The Day is also National Children’s Day
The nation will observe the 95th birth anniversary of Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman and the National Children’s Day tomorrow, News Agencies report.
Different socio-political and cultural organisations including the ruling Awami League and its associated bodies have chalked out elaborate programmes to observe the birthday of Bangabandhu, the greatest Bangalee of all time, and the Nation Children Day in a befitting manner. The day is a public holiday.
National dailies will publish special supplements while Bangladesh Betar, Bangladesh Television and other private TV channels and radio stations will air special programmes highlighting the significance of the day. Besides, special prayers will be offered at mosques and all the places of worships across the country on the occasion. President M Abdul Hamid and Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina issued separate messages on the eve of the day paying glowing tribute to Bangabandhu, the architect of independent and sovereign Bangladesh.
The Awami League’s programmes to mark the day include hoisting of the national and party flags at 6-30 am and placing of wreaths at Bangabandhu’s portrait at Bangabandhu Memorial Museum at Dhanmondi Road-32 at 7-30 am.
The ruling Awami League will also organise a discussion at Bangabandhu International Conference Centre in the city at 3 pm on March 18 (Wednesday). Prime Minister and Awami League President Sheikh Hasina will chair. As part of the national programme, Prime Minister and Awami League President Sheikh Hasina along with party leaders and members of the cabinet will lay wreaths at the mazar of the great leader in the Mausoleum Complex at Tungipara in Gopalganj district at 10 am. The Prime Minister will be given a “Guard of Honour” there. Sheikh Hasina will attend a children’s rally, discussion and a cultural function at Tungipara, the birth place of Bangabandhu, the undisputed leader of the country’s independence.
Apart from national programmes, children’s gatherings, public rallies, discussions and cultural functions would be organised at district and upazila levels.
Bangladesh missions abroad have chalked out elaborate programmes to observe the day. On this day in 1920, Sheikh Mujibur Rahman affectionately called as “Khoka” was born in a respectable Muslim family at the remote Tungipara village in Gopalganj district. He was the third among four daughters and two sons of his parents, Sheikh Lutfur Rahman and Saira Khatun. At the age of seven, Sheikh Mujib was admitted to nearby Gimadanga Government Primary School and later he studied in Madaripur Islamia High School, Gopalganj Government Pilot School and Gopalganj Mission School.
While studying at the secondary level he was attacked by beriberi disease and had to undergo treatment in Calcutta. As a result, there was a gap in his studies for few years. After passing the Matriculation examination in 1942, Sheikh Mujib was admitted to Islamia College in Calcutta having residential accommodation in famous Baker Hostel. He passed the BA examinations in 1946. He was elected general secretary of Islamia College Students’ Union. During his Hostel days, when the ‘quit India’ movement was gaining momentum against the British domination, he came in touch with the legendary politicians like Hussain Shaheed Suhrawardy and Abul Hashim. That was also a turning point in his long political career to pursue politics of secularism and patriotism.
After partition of the sub-continent, Sheikh Mujib chose Dhaka as the centre of his political activities and took admission in the Law Department of Dhaka University. He led all the national movements and played a dominant role in raising the demand for Bangla as the state language of Pakistan in front of its founder Mohammad Ali Zinnah at a function in Dhaka. The Pakistani rulers imprisoned Sheikh Mujib 18 times and he had to remain in jail for over a decade for leading various national movements since the historic language movement of 1952. When the Pakistani authority released him from the Agartala Conspiracy Case unconditionally, he turned out to be the absolute leader of East Pakistan. People bestowed him affectionately with the honour-title “Bangabandhu” (friend of Bengal).
As the champion of the nation’s long arduous freedom struggle, Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujib declared independence of Bangladesh soon after the Pakistani military junta cracked down on the sleeping Bangalees on the fateful night of March 25 in 1971. The Pakistan military junta took him to Dhaka Cantonment and later imprisoned him in a jail in West Pakistan. Bangabandhu returned to his liberated home (Bangladesh) from Pakistani captivity on January 10, 1972, and he administered the country for three and a half years. With farsightedness, capability and boldness Bangabandhu administered Bangladesh and presented it as a sovereign and independent country before the international community. But the greatest tragedy is that he was killed along with most of his family members in a military coup on the fateful night of August 15 in 1975.
The Women and Children Affairs Ministry will arrange the special foods for destitute to mark the National Children Day. Kendrio Banganandhu Shishu Kishore Mela will organise a discussion and rally of children at Bangabandhu Memorial Museum at city’s Dhanmondi-Road-32 where Railway Minister Mujibul Haque, State Minister for Environment and Forests Abdullah Al Jakob, Awami League presidium member Satish Chandra Roy will attend, among others. Dhaka University (DU) also chalked out an elaborate programme to mark the Day. DU Vice-Chancellor Professor Dr AAMS Arefin Siddique, Pro-VC, deans, senate and other officials will place wreathes at the portrait of Bangabandhu in front of Bangabandhu Memorial Museum at 7 am.
A discussion will be organised at TSC auditorium of DU with its Vice-Chancellor in the chair. An art competition will be held at central cafeteria of the university to mark the day.