Dhaka – Bangladesh on Tuesday began the yearlong celebration for birth centenary of Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, who freed millions of people from oppression and subjugation by founding the South Asian country nearly five decades ago.
Mujibur, the father of the nation, was born on March 17 in 1920 at Tungipara and declared Bangladesh’s independence on March 26, 1971 hours before he was arrested by the Pakistan army in Dhaka, the then provincial capital of East Pakistan.
To celebrate the birth centenary of the great leader, Bangladesh chalked out yearlong worldwide events, some of which was cut down because of the global pandemic of coronavirus that led to death of more than 6,000 people and threatened millions others.
President Abdul Hamid and Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina kick-started the celebration by paying tribute to Bangabandhu in the morning. They placed floral wreaths at the portrait of Mujibur in Dhaka and at his grave in Tungipara.
They also offered prayers at the grave of Bangabandhu, who was assassinated along with most of his family by a group of disgruntled army officers on August 1975, when the towering figure of Bangladesh politics was trying to build a war ravaged country to his promise of economic emancipation of millions poverty-stricken Bengalis.
Dhaka got a facelift on the occasion of Bangabandhu’s birth centenary celebration. Many buildings were illuminated with colourful lights, streets were decorated with life-size portraits of Bangabandhu, the logo of the Mujib Borsho (Mujib Year), and quotes taken from Bangabandhu’s speeches that he said during his eventful but turbulent political career.
A firework will be arranged in the evening at the Suhrawardy Udyan, the site where Bangabandhu delivered his historic speech on March 7, 1971 making a clarion call for waging a war against Pakistan to liberate Bangladesh.
The fireworks will be followed by a nationwide televised speech of the Prime Minster Hasina, Bangabandhu’s eldest daughter who survived the 1975 massacre along with her sister Sheikh Rehana as both of them were abroad at that time.
Throughout the year, events will be arranged to highlight the life of Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, who spent most of his life in prison because of his activism against the autocratic rulers.