Bangladesh’s Father of Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman’s 102nd birth anniversary is today (March 17). The day will be celebrated through the golden jubilee of Bangladesh’s independence and various programs of Mujib Year.
Earlier, the Mujib year started from the 100th birthday of Bangabandhu. Which has been extended till March 31 this year. The day will also be celebrated as National Children’s Day.
The undisputed leader of the Bengali nation, the architect of independent Bangladesh, was born on this day in 1920 in a noble Muslim family at Tungipara in Gopalganj district.
On this occasion, President Md. Abdul Hamid and Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina gave separate messages. Various socio-cultural organizations including National Implementation Committee and Awami League have taken up detailed programs to celebrate the birth centenary of Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman. The day will also be celebrated with due dignity at Bangladeshi embassies in other countries of the world. The day has been declared a public holiday.
On the occasion of the birth anniversary of Bangabandhu in the golden jubilee year of Bangladesh’s independence, the National Implementation Committee to commemorate the birth centenary of Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman has organized a special program titled ‘Fatherland in Tungipara Heart’. The program includes paying homage at the Mausoleum of the Father of the Nation at 12.30 pm and a discussion meeting and cultural program at 2.30 pm.
On the occasion of Bangabandhu’s birthday, Awami League will hold various programs throughout the week. This year’s event has been named ‘Fatherland in the Heart’. National and party flags will be hoisted at the Awami League’s central office in Dhaka in the morning and at all offices across the country. On this day, Awami League will pay homage at the portrait of Bangabandhu at Bangabandhu Bhawan at 7.30 am.
President Md. Abdul Hamid and Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina will pay homage at Bangabandhu’s tomb at Tungipara today.
A children’s gathering will be held to mark the day. Where Awami League President and Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina will join. Discussions will be held in the afternoon. On March 18 also, a discussion meeting will be held at Tungipara under the initiative of the Awami League. Central leaders of the Awami League will participate in the meeting.
Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman started his political career in 1940 by joining the All India Muslim Students’ Federation. In 1946, he was elected general secretary of the Calcutta Islamia College (now Maulana Azad College) Students’ Union.
He was elected joint-secretary of the East Pakistan branch of the then Awami Muslim League in 1949. In 1953, he was elected general secretary of the party and in 1954 a member of the East Bengal Legislative Assembly on a United Front ticket. This undisputed leader, who has been vocal throughout his life for the rights of the Bengali nation for taking a stand for justice, has been imprisoned many times in his political life.
He led every democratic and rights movement, including the language movement of 1952, the United Front elections of 1954, the anti-military movement of 1958, the 6-point movement in 1966 and the 11-point movement later, and the people’s uprising in 1969. Due to this he got the title of Bangabandhu in 1969. Under his courageous and visionary leadership, the Bengali nation started preparing for the freedom movement step by step.
Although the Awami League achieved an absolute victory in the 1970 general elections, the military junta of then Pakistan started various atrocities on the Bengali nation without transferring power. Bangabandhu gave the call for the freedom struggle in the historic 7th March speech of the 1970s. It has been recognized as a world heritage by its inclusion in UNESCO’s International Memory of the World Register.
On the other hand, on 26 March (midnight of 25 March), he formally declared the independence of Bangladesh and under his leadership, the liberation war began in 1971. Through the bloody war of nine months, the much-desired victory and independence of the Bengalis were achieved. Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman is one of those who have been recognized as a world-renowned leader in the 20th century by fighting for the oppressed, oppressed, and exploited people.
He was awarded the Title of Julio Curie, given by the World Peace Council, for his contribution to the ceaseless struggle for equality, friendship, freedom, democracy, and world peace. In a BBC poll, he was voted the greatest Bengali of all time. At the same time when Bangabandhu began to take various initiatives to achieve the economic liberation of the people of war-ravaged independent Bangladesh, the forces and vested interests defeated in the War of Independence started a heinous conspiracy against him and as part of that conspiracy, on August 15, 1975, he was killed along with most of his family members at the hands of some misguided army officers at his Dhanmondi residence.
In the eyes of the world media, Bangabandhu was a born man. The unique leader is also called the ‘symbol of freedom’ or the ‘rhythm of politics’. Foreign fans, staunch critics, and even enemies praised him in their respective languages.
The legendary Cuban revolutionary leader of the 20th century, the late Fidel Castro, likened Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, the father of the nation of Bangladesh, to the Himalayas. Former Sri Lankan Foreign Minister Laxman Qadir Gama, while making an assessment of the great leader of Bangladesh, said that South Asia has gifted the world many teachers, philosophers, skilled statesmen, political leaders, and fighters in the last few centuries. But, Sheikh Mujibur Rahman overcame everything, his place has been decided in the highest seat of all time.
“Bangabandhu was the leader of the people and made the supreme sacrifice in their service. The title of Bangabandhu given to him reflects the deep love of the people of the country towards this patriotic leader. The former President of India, Pranab Mukherjee, wrote such remarks in the comment book after visiting the Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman Memorial Museum on 32nd Road of Dhanmondi in the city on March 4, 2013.
Former Prime Minister of India Manmohan Singh said in the comment book that Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman led his people in the freedom struggle through his hypnotic and infinitely courageous leadership.
Sonia Gandhi, president of the Indian National Congress, said, “I pay my respects to Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, a visionary leader, and statesman. He fought with unwavering courage, ignoring adversities and adverse circumstances for freedom.
Mamata Bandyopadhyay, chief minister of the West Bengal government of India, visited the Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman Memorial Museum during her visit to Bangladesh. At the time, in the comment book, he wrote that Bangabandhu is a burning inspiration in the minds of every libertarian, with respect for the mother tongue of this sub-continent. He was the commander-in-chief of the Liberation War, the architect, and the father of the independent People’s Republic of Bangladesh.
Mamata said Bangabandhu has given the Bengali language one of the most prominences on the world stage. He is that rare leader to whom all people, irrespective of religion, are blessed to bow down.
Although the then-West Pakistani military leadership portrayed Bangabandhu as a ‘traitor’, history confirmed his true position when his one-time arch-enemy called him a “great patriot”. Major General Tozammel Hossain Malik, a former Pakistani (Balochistan) officer who fought the war against the freedom fighters in 1971, later wrote in his memoir, “In fact, Mujib was not a traitor (although he was widely portrayed in Pakistan). He was a great patriot for his people. ’
Another army officer recalled with great respect the historic and landmark March 7 speech of Bangabandhu by the then Pakistani junta spokesman Major Siddiq Salik. Salik, in his book ‘Document of the surrender of the Pakistani army’, wrote that after Bangabandhu’s speech at the Race Course Ground, there was a crowd of people going to the house. They looked as if they were coming out of the mosque or church after hearing the hopeful message.