The grateful nation is set to observe the National Mourning Day on Saturday with due respect and solemnity, marking the 45th anniversary of assassination of Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman.
The government, different socio-cultural, political and professional organisations, including ruling Awami League and its associate bodies, have chalked out various programmes to mark the day maintaining social distancing due to the prevalence of coronavirus.
The day is a public holiday.
Sheikh Mujibur Rahman – the architect of the country’s independence -- was assassinated along with most of his family members at the crack of dawn on August 15, 1975 by a cabal of heinous army personnel under a deep-rooted conspiracy against the country and its independence.
His two daughters -- Sheikh Hasina, now the prime minister, and Sheikh Rehana -- survived the massacre as they were abroad at that time.
Eighteen members of the family along with Bangabandhu’s wife Sheikh Fazilatunnesa Mujib, three sons -- Captain Sheikh Kamal, Lt Sheikh Jamal and Sheikh Russell--, two daughters-in-law -- Sultana Kamal and Rosy Jamal --, brother Sheikh Naser, peasant leader Abdur Rob Serniabat, youth leader Sheikh Fazlul Haq Moni and his wife Arzu Moni, Baby Serniabat, Sukanta Babu, Arif and Abdul Nayeem Khan Rintu were killed on the fateful night.
Bangabandhu’s Military Secretary Col Jamil Uddin Ahmad (Bir Uttam), who was later promoted posthumously to the rank of Brigadier General, was also killed during the massacre. Some members of a family at Mohammadpur in the capital were killed by artillery shells fired by the killers on the same day.
In observance of the day, the national flag will be kept hoisted half-mast at government, autonomous, semi-autonomous, educational institutions, private buildings and Bangladesh missions abroad on Saturday.
Besides, wreaths will be placed at the portrait of Bangabandhu in front of Bangabandhu Memorial Museum in the city and a munajat will be offered there at 6.30 am on Saturday.
Wreaths will also be laid at the graves of Bangabandhu’s martyred family members and other martyrs of August 15, 1975 at Banani Graveyard in the capital followed by offering fateha around 7:30am the same day.
A munajat will also be held there seeking salvation of the departed souls of the martyrs of Aught 15, 1975.
Tributes will also be paid to Bangabandhu by placing wreaths at his Mazar at Tungipara in Gopalganj district around 10 am followed by offering fateha and a special doa mahfil there.
A special munajat will be offered after Zohr prayers in all mosques across the country while special prayers will be arranged in temples, pagodas, churches and other worship places at a convenient time across the country.
Bangladesh Betar, Bangladesh Television and private TV channels and radio stations will air special programmes highlighting the life, struggle and achievements of the great leader while newspapers will bring out supplements on the occasion.
Meanwhile, Bangladesh Post Office has released a Tk 10 postage stamp, a Tk 10 opening day cover and a Tk 5 data card, commemorating the reinstatement of the studentship of Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman.
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina formally unveiled the commemorative postage stamp, opening day coper and the data card at a ceremony at her official residence Ganobhabn on Friday.
Gallery Cosmos has organised a virtual art, photography and multimedia exhibition of 42 renowned Bangladeshi artists to observe the National Mourning Day and celebrate the birth centenary of Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman.
Inaugurated today (Friday), the exhibition, titled ‘BRAVE HEART’, will continue until August 31 on www.gallerycosmos.org.bd
Meanwhile, President Abdul Hamid and Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina issued separate messages commemorating the National Mourning Day.
In his message, President Md Abdul Hamid said, “August 15, 1975 is regarded as a scandalous chapter in the history of the Bangali nation. On this fateful night, the undisputed leader and Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman was brutally assassinated at his Dhanmondi residence by a group of killers with the direct and indirect connivance of anti-liberation forces. With a heavy heart, I pay my deep homage to them and pray to the Almighty Allah for the eternal peace of the departed souls on this Mourning Day.”
Recalling the sole contributions of Bangabandhu to the country’s independence and establishing the rights of people, he said, “Bangabandhu and Bangladesh thus emerged as a unique entity to the people of Bangladesh. Though the assassins killed Father of the Nation, they could not wipe out the principle and ideal of this great man. As long as Bangladesh will exist, the name and fame of Father of the Nation will remain ever shining in the minds of millions of Bangalis of our country.”
“On the National Mourning Day, let’s translate our grief into strength and devote ourselves to build 'Sonar Bangla' as dreamt by the Father of the Nation,” the President said.
In her message, the Prime Minister said she respectfully remember all the martyrs of the 15 August and pray to the Almighty Allah for salvation of their departed souls.
“The anti-liberation clique killed Bangabandhu at a time when he had engaged in the struggle to building a Golden Bangladesh along with the whole nation by reconstructing the war-ravaged country. Through the killing of Bangabandhu, the defeated forces of the Liberation War made abortive attempts to ruin the tradition, culture and advancement of the Bangalee Nation. The aim of the killers was to break the state structure of secular democratic Bangladesh and foil our hard-earned Independence,” she observed.
Mentioning that her government has already executed the verdict of the Bangabandhu murder case, the PM said the trial of the killers of Four National Leaders has been completed. “The verdicts of the cases against war criminals of 1971 are being executed. Our government has been following a 'zero-tolerance' policy to uproot militancy and terrorism. The path of grabbing state power unconstitutionally has been stopped through the 15th amendment to the Constitution.”
She urged all to remain united and prepared to resist any evil attempt by the anti-liberation communal group, and anti-development and anti-democracy forces. “The killers had been able to assassinate Bangabandhu but they couldn’t kill his dreams and ideals. Let the glory and ideals of the Father of the Nation's sacrifice be reflected on our actions in the Mujib Year.”