The nation is set to celebrate the 51st Independence and National Day Friday coinciding with the grand celebration of the birth centenary of Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman and golden jubilee of independence.
The grand celebration of the birth centenary of Bangabandhu and the golden jubilee of Bangladesh’s independence, which marked the physical attendance of five heads of states and governments and virtual attendance of other global leaders, started on 17 March at the National Parade Square here in the presence of Maldivian president Ibrahim Mohamed Solih.
The 10-day grand celebration will end tomorrow following the celebration of the country’s 51st Independence and National Day tomorrow with the attendance of Indian prime minister Narendra Modi in person as the guest of honour.
Earlier, Sri Lankan prime minister Mahinda Rajapaksa, Nepalese president Bidya Devi Bhandari and Bhutanese prime minister Lotay Tshering joined the grand celebration in person since March 17.
Marking the 51st Independence and National Day, the government has taken elaborate programmes maintaining the health guidelines in view of the global pandemic coronavirus.
On the occasion, president M Abdul Hamid and prime minister Sheikh Hasina gave separate messages today extending heartfelt greetings and warm felicitations to the countrymen living both home and abroad.
The National Memorial at Savar will be the main venue of the celebration of the day where president Md Abdul Hamid and prime minister Sheikh Hasina will place wreaths early in the morning as a mark of profound respect to the memories of the martyrs.
People from all walks of life, including families of Bir Shreshthas, war wounded freedom fighters, members of the diplomatic corps, leaders of different political parties, social, cultural and professional bodies, will also lay wreaths at the national memorial in the morning of the day.
The day’s programmes will begin by heralding a 50-gun salute early in the morning as a mark of profound respect to the heroic struggle of this nation, which suffered a protracted subjugation under foreign rules from time to time till achieving their coveted Independence in 1971.
The national flag will be hoisted atop all government, semi-government, autonomous and private buildings with the rises of sun while all streets and important city intersections will be decorated with national and multi-coloured miniature flags and festoons.
Important buildings and establishments as well as city streets and islands will be illuminated with colourful lights.
National dailies will bring out special supplements while Bangladesh Betar, Bangladesh Television, private radio stations and television channels will air month-long special programmes on Liberation War and highlighting the significance of the day.
Bangladesh Shilpakala Academy, Bangla Academy, National Museum, Liberation War Museum, Bangladesh Shishu Academy, and other social and cultural organisations will arrange discussions, cultural programmes and sports competition while painting competition for children, essay and debate competitions will be organized virtually.
Liberation War based documentaries and movies will be screened at cinema halls across the country maintaining the health guidelines, including wearing face masks.
Reception will be accorded to freedom fighters and the members of martyred freedom fighters at city, zilla and upazila levels, while Bangladesh Postal Office will publish commemorating postal stamps.
Special prayers will be offered in all mosques, temples, churches and other places of worship across the country seeking divine blessings for the eternal peace of the departed souls of Father of the Nation, four national leaders, martyrs of the War of Liberation and all other patriotic sons of the soil.
Improved meals will be served to the inmates of hospitals, jails, old homes and orphanage centres to mark the day. The country’s all children’s parks and museums will remain open for all.
All children parks and museums will remain open for all in terms of maintaining health guidelines while neval ships of Bangladesh Navy and Coast Guard will be exhibited at Chattogram, Khulna, Mongla and Payra ports and the jetties of Bangladesh Inland Water Transport Authority (BIWTA) in the city’s Sadarghat, Pagla in Narayanganj, Barishal and Chandpur from 2:00pm until the sun sets.
The missions abroad will also celebrate the day through similar programmes.
Different political parties including ruling Awami League as well as socio-cultural and professional organisations have also taken various programmes to observe the day in a befitting manner.
Every year, the 26 March brings the most tragic reminiscence of the history’s blackest episode that heralded a nine-month bloody ordeal from the night of 25 March, 1971, achieving the long-cherished independence on 16 December the same year at the cost of a sea of blood.
In the wake of the military crackdown, Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, who became the undisputed leader of the then Pakistan following the massive victory of his party, Awami League, in the 1970 general elections, declared the independence of Bangladesh through the then EPR (East Pakistan Rifles) wireless at 00-30 hours on March 26 (the night following 25 March) in 1971 at his historic Road-32 residence at Dhanmondi here.
The great leader also called upon the people to build up strong resistance against the Pakistani barbaric occupation forces.
The Pakistani military junta, in a bid to stop the legitimate movement of the Bangalees, arrested Bangabandhu on that night following his declaration of independence.
Later, Bangabandhu was taken to the then West Pakistan where he had to spend nine months in a dark condemned cell.
Bangabandhu wrote down the declaration of independence soon after the Pakistani army cracked down on the fateful night of 25 March, 1971.
The declaration of independence was soon put on air by wireless. The declaration was first broadcast by Awami League leader MA Hannan from Kalurghat Radio Station in port city of Chittagong on March 26, 1971.
The Pakistani military junta in their monstrous outburst unleashed a bloody holocaust breaking the silence of the night following 25 March in 1971 when they mercilessly killed hundreds of innocent sleeping Bangalees, including teachers, students, police, soldiers, pedestrians and rickshaw-pullers, here.
The nation soon launched the War of Liberation at the call of Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman in the early hours of 26 March.
Bangladesh emerged as an independent and sovereign country on 16 December, 1971 with the surrender of the Pakistani occupation forces, who killed three million innocent civilians, perpetrated atrocities on two lakh Bangalee women and burnt down lakhs of houses across the country during the nine-month bloody war.