Today is the 103rd birth anniversary of Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman. The nation will observe the day with all due respect.
Like the previous years, the day will be observed as National Children’s Day with the theme ‘Bangabandhu's birthday in the dream of a smart Bangladesh, children's eyes coloured in the dream of prosperity’.
This day in 1920, Bangabandhu, the architect of the country’s independence and the greatest Bangalee of all time, was born into a respectable family at Tungipara in Gopalganj.
Bangabandhu led the nation in every historic movement towards attaining democracy and autonomy, including Language Movement in 1952, Movement against Martial Law in 1958, Six-point Movement in 1966 and Mass Upsurge in 1969.
President Md Abdul Hamid and Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina have issued separate messages on the occasion.
Paying glowing tributes to Bangabandhu, Abdul Hamid said, “From his boyhood, he was very kind and generous to humanity but uncompromising in attaining the rights. He always used to engage himself with philanthropic work as well as with the alleviation of the sufferings of others. Every moment of his life, wherever he found injustice, exploitation and torture, he went into action for protest.”
The President said shortly after the partition of 1947, young leader Sheikh Mujib realised that despite being liberated from the British rule, the Bangalees were again being exploited by that of the West Pakistan.
“Bangabandhu led the nation in every democratic and freedom movement, including All-party State Language Action Committee formed in 1948, the Language Movement in 1952, Jukta-Front Election in 1954, movement against Martial Law in 1958, Six-Point Movement in 1966, Mass Upsurge in 1969 and the General Elections in 1970 for attaining the freedom and rights of our people,” he said.
“He was sent to jail several times and had to bear inhuman sufferings for his active participation in those movements. But, he never compromised with the Pakistani rulers on the question of establishing the rights of Bangalees,” he said.
The President mentioned that on March 7 in 1971 at the Race Course Maidan, keeping with the emotions and aspirations of the Bangalees, Bangabandhu uttered in his thunderous voice: 'The struggle this time is the struggle for emancipation, the struggle this time is the struggle for independence'.
“This historic address was, in fact, a clarion call of our Independence. How an address can wake up the whole nation, inspire them to leap into the War of Liberation for Independence, the historic 7th March Speech by Bangabandhu is its unique example! In this speech, Bangabandhu not only called for independence but also outlined the War of Liberation and gave directions on the future course of action,” he continued.
“Just after the Independence, Bangabandhu returned home on January 10 in 1972 being free from Pakistan Jail. He put all-out efforts to rebuild the war-torn economy. He took all preparations to build the country as 'Sonar Bangla',” he added.
Recalling the memories of Bangabandhu, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina said that the main goal of the political life of this world-renowned leader with a keen memory and far-sightedness was to liberate the Bengali nation from the chains of subjugation.
“Gradually, he became the last refuge of the oppressed people of Bengal,” she said, adding that this Bengali, the best of a thousand years, led the fight to establish the status of the Bengali language.
On March 11 in 1948, Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujib was arrested during holding a 'Sadharan Dharmaghat', demanding the recognition of Bengali as the state language, the premier said, adding that he was repeatedly imprisoned from 1948 to 1952.
Sheikh Hasina said sometimes from jail and sometimes from outside the jail, he led the language movement.
In continuation of this, the Jukto Front elections of 1954, Ayub Khan's anti-military rule movement of 1958, the anti-Education Commission movement of 1962, the six-point of 1966, the Agartala conspiracy case of 1968, the '69's Mass uprising', the elections of '70 and the War of Liberation of '71 were conducted under the undisputed leadership of Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujib, the premier continued.
Noting Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujib's compassion for children immense, she said the children will build the golden Bangladesh of his dream.
“Our children will be the charioteer to fulfil the dream of Smart Bangladesh by 2041. We all, irrespective of caste, creed and religions, need to work together to instill patriotism in children, build their personality, develop creativity and raise or boost their self-confidence,” the premier continued.
Wishing a bright future for tomorrow's children and youth, Sheikh Hasina said, “Let us dedicate our present time to the beautiful future and welfare of the children and together build the golden Bangladesh as dreamt by the father of the nation.”
The day is a public holiday.
Marking the birth anniversary and National Children's Day, the national flag will be hoisted atop all buildings of government, semi government, autonomous and private organisations as well educational institutions and Bangladesh missions abroad.
Besides airing the Bangabandhu’s historic March 7 speech, milad and doa mahfils will be organised at mosques and prayer sessions at other places of worship across the country, seeking eternal peace of the departed souls of Bangabandhu and his family members.
Bangladesh Betar, Bangladesh Television and other private TV channels and radio stations will air special programmes, highlighting the significance of the day in the life of Bangalees while national dailies will publish special supplements on the occasion.
President M Abdul Hamid and Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina will pay tributes to the Father of the Nation by placing wreaths at Bangabandhu's mausoleum at Tungipara in Gopalganj.
The premier will participate in the milad and doa mahfil, children’s rally, discussion, book fair and cultural function to be organised on the premises of Bangabandhu Memorial Mausoleum.
The ruling Awami League and its associate bodies have chalked up elaborate programmes to observe the day in a befitting manner.
Sheikh Hasina, also president of the Awami League, will also place wreaths at the portrait of Bangabandhu at 32 Dhanmondi at 7:00am.
The party will also hoist the national and party flag at all its offices across the country at 6:30am. Besides, the ruling party will also organise a discussion at 4:00pm at Bangabandhu International Conference Centre in the capital on Sunday (March 19).
Prime Minister and AL president Sheikh Hasina will chair the discussion programme.