The nation is observing National Mourning Day today, commemorating the 48th anniversary of the martyrdom of Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, the greatest Bangalee of all time.
At the fateful dawn of August 15 in 1975, a group of disgruntled army officers assassinated the country’s undaunted leader Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman along with most of his family members and toppled his three and half-year-old government.
The Bangalee nation witnessed the history’s most heinous incident on this day at a time when Bangabandhu devoted himself to implementing his dream to build the country as Sonar Bangla (Golden Bengal.
Bangabandhu’s wife Sheikh Fazilatunnesa Mujib, sons Sheikh Kamal, Sheikh Jamal and Sheikh Russell, daughters-in-law Sultana Kamal and Rosy Jamal, brother Sheikh Naser, peasants leader Abdur Rab Serniabat, youths leader Sheikh Fazlul Haq Moni and his wife Arzu Moni, Baby Serniabat, Sukanta Babu,
Arif and Abdul Nayeem Khan Rintu were also killed along with Bangabandhu.
Bangabandhu’s two daughters – Sheikh Hasina, now the incumbent Prime Minister, and Sheikh Rehana – survived the August 15 carnage as they were in Germany at that time. The assassination of Bangabandhu dealt a major blow to the spirit of country’s liberation war. The country witnessed politics of killing, coup and conspiracy after the killing of the great leader.
The world community strongly protested and condemned the killing of Bangabandhu, saying it is an irreparable loss to millions of people of Bangladesh.
August 15 remains as a black chapter of the country’s history as the vested quarter, by capturing state power, trampled people’s long-cherished desire for economic emancipation. After Bangabandhu’s killing, the country had been under military and quasi-military rule for 15 years. The spirit and objective of the liberation war was at jeopardy during the period.
The saga of the Bangalee nation’s long struggle for independence under the iconic leadership of Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman was nakedly twisted by the stratocracy.
The nation started observing the month of mourning from August 1, recalling the most brutal killing and renewing the pledge to safeguard the country’s hard-earned independence and sovereignty. The government, the ruling Awami League and different socio-cultural organisations have chalked out elaborate programmes to observe National Mourning Day.
The programmes, include hoisting of the national flag at half mast atop all government and non-government offices and Bangladesh missions abroad.
The day is a public holiday.
Bangladesh Television (BTV), Bangladesh Betar and private TV channels will air special programmes while newspapers will publish special supplements highlighting the great contributions of Bangabandhu.
President Mohammed Shahabuddin and Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina issued separate messages on the occasion of National Mourning Day.
The President in his message said that Bangabandhu will remain an eternal source of inspiration not only for millions of Bangalees in this country, but also for freedom-seeking people of the world. “Bangabandhu is no longer with us . . . but his principles and ideals will always inspire the freedom-seeking people to attain their rights and the mass awakening against exploitation and oppression around the world,” he said.
Paying deep homage to all the martyrs and praying for the eternal peace of the departed souls, the President said the assassins killed the Father of the Nation but could not destroy his principles and ideals in any way.
“Bangabandhu, even on the gallows, upheld the interest of Bangla and Bangalees, ignoring the blood-curdling eyes of the then Pakistani rulers,” he said.
“As long as Bangladesh exists, the name and glory of the Father of the Nation will remain ever shining in the mind of millions of Bangalees of our country,” the President added.
In her message, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has urged all to resist all kinds of conspiracies to build a non-communal, hunger-poverty free prosperous ‘Sonar Bangladesh’ as dreamt by Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman.
“Let’s turn the grief of losing the Father of the Nation into our strength and unitedly resist all kinds of plots and conspiracies, and build a non-communal, hunger-poverty free developed-prosperous Golden Bangladesh as dreamt by Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman – let this be our solemn pledge on this National Mourning Day,” she said.
The premier said the anti-liberation clique killed Bangabandhu and most of his family members at a time when he was engaged in the struggle of building a Golden Bangladesh by reconstructing the war-ravaged country.
“Through the killing of the Father of the Nation, the defeated forces of the Liberation War made abortive attempts to ruin the tradition, culture and advancement of the Bangalee Nation. The aim of the killers was to break the state structure of secular democratic Bangladesh and foil our hard-earned Independence,” she added.
As part of the programmes, national flag will be hoisted at half-mast atop all the autonomous institutions and educational institutions as well as Bangladesh missions abroad.
President Mohammed Shahabuddin and Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina will pay homage to Bangabandhu by placing wreaths at his portrait in front of Bangabandhu Memorial Museum at Dhanmondi Road-32 in the capital at 6.30am. The premier will also place wreaths at 7:00am at Banani Graveyard on the graves of the family members of Bangabandhu and other martyrs who were brutally killed on August 15, 1975.
She will also offer Fateha and munajat, seeking eternal peace of the departed souls of the martyrs.
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina will also pay homage to Bangabandhu by placing wreaths at his grave at Tungipara at 11:45am.
Cabinet members, lawmakers, political parties, socio-cultural organisations and government bodies will pay homage to Bangabandhu by placing wreaths at his portrait at Dhanmondi Road-32.
Wreaths will also be placed at the Bangabandhu’s memorial at Tungipara in Gopalganj. Fateha and munajat will be offered and discussions will be held there.
Tribute will also be paid to other martyrs of the August 15 carnage by placing wreaths at their graves at Banani Graveyard.
Educational institutions will arrange different competitions, cultural functions and photo-exhibitions on the occasion.
Awami League has chalked out various programmes, including keeping national and party flags at half mast and hoisting black flags atop all its offices across the country, including Bangabandhu Bhaban and party’s central office on Bangabandhu Avenue, at dawn. AL leaders and workers will pay glowing tribute to Bangabandhu by placing wreaths at his portrait on the premises of Bangabandhu Memorial Museum at Dhanmondi on Road 32 at 6.30am.
Tribute will also be paid to other martyrs of August 15 by placing wreaths at their graves at Banani graveyard at 7:30am. Special prayers will be offered and milad mahfil will also be held there.
An AL delegation, Gopalganj district and Tungipara upazila units of the party will pay homage to Bangabandhu by placing wreaths at his memorial at Tungipara in Gopalganj at 11:00pm.
Fateha offering, milad and doa mahfil will be arranged there.
Doa and milad mahfil will also be held at mosques across the country, including Baitul Mukarram National Mosque after Zuhr prayers. Besides, special prayers will be offered at temples, churches and pagodas across the country to mark the National Mourning Day.
As part of the central programme, special prayers will be held at Mirpur Baptist Church at Mirpur-10 at 11:00am, Buddhist community at International Buddhist Monastery at Merul Badda at 10:00am and Hindu community at Dhakeshwari National Temple at 11.30am. Food will be distributed among insolvent, orphans and distressed people across the country on the occasion. The ruling party will also hold a discussion at Bangabandhu International Conference Centre (BICC) in the capital at 3:30pm tomorrow. Awami League President and Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina will chair the discussion.
Source: The Daily SUN.