MNA Feature Desk: The country is celebrating the 100th birthday of Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman and the National Children’s Day-2019 on Sunday in a befitting manner.
On this day in 1920, Bangabandhu, the vivacious leader of the Bangalee nation, the architect of independent Bangladesh and the greatest Bangalee of all times, was born in a respected Muslim family at Tungipara village of Gopalganj sub-division, now district.
He was the third among four daughters and two sons of his parents – Sheikh Lutfur Rahman and Saira Khatun.
The nation celebrates the day through extensive programmes with fanfare and gaiety. Bangladesh missions abroad have also chalked out elaborate programmes to celebrate the day.
The theme of this year’s birthday of Bangabandhu and National Children’s Day is “Bangabandhu’s birthday, rinse life of the children with colour”.
In observance of the day, President M Abdul Hamid and Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina have issued separate messages paying profound respects to the memory of Bangabandhu.
Both the President and the Prime Minister also greeted all children in Bangladesh and other parts of the world.
The government has taken decision to observe 100 birth anniversary of Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman as Mujib Year from March 17, 2020 to March 17, 2021.
Like previous years, elaborate programmes have also been taken to celebrate the day at Tungipara.
The day is a public holiday.
President M Abdul Hamid and Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina will lay wreaths at the mausoleum of Bangabandhu at Tungipara in Gopalganj at 10am and offer fateha and munajat today.
The Prime Minister has already paid homage to Father of the Nation by placing wreaths at the portrait of Bangabandhu at the Bangabandhu Memorial Museum in Dhaka.
As per the schedule, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina will receive a replica of the logo of Branding of Gopalganj District at the mausoleum of Bangabandhu at Tungipara in Gopalganj from 10am to 12.10pm.
Besides, she will join a book unveiling ceremony, sewing machine distribution ceremony, video screening on ‘Amar Kotha Shono’, discussion meeting on National Children’s Day and deliver speech as the chief guest.
The Prime Minister will inaugurate a book fair, join a photo session with children and also visit painting exhibition on ‘Bangabandhu and Bangladesh’.
Apart from this, public hospitals, clinics and healthcare services organizations would provide free of cost treatment at outdoor from 8:30 am to 12:30 pm on the day. Quality foods will be supplied to all hospitals. Illumination will be ensured at the child wards.
Bangladesh Awami League will hold a discussion meeting at 3pm on March 18 at Bangabandhu International Conference Centre. Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina will chair the discussion.
The Information Ministry published special supplements in newspapers.
On the day, record of the historic March 7 speech of Bangabandhu would be played. Documentaries on the life of Bangabandhu and Liberation War will be screened.
Bangladesh Betar, Bangladesh Television and other private TV channels and radio stations are airing special programmes highlighting the significance of the day in the life of Bangalees.
Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujib Medical University (BSMMU) has chalked out elaborate programmes including free of cost treatment, floral wreaths at Bangabandhu’s portrait, blood donation and doa mahfil on the occasion of Bangabandhu’s birthday. Specialist physicians of the BSMMU would also provide free of cost treatment at outdoor from 9:00am to 2:00pm on the day.
Initiatives have been taken to set up banners and festoons on different offices and buildings for displaying.
Islamic Foundation (IF) observes the day in the capital and across the country amid holding different programmes in a befitting manner. The anniversary programmes include: doa mahfils and reciting from the Holy Quran and discussion meeting.
The birthday programmes started through hoisting of the national flag at 463 maktobs of the foundation.
Milad, doa and munajat would be held in all mosques across the country seeking eternal peace of Bangabandhu and his family members, while prayers will be offered at other places of worships.
At the age of seven, Bangabandhu 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 Kolkata. 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 Kolkata getting residential accommodation in famous Baker Hostel. He passed the BA examinations in 1946.
After partition of the sub-continent, Sheikh Mujib chose Dhaka as the center of his political activities and took admission to the Law Department of Dhaka University.
Bangabandhu was elected general secretary of Islamia College Students’ Union in 1946. In 1949 he was elected joint general secretary of Awami Muslim League East Pakistan Unit. In 1953 Bangabandhu became general secretary of the party and in 1954 was elected East Bengal Legislative Assembly member from Juktafront (Joint alliance).
He joined All India Muslim Students Federation in 1940 and in 1943, switched to Bengal Muslim League where he came close to Huseyn Shaheed Suhrawardy. While at Dhaka University, he founded the East Pakistan Muslim Students’ League.
Bangabandhu led students’ strikes and protests when the language discourse of Pakistan first emerged in 1948 and remained active to organize the movements which culminated on February 21, 1952.
He left Muslim League to join Suhrawardy and Maulana Bhashani to form the Awami Muslim League. The Father of the Nation became the first Joint Secretary of the party and then the General Secretary in 1953. In the elections of 1954, he was elected at the East Pakistan Legislative Assembly and became the Agricultural Minister. In 1956, Bangabandhu joined a second coalition government as the Commerce and Industries Minister.
Afraid of public support for Bangabandhu’s 6-point demand, the then Pakistani government arrested him in the Agartala conspiracy case but was forced to release him amidst massive public unrest. On December 5, 1969, he declared that East Pakistan would henceforth be called Bangladesh.
In the general elections of Pakistan in 1970, Awami League won a massive majority under Bangabandhu’s Leadership. His party swooped in all but two of East Pakistan’s quota of seats in the National Assembly. The West Pakistani rulers however were completely against his demand for greater autonomy.
The then Pak President Yahiya Khan delayed the national assembly to bar Awami League from forming the provincial government. In a historic speech at the Racecourse Ground in Dhaka on March 7, 1971, Bangabandhu called for the independence of Bangladesh. Yahiya Khan declared martial law, banned Awami League and ordered to arrest Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman.
On April 17 in 1971, the first government of the People’s Republic of Bangladesh was formed and Bangabandhu was made the President of the country in his absence. Soon after that, Muktibahini, the freedom fighters’ force was formed and it started putting up strong resistance against the Pak army.
After nine months of bloody war which killed over 3 millions of Bangalees a new country ‘Bangladesh’ was born under the leadership of Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman on December 16, 1971.
Later, he returned home on January 10 in 1972 and took the charge of reconstructing the war-torn country.
Bangabandhu focused on humanitarian and development assistance from the international community to reconstruct the country. In a bid to bring political stability which was prerequisite to its economic improvement, he introduced one-party rule.
Since the re-assumption of state power in 1996, Awami League has been observing the day as the National Children’s Day as Bangabandhu liked to spend time with children on his birthday.
The ruling Awami League (AL) and its associate bodies have chalked out a different programmes in observance of the day.
The programmes include hoisting of national and party flags atop of their offices and placing of wreaths at the portrait of Bangabandhu at Bangabandhu Memorial Museum at Dhanmondi Road-32 in the capital.
Milad and doa mahfils will be organized at mosques while prayer sessions will also be arranged at other places of worship across the country seeking eternal peace of the departed souls of Bangabandhu and his family members.
AL’s associate and likeminded bodies and other socio-cultural-professional organizations including Awami Juba League, Awami Swechchasebak League, Jatiya Sramik League, Mahila Awami League, Juba Mahila League, Bangabandhu Shishu Kishore Mela, Krishak League and Chhatra League have also drawn up extensive programmes to mark the day.
Apart from national programmes, children’s gatherings, public rallies, discussions and cultural functions will be organized at district and upazila levels.