The nation observes the Martyred Intellectuals Day today with due solemnity to pay homage to the intellectuals who were killed by Pakistani occupation army and their collaborators at the fag end of Bangladesh’s Liberation War in 1971.
Sensing an imminent defeat in the war, Pakistani forces and their local aides designed to annihilate intelligentsia to cripple the emerging Bengali nation.
On December 14, they took academics, litterateurs, journalists, physicians and cultural activists blindfold from their homes to killing grounds and murdered them in one of the history’s most infamous intellectual pogroms.
The martyrs included Prof Munier Chowdhury, Dr Alim Chowdhury, Prof Muniruzzaman, Dr Fazle Rabbi, Sirajuddin Hossain, Shahidullah Kaiser, Prof GC Dev, JC Guha Thakurta, Prof Santosh Bhattacharya, Mofazzal Haider Chowdhury, journalists Nizamuddin Ahmed, Khandaker Abu Taleb, SA Mannan (Ladu Bhai), ANM Golam Mustafa, Syed Nazmul Haq and Selina Parvin.
President Abdul Hamid, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, Opposition Leader Raushan Ershad and BNP Chairperson Khaleda Zia on Wednesday issued separate messages on the occasion of the Martyred Intellectuals Day.
The President, in his message, said intellectuals played a very significant role and worked as conscience of the nation in advancing the liberation war towards its successful end.
In her message, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina said in the history of the liberation struggle of the Bangalee nation, the Martyred Intellectuals’ Day is a painful occasion.
She said when the country was close to the final victory under the leadership of the greatest Bangalee of all times, Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, intellectuals were killed on December 14 by occupation forces and their local collaborators like Razakars, Al-Badars and Al-Shams.
She called upon the people to come forward and work together to build “Sonar Bangla” as dreamt by the Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman.
To mark the day, the national flag will fly at half-mast atop all government offices and educational institutions.
The government, political parties and socio-cultural organisations have chalked up elaborate programmes to observe the day.
Besides, the ruling Awami League and other political parties and different cultural and social organisations have chalked up various programmes to mark the day.
Awami League will hoist black flags and keep national and party flags at half-mast at Bangabandhu Bhaban and all party offices across the country at the dawn.
Political leaders and activists will place wreaths at Martyred Intellectuals Memorial at Mirpur at 7:15am and at the portrait of Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman in front of Bangabandhu Bhaban at Dhanmondi 32 at 7:45am and Rayerbazar Killing Ground at Mohammadpur at 8:30am.
In a statement, AL general secretary Obaidul Quader requested all leaders and activists of the party and associate bodies across the country to observe the day with due respect.
Opposition BNP leaders, led by Khaleda Zia, will place a wreath at Martyred Intellectuals’ Memorial around 9:00am.
Dhaka University authorities have taken an elaborate programme to observe the day in a befitting manner.
Different political, professional, social and cultural organisations, including Jatiya Press Club, Dhaka Reporters Unity, Bangabandhu Gabeshana Parishad, Jatiya Party, Jatiya Samajtantrik Dal, Communist Party of Bangladesh, Bangladesh Shilpakala Academy, Bangla Academy, National Museum, Bangabandhu Parishad, Sammilito Sangskritik Jote, Sector Commanders’ Forum and Liberation War Museum, also have chalked up elaborate programmes to observe the day..