Dhaka – Bangladesh has been celebrating the homecoming day of its independence architect Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman with due fervor and festivity.
Bangabandhu Mujib came to Dhaka on January 10, 1972 after he was released from Pakistani jail soon after Bangladesh was liberated through a nine-month bloody war. He was arrested by the Pakistani junta on March 26, 1971 after he had announced Bangladesh’s liberation.
Ruling Awami League party and its front organisations and various socio-political organisations have taken up elaborate programmes to mark the day in the city and elsewhere.
The Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina paid glowing tributes to Bangabandhu by placing a wreath at his portrait in front of Bangabandhu Memorial Museum at Dhanmondi in the morning in Dhaka on the occasion of the Homecoming Day of the great leader.
After laying the floral wreath, she stood there in solemn silence for some time as a mark of profound respect to the memory of Bangabandhu, the architect of independence.
Flanked by central leaders of the party, Sheikh Hasina, also the president of Awami League, placed another wreath at the portrait of Bangabandhu on behalf of her party.
Later, the leaders of AL’s associate bodies, including Juba League, Chhatra League, Sramik League, Mahila Awami League, Swechchhasebak League, Juba Mohila League, Krishak League, Dhaka city AL and other socio-cultural organizations laid wreaths at the portrait of Bangabandhu.
The day starts with hoisting the national and party flags at the AL central office and the party offices across the country at around 6:30am.
The ruling AL is set to hold a rally at Suhrawardy Udyan in the city in the afternoon
Hasina will attend the discussion as the chief guest while eminent intellectuals and national leaders are expected to take part in the discussion.
The President Abdul Hamid and Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina in special messages recalled Bangabandhu’s contribution in the movement of economic and political emancipation of the people of this country.
Hamid said Bangladesh is now being gradually transformed into a ‘Golden Bengal’ of Bangabandhu’s dream.
On the fateful night of 25 March 1971, the Pakistani invading forces started genocide by executing ‘Operation Searchlight’ in accordance with their preplanned blueprint to annihilate the Bangalees, he added.
Under these circumstances, Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman declared the independence of Bangladesh in the early hours of 26 March in 1971 and urged people from all strata to join the war of liberation, he said.
Immediately after that, the Pakistani forces arrested Bangabandhu from his residence, and confined him in Mianwali jail of the then West-Pakistan,” the president said adding that Bangabandhu had to undergo 9 months 14 days of rigorous imprisonment there.
Prime Minister Hasina called for building a non-communal, hunger-poverty-free and happy-prosperous Bangladesh being imbued with the spirit of liberation war.
“Let us build a “Sonar Bangla” as dreamt by Bangabandhu where there will be no disparity between the rich and the poor and equal opportunity of prosperity will be available for all,” she said in a message delivered marking the day.
Bangabandhu, the undisputed leader of the nation and supreme commander of the country’s Liberation War, returned to the sacred soil of independent Bangladesh via London and New Delhi on January 10 in 1972, after 290 days captivity in Pakistan jail.
He was subjected to inhuman torture in the Pakistan jail where he had been counting moments for the execution of his death sentence that was pronounced in a farcical trial.
“I was a prisoner in the condemned cell awaiting hanging. From the day I went into jail, I didn’t know whether I was to live or not. I was mentally ready to die. But I knew Bangladesh would be liberated,” Bangabandhu spoke emotionally of his ordeal in Pakistani prison in a news conference at Claridge’s, London’s most elegant hotel.
On the Pakistani army’s slaughter of Bengalis, Mujib declared: “If Hitler could have been alive today, he would be ashamed.”
On his arrival in Dhaka (Tejgaon) airport in the afternoon on January 10, Bangabandhu was greeted by tens of thousands of jubilant people who had been eagerly waiting to see the beloved leader since the final victory on December 16 in 1971.
From airport Bangabandhu was moved to the Racecourse Maidan (now Suhrawardy Udyan) where he addressed a spontaneous reception accorded to him by the cheerful countrymen believed to be one million.
He had recalled with respect the contribution of all during the war and urged the people to rebuild the war-ravaged country.
Bangabandhu took oath of office as the country’s Prime Minister on January 12, 1972.