online desk | 16 December 2017 | 10:05 am
The day to celebrate Bangladesh’s victory over Pakistan after nine months of bloodshed during the War of Independence has returned once again.
Bangladeshis are celebrating 46 years of the final triumph on Saturday with a renewed joy following UNESCO’s recognition of Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman’s 7th March speech as part of world history.
As the golden jubilee of the nation’s emergence nears, Bangladesh is also elevating its position in the international arena with significant economic and infrastructure development.
President Md Abdul Hamid and Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina in their Victory Day messages have vowed to continue the development and establish a ‘Golden Bangla’ dreamt by the Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman.
The nation will remember in various programmes the 3 million valiant sons of the soil who sacrificed their lives for the independence.
The national flag will be hoisted at the government, semi-government, non-government and residential buildings while people will fill the memorials across the country, including the National Memorial in Savar, with flowers.
Jubilant crowds will occupy the open grounds and streets with rallies and processions.
The war, which raged on for nine months after the declaration of independence by Bangabandhu, ended with the Pakistan Army’s surrender at Ramna Race Course ground, now Suhrawardy Udyan, on Dec 16, 1971.
Lt Gen Amir Abdullah Khan Niyazi, the martial law administrator of the then East Pakistan, signed the official document of surrender sitting next to Lt Gen Jagjit Singh Aurora, the joint commander of Indian forces and the Mukti Bahini of Bangladesh.
The Victory Day celebrations will start with a 31-gun salute at the National Parade Ground at sunrise.
The main celebrations will centre upon the National Memorial where the president and the prime minister will lead the nation to pay homage to the martyrs by placing wreaths.
After the paying respects by the VIPs, the Memorial will be open for all.
Meanwhile, the Victory Day Parade will start at the National Parade Ground.
President Hamid will inspect and take the salute at the parade. Hasina will also watch the parade.
The Navy will allow people to visit some of its ships at the inland ports across the country.
The Awami League, BNP and other political and socio-cultural organisations will arrange various events to celebrate the day.
The Awami League will hoist the national and party flags at its offices and place wreaths at Bangabandhu’s mural at Bangabandhu Memorial Museum.
Notable buildings and establishments have been decorated and illuminated with lights. Main thoroughfares of the city are bedecked with national flags and colourful festoons.
Improved meals will be served in prisons, hospitals, orphanages.
Special prayers will be offered in mosques, temples, pagodas and other places of worship for the departed souls and country’s peace, progress and prosperity.
Newspapers have published special supplements marking the day while televisions and radio stations aired special programmes.
In his message, President Hamid extended his ‘sincere’ felicitations and ‘warm’ congratulations to his fellow countrymen living at home and abroad.
Remembering Bangabandhu, he paid ‘deep’ homage to the valiant freedom fighters, who made supreme sacrifice in the war of liberation for the country’s independence.
He also extended his ‘deep’ gratitude to the organisers and supporters and the people from all strata who directly and indirectly made meaningful contributions to liberation.
The president thanked the UNESCO for including the historic 7th March speech of Bangabandhu in the International Memory of the World Register.
Hasina urged all to work for the country’s development. “Let us engage ourselves for the welfare of the country,” the prime minister said.
Describing how her Awami League party was working for Bangladesh’s development, she reiterated the government’s targets.
“We have been working relentlessly to build a hunger and poverty-free and a peaceful middle-income Bangladesh by 2021 and a developed and prosperous one by 2041.”