The nation will observe the National Mourning Day on Monday with due reverence and solemnity, marking the 41st anniversary of assassination of father of the nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman. The government, different socio-cultural, political and professional organisations, including the ruling Awami League and its associate bodies, have taken various programmes, to mark the day paying tributes to Bangabandhu.
Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman — architect of the country’s independence — was assassinated along with most of his family members at the crack of dawn on 15 August in 1975 by a cabal of 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 – luckily 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 was also killed. Some members of a family at Mohammadpur in the capital were also killed by artillery shells fired by the killers on the same day.
President Abdul Hamid and prime minister Sheikh Hasina issued separate messages commemorating the National Mourning Day. In his message, the President said The 15th August 1975 is regarded as a disgraceful chapter in the history of the Bangalee.
“This brutality was a rare occurrence not only in the history of the Bangalee nation but also in the history of the world. The aims of the killers were not merely to kill a Statesman but to annihilate the ideals of the war of liberation and reinstate the defeated forces,” he added. Mentioning that Bangabandhu struggled for attaining political independence along with people’s economic emancipation throughout his life, the president said,” It’s our utmost responsibility to build our country a happy and prosperous one by completing the unfinished task of Bangabandhu and in this way we can pay our deep tribute to this immortal soul of the soil.”
In her message, Sheikh Hasina said under the dynamic, courageous and charismatic leadership of Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, the people of this territory brought the reddish sun of the independence breaking the shackles of subjugation of thousands of years. The Bangalees have got their own nation-state, flag and national anthem.
“But Bangabandhu was killed at a time when he had undertaken an arduous task of building a Golden Bangla reconstructing the war-ravaged country and unifying the whole nation. The defeated forces of the Liberation War made abortive attempts to ruin the tradition, culture and advancement of the Bangalee nation. Their target was to destroy the secular democratic fabric of Bangladesh,” she added. Sheikh Hasina said but the defeated forces of 1971 are still engaged in various ill-attempts and trying to obstruct the nation’s progress. “They are trying to destabilise the country through militancy and terrorist acts.”
“I firmly believe that there would be no room for terrorism and militancy in the soil of Bangladesh. Golden Bangla, as dreamt by the father of the nation, would be established that is our solemn pledge on the National Mourning Day,” she added. The day is a public holiday. The national flag will fly at half-mast at all government, semi-government and autonomous bodies, educational institutions, private buildings and Bangladesh missions abroad.
The national flag will fly at half-mast at Bangabandhu Bhaban in the capital and Awami League offices across the country at dawn.
President Abdul Hamid and the prime minister Sheikh Hasina will place wreaths at the portrait of Bangabandhu at the Bangabandhu Bhaban at Dhanmondi at 6:30am. The armed forces will present a guard of honour on the occasion. After their departure, people from all walks of life wearing black badges will pay homage to the father of the nation by placing wreaths at his portrait there. The premier will also place wreaths on the graves of the members of Bangabandhu’s family and other martyrs at Banani graveyard at 7:30am. Sheikh Hasina will also place wreaths at the Bangabandhu Mausoleum in Tungipara of Gopalganj at 10:00am. She will also take part in milad and doa to be held there. Hundreds of people will also gather at the mausoleum of Bangabandhu at Tungipara to pay deep homage to Bangabandhu.
Doa and milad mahfils will be held at all mosques after Zohr prayers and special prayers will be arranged in temples, pagodas, churches and other worship places at convenient time across the country. Food will also be distributed among insolvent and destitute people at noon. A milad mahfil will be held at the Darbar Hall of Bangabhaban after Zohr prayers on the occasion. Mahila Awami League will arrange a milad and doa mahfil at Bangabandhu Bhaban in the city after Asr prayers. Besides, Awami League will arrange a discussion at the city’s Krishibid Institution at 4:00pm on Tuesday. Awami League president and prime minister Sheikh Hasina will attend the programme as the chief guest. Different socio-political organisations will also organise various programmes, including discussions, child-juvenile painting competition, photographic exhibition and distribution of cooked food among the destitute. Bangladesh missions abroad will observe the National Mourning Day in a befitting manner on Monday.
State-run Bangladesh Betar and Bangladesh Television as well as private television channels and radio stations will air special programmes highlighting the life, struggle and achievements of the great leader. Newspapers will bring out supplements on the occasion.