Dhaka – Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on Thursday called everyone irrespective of their religious belief for peaceful celebration of the traditional Bangla New Year saying the tradition has no conflict with religion.
“Celebration of the Pahela Boishakh (the first day of Bangla calendar) is fully a Benglai culture being practiced for years. It has no conflict with religion and none should find conflict in it,” the prime minister said.
Hasina made the comments while inaugurating the “grand musical dancing fountain” and amphitheater at Hatirjheel in Dhaka through video conferencing from her Ganabhaban residence ahead of the Bangla New Year celebration.
People across Bangladesh are poised to celebrate the day with festivity and fanfare on Friday with the government taking additional security measures to maintain order.
Hasina warned the people to remain alert to ensure peaceful celebration of the festival.
“Pahela Baishakh is the only festival which the people of all religions celebrate together,” she said adding that Emperor Akbar began the celebration during the Mughal regime and it has now been celebrated across the world.
Bangla New Year has a connection with economic activities as people opens their business book (Halkhata) and make the day festive through different activities.
As Mongal Shobhajatra (procession for wellbeing)is being brought out to celebrate the festival, Hasina said it is not a matter of religion. The Mongal Shobhajatra has been recognised as a world heritage by the UNESCO.
Making earthen elephant, horse, pots and pans and preparing flowers with paper are part of Bangalee culture and tradition and it has been continued over the years, she said.
Hasina extended greetings to the people on the occasion of Pahela Baishakh and said “grand musical dancing fountain” and amphitheater at Hatirjheel are her Nababarsha gifts to the city-dwellers.
The amphitheater and the largest musical dancing fountain in South Asia, with capacity of 2000 audience, have been constructed on the water of city lake called Hatirjheel to give a new facelift of the area.
Bangladesh Army’s Special Works Organization (SWO-West) implemented the project with the support from Housing and Public Works Ministry, Rajdhani Unnayan Katripakhya and Dhaka WASA.
Chief of Army Staff General Abu Belal Muhammad Shafiul Haque also spoke at the function, according to state-run Bangladesh Sangbad Sangstha news agency.
Project Director Major General Abu Sayeed Mohammad Masud highlighted various key features of the fountain and amphitheater through a power point presentation.
Housing and Public Works Minister Mosharraf Hossain, Agriculture Minister Matia Chowdhury and LGRD Minister Engineer Khandakar Mosharraf Hossain were present on the occasion.