National Mourning Day today

Special Correspondent

15 August, 2020 12:00 AM printer

National Mourning Day today

The nation observes the National Mourning Day today, commemorating the 45th anniversary of the martyrdom of Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman.

At the fateful dawn of August 15 in 1975, a group of disgruntled army officers assassinated country’s undaunted leader Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman along with most of his family members and toppled his three and half-year-old government.

The Bangalee nation witnessed the history’s most heinous incident on this day at a time when Bangabandhu devoted himself to implementing his dream to build the country as Sonar Bangla.

Bangabandhu’s wife Sheikh Fazilatunnesa Mujib, sons Sheikh Kamal, Sheikh Jamal and Sheikh Russell, daughters-in-law Sultana Kamal and Rosy Jamal, brother Sheikh Naser, peasants leader Abdur Rab Serniabat, youths leader Sheikh Fazlul Haq Moni and his wife Arzu Moni, Baby Serniabat, Sukanta Babu, Arif and Abdul Nayeem Khan Rintu were also killed along with Bangabandhu.

Bangabandhu’s two daughters – Sheikh Hasina, now the incumbent Prime Minister, and Sheikh Rehana – survived the carnage as they were in Germany at that time.

The assassination of Bangabandhu dealt a major blow to the spirit of country’s liberation war. The country witnessed politics of killing, coup and conspiracy after his assassination.

The world community strongly protested and condemned the killing of the  iconic leader, saying it is an irreparable loss to millions of people of Bangladesh.

August 15 remains as a black chapter of the country’s history as the vested quarter, by capturing state power, trampled people’s long-cherished desire for economic emancipation.

After Bangabandhu’s killing, the country had been under military and quasi-military rule for 15 years. The spirit and objective of the liberation war was at jeopardy during the period.

The saga of the Bangalee nation’s long-drawn struggle for independence under the iconic leadership of Bangabandhu was nakedly twisted by the stratocracy.

Awami League led by Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman struggled for 24 years against the tyranny of West Pakistan inflicted on Bangalees.

As a continuation of the struggle, Awami League under the leadership of Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman secured a brute majority in the 1970 elections.      

But the Pakistanis chose heinous tactics not to hand over power to Bangabandhu and conducted one of the history’s infamous pogroms.

Bangabandhu in the early hours of March 26 in 1971 officially proclaimed the country’s independence to rid the nation of the repression and killing of Bangalees by then Pakistani autocratic ruler.

Responding to the clarion call from Bangabandhu, Bangalees stood against the Pakistanis and engaged in the bloody war against Pakistani occupation forces and achieved the victory.

The nation, however, started observing the month of mourning from August 1, recalling the most brutal killing in its history and renewing the pledge to safeguard perpetually the country’s independence and sovereignty.

The government, Awami League and different socio-cultural organisations have chalked out programmes in observance of the National Mourning Day.

The programmes, include hoisting of the national flag at half mast atop all government and non-government offices and Bangladesh missions abroad.

The day is a public holiday.

Bangladesh Television, Bangladesh Betar and private TV channels will air special programmes while newspapers will publish special supplements on the occasion .

President Abdul Hamid and Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina issued separate messages on the occasion of the National Mourning Day.

President in his message has urged people to devote themselves to build ‘Sonar Bangla’ as dreamt by Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman.

“On the National Mourning Day, let us translate our grief into strength and devote ourselves to build ‘Sonar Bangla’ as dreamt by the Father of the Nation,” he said.

In her message, the premier called upon the people to turn the grief of the loss of Bangabandhu into strength and engage themselves in building a non-communal, hunger-poverty free and prosperous Bangladesh by upholding Bangabandhu’s philosophy.

Usually, the President and Prime Minister pay tribute to Bangabandhu by placing wreaths at the portrait of Bangabandhu at 32 Dhanmondi. But this time, they do not have any outdoor official programmes.

The central leaders of Awami League and its associate bodies will pay homage to Bangabandhu at the portrait of Bangabandhu at 32 Dhanmondi in the capital to mark the day.

Besides, a AL delegation will also place wreaths at the memorial of Bangabandhu at Tungipara, Gopalganj, and hold doa mahfil and prayer sessions while other leaders will place wreaths at the graves of all those who embraced martyrdom on that black night at Banani Graveyard.

Marking the day, the party will also hold a discussion on August 16. 

Special prayers and milad mehfils will be held at all places of worship and Bangabhaban after Asr prayers.

In a statement, AL general secretary Obaidul Quader urged the party leaders, activists, supporters and well-wishers to observe the day with due respect following health guidelines.