Dhaka – Jubilation began across Bangladesh Friday night to celebrate the day of victory that the people earned 46 years ago defeating Pakistani occupation forces through a bloody nine-month war.
People from all walks of life are set to pay respect Saturday to the war heroes who laid their lives to liberate the nation to celebrate the Victory Day, marking the most precious day when the country made its triumph.
Bangladesh earned absolute victory on December 16, 1971 emerging as a new nation in the world map as the war for liberation began on March 26 on that year that left as many as 3 million people killed, 200,000 women raped and numerous homes torched by the Pakistani forces and their local agents.
President Abdul Hamid and Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, who issued separate messages on the eve of the Day, will pay floral respect to the martyrs at the National Mausoleum in Savar in the morning.
They will be followed by the freedom fighters and their family members, foreign diplomats, leaders of Awami League and different political and social organisations and people from all walks of life.
The President said Bangladesh is now being considered as a role-model in the world for socio-economic development. These have been possible due to intellectual-mind, tireless hard work and undaunted courage of Bangladeshi people, he added.
The president greeted the people on the occasion of the Victory Day, a glorious and memorable day in the history of the Bangali nation.
Prime Minister Hasina, in her message, urged all to come and uphold the development and democratic spree being imbued with the spirit of the freedom struggle.
“Let us engage ourselves for the welfare of the country. Let this be our vow on the Victory Day of 2017,” she said extending greetings to the people of Bangladesh as well.
She paid her deep homage to the Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, who led the war to liberate the nation from the oppression of Pakistani junta.
Different political parties including Awami League, Jatiya Party, Jatiya Samajtantrik Dal, Communist Party of Bangladesh, Workers Party and Gono Forum have chalked out various programmes in observance the day.
The government took elaborate activities to celebrate the day. The celebration will start with 31 gun salutes. Marking the day, a colorful parade will be held at National Parade Square in the Old Airport area with the participation of armed forces.
The President will take salute as chief guest at the parade. The Prime Minister will be present on the occasion.
Dhaka’s roads and streets were decorated with national flag. Buildings and establishments are also illuminated.
Different socio-cultural-professional bodies and institutions including Dhaka University, Bangla Academy, Shilpakala Academy, Sammilito Sangskritik Jote, Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujib Medical University, Bangladesh Tourism (Parjatan) Corporation and Bangabandhu Sangskritik Jote will observe the day with elaborate programmes.
This year the celebration has reached a new height following the UNESCO’s recognition of Bangabandhu’s historic 7th March Speech as part of the world’s documentary heritage.
The UNESCO on October 30 announced the prestigious acknowledgement to one of the world’s most glorious speeches, through which Bangabandhu effectively decelerated the country’s independence in a mammoth public rally at Ramna Racecourse ground (now Suhrawardy Udyan) in Dhaka on March 7, 1971.
Prime Minister Hasina will also pay tribute to Bangabandhu by placing wreath at the portrait of Bangabandhu in front of his historic Dhanmondi 32 residence in the city.
The day is a public holiday. The national flag will be hoisted atop government, semi-government and private offices as well as offices of autonomous bodies across the country.
National dailies will bring out special supplements while the state-owned and private televisions and radios will broadcast special programmes highlighting the Liberation War.
Different organisations will organise discussion and display Liberation War related documentary.
Receptions will be hosted to freedom fighters and family members of martyrs at city, district and upazila levels.
Special prayers will be offered in mosques and other places of worship, seeking salvation of the souls of martyrs of the Liberation War and peace, progress and prosperity of the country.
Improved diets will be served in jails, hospitals, orphanages and vagrant homes across the country. Destitute children will be allowed to visit children’s parks and other recreational centres across the country free-of-cost.