Today is the 101st birth anniversary of the greatest Bengali of all time Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman who gave birth to independent Bangladesh through his charismatic leadership.
Reminiscing about his life-long struggle for the creation of Bangladesh, the day is being observed nationwide through various programmes ahead of the golden jubilee of the country’s independence.
A 10-day special programme begins at the National Parade Ground in the capital today, marking the golden jubilee of the country’s independence and the birth centenary of Bangabandhu, the architect of the nation.
World leaders, including Maldives President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih, Sri Lankan Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa, Nepalese President Bidya Devi Bhandari, Bhutanese Prime Minister Dr Lotay Tshering and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi are expected to join the celebrations in person.
On this day in 1920, Bangabandhu was born in a respectable family at Tungipara in Gopalganj.
Bangabandhu, a towering figure of the country’s history, means Bangladesh. He will ever remain in the hearts of millions of Bengalis as he is the symbol of great courage.
Like previous years, the day this year is also being observed as the National Children’s Day. Today is a public holiday.
The government earlier chalked out nationwide programmes from March 17, 2020 to March 26, 2021 to celebrate Bangabandhu’s 100th birth anniversary.
Bangabandhu led the nation in every movement, including the Language Movement in 1952, Jukta-Front Election in 1954 and Movement against Martial Law in 1958, the Six-point Movement in 1966, the Mass Upsurge in 1969 and the General Elections in 1970.
World leaders acclaimed Bangabandhu as a unique leader. With the trademark pipe in his hand, Bangabandhu looked more impressive than any other world leaders.
Eulogizing Bangabandhu, Cuban leader Fidel Castro in 1973 said he had not seen the Himalayas but seen Sheikh Mujib.
“In personality and in courage, this man is the Himalayas. I have thus had the experience of witnessing the Himalayas,” he said.
Making a walk down memory lane, Manipur and Jharkhand former governor Ved Marwah wrote, “I have met many charismatic personalities during my service career, including Jawaharlal Nehru, Indira Gandhi, Rajiv Gandhi and many world leaders, but I must say that among them he (Sheikh Mujib) was the most charismatic personality I had met.”
Noted Egyptian journalist Hasnein Heikal wrote, “Nasser is not simply of Egypt and the Arab world. His Arab nationalism is the message of freedom for the Arab people. In similar fashion, Sheikh Mujibur Rahman does not belong to Bangladesh alone. He is the harbinger of freedom for all Bengalis. His Bengali nationalism is the new emergence of the Bengali civilisation and culture. Mujib is the hero of the Bengalis, in the past and in the times that are.”
On the eve of Bangabandhu’s birth anniversary, President Abdul Hamid and Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina issued separate messages.
Both the President and Prime Minister will place wreaths at the portrait of Bangabandhu at Dhanmondi 32 in front of Bangabandhu Bhaban in the morning.
The President in his message said Bangla, Bangladesh and Bangabandhu have emerged as a single and identical symbol to the people of the country. “For his extraordinary contributions to the nation, Bangla, Bangladesh and Bangabandhu, emerged as a single and identical symbol to the people of Bangladesh,” he said.
“…..I7th March is a memorable day in the history of the Bengalee nation. On this day in 1920 the greatest Bangalee of all time, the architect of sovereign and independent Bangladesh, Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman was born in Tungipara of Gopalganj district,” he said.
In her message, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has called upon all to take a vow in the ‘Mujib Year’ to take Bangladesh to newer heights in the international arena and transform the country into a safe and peaceful abode for the next generation.
“In the birth centenary of Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, let us all resolve to take Bangladesh to even newer heights in the international arena; let us determine to transform Bangladesh into a safe and peaceful home for our next generation,” she said.
The premier said her government is working tirelessly to build a hunger and poverty-free developed and prosperous Bangladesh as dreamt by Father of the Nation by formulating and implementing ‘Vision-2021’, ‘Vision-2041’ and ‘Delta Plan-2100’.
As per the state’s 10-day special programmes, Bangabandhu’s birth anniversary will be observed with the theme ‘Vengechho Duar Esechho Jotirmoy.’
Besides, different socio-cultural and political organisations, including Awami League and its associate organisations, have chalked out programmes to mark the day.
The ruling Awami League starts the day hoisting of party flags atop all offices of the party across the country and Bangabandhu Bhaban at 6:30am and placing wreaths at Bangabandhu’s portrait at 11:30am.
A delegation of the Aawmi League will pay homage to Bangabandhu by placing a wreath at his grave at Tungipara in Gopalganj at 10:00am.
Special prayers will be held at the places of worships across the country while food will be distributed among the orphans and destitute on the occasion.
State-run Bangladesh Betar and Bangladesh Television as well as private TV channels and radio stations will air special programmes, highlighting the significance of the day.
National dailies will also publish special supplements on the occasion.