Bangladesh is observing its 43rd Independence ana National Day, paying homage to the martyrs of the War of Liberation of 1971.
On this day in 1971, Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman formally declared independence and urged the Bengali nation to liberate the country from the clutches of the Pakistani occupation army.
Unarmed Bangladeshis, who had been attacked and massacred by Pakistani soldiers, started an extensive bush war against the occupation forces.
After the nine-month war with the supreme sacrifice of three million people and modesty of some two lakh women, the Bengali nation achieved the cherished independence on December 16, 1971.
The day was heralded with a thirty-one gun salute at dawn.
Acting President Abdul Hamid Advocate and Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina placed wreaths at the National Memorial at Savar at sunrise.
The national flag is being hoisted atop government and private buildings, while the government and semi-government buildings and other public places will be illuminated on the auspicious occasion.
Road islands and dividers have been decorated with flags and colorful festoons welcoming the Independence Day.
In the capital city, Dhaka Metropolitan Police took all-out security measures to maintain the law and order for smooth observance of the day.
The day is a public holiday.
Acting President Abdul Hamid Advocate, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina and Leader of the Opposition Khaleda Zia issued separate messages, greeting the country’s people on this solemn and joyous occasion.
In his message, the acting President underscored the need for concerted efforts from all strata, irrespective of party affiliation, to achieve the desired goals of independence and build a happy and prosperous Bangladesh.
Observing that tolerance, fortitude and respect to other opinions are the pre-conditions to flourishing democracy, Abdul Hamid said, “Therefore, it’s of paramount importance to maintain patience, forbearance at all levels and to be respectful to others opinion in a democratic pluralism.”
He continued: “Let’s make our Jatiya Sangsad a centre of excellence in solving our national issues through discussion. I’m confident that everybody, irrespective of party affiliation, will play responsible role in fulfilling the hopes and aspirations of our common people.”
The acting President urged all, living both at home and abroad, to work together imbued with the spirit of the War of Liberation to expedite economic self-reliance and democratic advancement of the country.
In her message, the Prime Minister urged the country’s people to remain united to foil the ill designed plots of the anti-democratic and anti-liberation forces against the government and people.
Hasina expressed the hope that the country’s all citizens would engage themselves with their utmost sincerity, honesty and dedication in building Bangladesh as a prosperous and prestigious country in the comity of nations.
In her message, the Leader of the Opposition urged all to remain alert to protect the country’s independence and democracy foiling all conspiracies.
Different political, social and cultural organisations have chalked out elaborate programmes to mark the day.
A children’s rally and parade will be held at Bangabandhu National Stadium in the morning where Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina will be present at the chief guest.
Special prayers will be offered at mosques, temples, churches and pagodas seeking divine blessings for the souls of the martyrs of the War of Liberation, as well as for peace, stability and progress of the country.
Improved diets will be served in hospitals, jails, orphanages and vagrant homes, the Muktijoddha Kendra and other charitable organisations.
Bangladesh missions abroad will hoist the national flag and organise discussions, cultural function and reception.
National dailies will bring out supplements, while state-owned and private televisions and radio stations will broadcast special programmes highlighting the significance of the day.