstances, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has displayed her courage and humanity by allowing great numbers of Rohingya refugees to take shelter in Bangladesh. Journalists from different foreign media agencies have named Sheikh Hasina “Mother of Humanity” for the outstanding instance of love for mankind and munificence she has established through extending aid and shelter to the Rohingya people which is comparable to the great roles played by Raoul Wallenberg during World War II.
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has boldly stated that if Bangladesh can feed 160 million people then it can also provide food and accommodation to the Rohingyas as well. This statement by Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has obtained widespread admiration from many foreign countries and international organizations.
On the other hand, it is a major concern how long the turmoil in Rakhine province will continue and how long Bangladesh can sustain this load of refugees on its land. The influx of the Rohingya people into Bangladesh may cast adverse effects on the country’s security, politics and economy.
Allegations have already glared up that a lot of Rohingya refugees have meanwhile got engaged with illegal things like narcotics peddling, human trafficking while Rohingya women are being placed in red light areas by racketeers, such reports are also coming from relevant sources. Extremist political parties like Hefazat-E-Islam and Jamaat have already supported the Rohingya influx. These parties may misuse the Rohingya refugees for fanatic wings–this apprehension is too blazing to be ignored.
The United Nation Security Council has been divided over the Rohingya issue. On the other hand, among the European countries Germany and Britain have asked Myanmar to take back the displaced Rohingyas while some other countries have expressed support to the Myanmar government. This is how the Rohingya crisis has become a very complicated stumbling stone.
It may be added that what is happening in Myanmar against Rohingya minorities if the same thing occurred in India, communal outburst by radical groups in Bangladesh would be nearly impossible to restrain.  More shockingly, the Buddhists in Myanmar whose religion upholds the principles of peace and nonviolence but they are reportedly conducting persecution against the people of Rakhine province which sounds very unfortunate.
Sheikh Hasina’s contribution for uplifting the honor of Bangladesh on the global stage should be acknowledged by all concerned at home and abroad. The prizes like Agent of Change, Planet 50-50, International Telecommunication Union Award and some more recognitions Sheikh Hasina has achieved through her dedication and patriotism for Bangladesh have made all countrymen proud. Moreover, Sheikh Hasina’s hard work and consistent endeavors established 21st February as International Mother Language Day for the entire world to observer every year.
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina’s far-sight, magnanimity and diligence have successfully eradicated poverty from Bangladesh to a remarkable extent and she has transformed Bangladesh into an ideal example which can be followed by many other countries.
It may be noted that most of the cabinet members of Bangladesh are too lethargic and elderly by age which is why the government is not being able to work dynamically to establish good governance. At the same time the government’s initiatives to obtain certain development goals and Vision 2021 are getting obstructed by a bunch of inefficient, opportunist and noncommittal bureaucrats.

Besides, it has been noticed that in the recent discussion programs and dialogues higher officials and civic society members are not spotlighting on the instances of humanity Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has displayed over the Rohingya issue. However, the benevolence and nobility of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina have illuminated her image with the aura of a scintillating stateswoman which deserves to be valued in Bangladesh and across the world.

The writer is an entrepreneur, diplomat and sports organizer

Source: The Asian Age,Bangladesh