The nation celebrates the golden jubilee of independence today to pay tributes to the martyrs and valiant sons of the land who laid down their lives for the country’s independence.
This year the celebrations are more special as it coincides with the celebration of the birth centenary of Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, who led Bangladesh’s Liberation War against Pakistan in 1971.
Every year, March 26 brings the most tragic reminiscence of our history’s blackest episode that heralded a nine-month bloody ordeal from the night following March 25, 1971 in achieving the long-cherished independence on December 16 the same year.
Bangabandhu declared the independence in the wee hours of March 26 after the Pakistani forces had brutally cracked down on the unarmed people of the then East Pakistan on the night of March 25, 1971.
Valiant Bangalees took up arms and fought for independence under the leadership of Bangabandhu.
The long-cherished victory was finally achieved on December 16, at the cost of blood and untold sufferings of people.
A 50-gunshot salute at dawn will mark the beginning of the day’s celebrations today. The national flag will be hoisted atop government buildings. Major buildings will be illuminated for a festive look.
The day is a public holiday.
State-owned Bangladesh Betar and Bangladesh Television as well as private radio stations and television channels are airing special programmes to commemorate national heroes.
National dailies have published special supplements highlighting the significance of the day.
Marking the day, special prayers will be offered at religious establishments and meals will be served at hospitals, prisons, orphanages and other public and charity organisations.
Different political parties as well as sociocultural and professional organisations have drawn elaborate programmes to observe the day in a befitting manner.
The programmes include hoisting the national flag, placing wreaths at the National Memorial, offering prayers, holding seminars, discussions and cultural functions.
On the eve of Independence Day, President Abdul Hamid and Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina issued separate messages yesterday.
The president in his message said, “In order to achieve the desired goal of independence, we must ensure people-oriented and sustainable development, good governance, social justice, transparency and accountability.”
“Forbearance, human rights and rule of law have to be consolidated for institutionalising democracy. National Parliament will have to be turned into the centre of hope and aspiration of people. The ruling party as well as the opposition should play a constructive role in this regard in the parliament,” the president said.
Hamid said Bangabandhu is the source of eternal inspiration for the Bangalee nation. The government has extended the period of “Mujib Borsho” till December 16, 2021 to celebrate the birth centenary of the Father of the Nation grandiosely at home and abroad.
“On the eve of Mujib Borsho and the golden jubilee of our independence, with the joint efforts of all, may our beloved motherland become a developed country free from hunger and poverty — this is my expectation on the great Independence Day,” the president said.
In her message, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina said the independence earned through supreme sacrifices of millions of people is the greatest achievement of Bangalee nation.
To ensure that the achievement remains meaningful, all have to know the true history of our great Liberation War and respect the spirit of independence. The spirit of the Liberation War has to be propagated from generation to generations.
“Under the leadership of Bangabandhu, the brave Bangalees liberated the country through the War of Liberation within just nine months. I firmly believe that if this trend of development continues, Bangladesh will soon be established as a developed-prosperous country in the world, InshaAllah,” she said.
“Let us take oath on this auspicious occasion of the golden jubilee of independence — imbued with the spirit of the great War of Liberation — together, we will all build hunger-poverty-illiteracy-free ‘Golden Bangladesh’ as dreamt by the Father of the Nation,” the premier added.