The nation is observing the 91st birth anniversary of Bangamata Sheikh Fazilatunnesa Mujib, wife of Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, today.
Fazilatunnesa, who played a pivotal role in nation-building activities and the struggle for independent Bangladesh staying beside Bangabandhu, was born at Tungipara village of Gopalganj district this day in 1930. Bangamata, a pride of the Bangalee nation, was brutally assassinated along with Bangabandhu and most of his family members by a group of disgruntled army officers on August 15, 1975.
The theme of the day this year is ‘Bangamata is a fearless companion in the crisis and struggle’.
Marking her birth anniversary, the government for the first time outlined a plan to honour five eminent women with ‘Bangamata Sheikh Fazilatunnesa Mujib Padak’ for their outstanding contribution in various fields.
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina will virtually join the programme from her official residence Ganabhaban in the capital.
On the eve of the birth anniversary of Bangamata, President Md Abdul Hamid and Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina paid glowing tributes to Bangamata Sheikh Fazilatunnesa Mujib, saying her ideology would always remain as a source of inspiration for Bangalee women.
In separate messages, they said Bangamata is a pride of the Bangalee nation and a source of inspiration for the womenfolk.
"Bangamata Sheikh Fazilatunnesa Mujib is a pride of the Bangalee nation and a source of inspiration for womenfolk. She became Bangamata because of her sacrifice, compassion, cooperation and prudence," said President Abdul Hamid in his message.
“On the occasion of the 91st birth anniversary of Bangamata, I pay my deep respects to the memory of this majestic woman," he added.
For the first time on the birth anniversary of Bangamata, the initiative of awarding the 'Bangamata Sheikh Fazilatunnesa Mujib Padak' to five eminent women for their outstanding contribution in various fields is very commendable, the head of the state continued.
The President said Bangamata, who had courageous and invincible characteristics since her childhood, used to face any situation with her intellect and prudence.
Staying beside her husband, he said Bangamata faced the difficult days with firmness during Bangabandhu's frequent imprisonments.
"Bangabandhu had to go to jail for many times for the sake of the country. Bangamata had to run Bangabandhu's cases, gave directives and extended cooperation to organizational activities of the party side by side looking after her family," he said.
He said Fazilatunnesa Mujib was not only the wife of the Father of the Nation but also one of the pioneers of the Bangalee's struggle for freedom.
The President said her contribution to the history of struggle for independence and the War of Liberation would ever be remembered.
In her message, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina said Bangamata played a unique role in bringing motivation, strength and courage for Bangabandhu to guide the struggle of independence and Liberation War towards its right direction side by side carrying out family responsibilities.
Bangamata made a strong contribution to the six point movement and 11-Point movement, she added.
She said the theme of the 91th birth anniversary of Fazilatunnesa Mujib is 'Bangamata is a fearless companion in the crisis and struggle' which has reflected the true sense of the great woman's life and works and the inspiration in Bangabandhu's political, social and family life.
Fazilatunnesa Mujib was a constant associate and inspiration of Bangabandhu in his political, social and family life, she added.
Bangamata had a remarkable role behind the political success of Bangabandhu, she said.
The premier recalled that during the Liberation War in 1971, Bangamata had faced the situation with patience, courage and wisdom when her husband remained imprisoned in Pakistan.
She said after the independence, Bangamata devoted herself to rebuilding the war-ravaged country.
The premier said the nation has genuinely bestowed Bangamata title on Fazilatunnesa Mujib because of her unparallel sacrifice, cooperation and prudence.
The Prime Minister said the ideology and examples Bangamata had set will remain as a source of inspiration for the Bangalee women throughout the ages.
She hoped the new generation will be imbued with patriotism through the practice of life and works of Fazilatunnesa Mujib and could learn many unknown chapters of the Liberation War, struggle for independence and Bangabandhu's life and struggles.
Marking the day, the ruling Awami League, its associate bodies and various organisations will arrange programmes, recitation of the holy Quran, milad and doa mahfil.
The party going by the health codes amid the coronavirus pandemic paid tribute to Shahid Fazilatunnesa by placing wreaths at her grave at Banani in the capital at 9:00am.
Bangladesh Television, Bangladesh Betar and other electronic media are broadcasting special programmes to mark the day.