President M Abdul Hamid and Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina have issued separate messages greeting the countrymen on the occasion of Pahela Baishakh, the first day of Bengali New Year 1430, being celebrated today, Friday.
President Abdul Hamid, in his message on Thursday, wished all Bangladeshis living in the country and abroad a happy Bengali New Year.
The advent of Baishakh comes to people’s lives with ever new messages, the head of the state said, adding that forgetting sorrow, decay and failure, everyone wakes up with great joy.
He said Pahela Baishakh is the main part of the eternal tradition of the Bengali nation.
The counting of the year, which started during the Mughal period as the crop year (Fasali shan), has become a commemorative festival imbued with non-communal spirit among all Bengalis over time.
At that time, Pahela Baishakh was the main force in the development, self-control and liberation of Bengali culture, he continued.
With the emergence of Bangladesh, this power of culture strengthened and accelerated the political spirit, Hamid said.
He further said the traditional Mangal Shobhajatra, a procession brought on the first day of Bengali New Year, got UNESCO recognition in 2016 as world heritage.
This international recognition of national culture is an absolute pride and dignity for Bengalis as a nation, he said, adding that one of the foundations of the philosophy and ideology of Bangladesh’s founding father Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman was the development of native culture and development of national spirit.
This consciousness was active in the Bengali New Year that Bangabandhu celebrated with his fellow prisoners while he was confined to prison, he said.
The president urged all to build a happy and prosperous smart Bangladesh free from hunger and poverty by embracing this liberal spirit, Bangabandhu’s philosophy of state, the ideal of establishing Bangladesh and the flame of state-language spirit.
In her message, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina said Pahela Baishakh is the day of harmony and the great reunion of Bengalis.
The prime minister called upon all, irrespective of religion and caste, to wake up with new joy forgetting the sorrows and failures of the past year.
The search for the identity and roots of Bengalis can be found through its celebration, Sheikh Hasina said, adding that Pahela Baishakh is a reflection of the Bangalees.
During the Pakistan period, the colonial power wanted to destroy the Bengali tradition, the prime minister said, adding that the Bengalis resisted it with the strength of self-identity and their own culture.
Bengalis joined the struggle for liberation by holding that power, she continued.
She further said the combined flow of culture and politics has been turned into a struggle for independence and freedom.
“This is how independent sovereign Bangladesh emerged in the world,” she added.
Following this, the traditional Mangal Shobhajatra has been recognised as world heritage by UNESCO, she said.
“The international recognition of it is undoubtedly a great achievement. Following this path, the Bangalees will become the best nation in the world community,” Hasina said.
The Bengali nation cannot be suppressed as the achievements and progress of the Bangalee heroes will be remembered ages after ages, she said.
Ethnic heritage and pride are also the key to the lifelong struggle of Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman in establishing the ideologies such as secularism, liberalism, nationalism and democracy, the prime minister added.
She hoped that this year’s Baishakh will be a great inspiration for the nation to fight against militancy, fundamentalism, extremism and anti-liberation forces and to build a society free from hunger and poverty and a golden Bangladesh cum smart Bangladesh as dreamt by Bangabandhu.