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A message from the President of Bangladesh

Md. Abdul Hamid Hon’ble President of Bangladesh
Md. Abdul Hamid Hon’ble President of Bangladesh

Today is National Mourning Day and the 45th martyrdom anniversary of Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman.

August 15, 1975 is regarded as a scandalous chapter in the history of the Bangali nation. On this fateful night, the undisputed leader and Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman was brutally assassinated at his Dhanmondi residence by a group of killers with the direct and indirect connivance of anti-liberation forces. His wife Sheikh Fazilatunnessa Mujib, sons namely Sheikh Kamal, Sheikh Jamal and Sheikh Russel, and some near and dear ones were also killed along with Bangabandhu. Such a barbarous incident was rare not only in the history of Bangladesh but also in the history of the world. With heavy heart, I pay my deep homage to them and pray to the Almighty Allah for the eternal peace of the departed souls on this Mourning Day.

Bangabandhu was a visionary leader and the architect of independence. He led the nation at every struggle and democratic movements including the ‘All-party State language Action Committee’ formed to press home the right to mother-tongue in 1948, historic Language Movement in 1952, Juktafront Election in 1954, movement against Martial Law in 1958, Six-Point Movement in 1966, Mass Upsurge in 1969 and the General Elections in 1970 which all were directed towards realizing Bangali’s emancipation and their rights. For this, he had to embrace jail for several times.

Bangabanhu was uncompromising on the question of the rights of our people. He, even on the gallows, upheld the interest of Bengal and Bangali. After a long ups and downs, this great leader, ignoring the blood-shot eyes of the then Pakistani rulers, delivered historic address on 07 March in 1971 before a mammoth gathering at the then Race Couse Maidan, and thunderously uttered, “The struggle this time is a struggle for emancipation, the struggle this time is a struggle for independence” which was, in fact, basically call for our independence. In line with this historic speech, he finally declared country’s independence on March 26, 1971 and subsequently we achieved victory through a nine-month-long armed war of liberation under his leadership. Bangabandhu and Bangladesh thus emerged as a unique entity to the people of Bangladesh. Though the assassins killed Father of the Nation, they could not wipe out the principle and ideal of this great man. As long as Bangladesh exists, the name and fame of Father of the Nation will remain ever shining in the mind of millions of Bangalis of our country.

Bangabandhu, throughout his life, struggled for independence along with attaining people’s economic emancipation. His dream was to build “Sonar Bangla” (Golden Bangla) to be freed from hunger and poverty. Therefore, our responsibility would be to make our country a happy and prosperous one by enriching ourselves with knowledge and completing the unfinished task of Bangabandhu. Only then we will be able to pay our due respect to the immortal soul of this great leader.

The birth centenary of Bangabandhu is being observed this year and the Golden Jubilee celebration of our independence will be celebrated in 2021. These two national events are a unique milestone in the history of the Bangali nation. I believe, by celebrating these two events with solemnity and dignity, our new generation will be able to know about Bangabandhu and the factual history of our independence. And thus they, being imbued with patriotism, will be able to devote themselves for the development of the country and the nation.

The whole world, including Bangladesh, is now fighting against COVID-19 pandemic. The entire globe has become standstill at present due to the adverse impact of coronavirus. The economy, including livelihood, employment, trade and commerce, transcontinental communication etc. are at a stake. The government of Bangladesh has taken all-out measures to address the corona situation. People of the country should extend the hand of cooperation with government efforts to face the challenges. Maintaining guidelines of hygiene in every aspect of life as well as keeping ourselves cautious, we have to be dealt with the pandemic by holding the principle of “Carefulness, not fear.”

The Hon’ble Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has set Vision 2021, Vision 2041 and Delta Plan 2100 to transform Bangladesh into a middle-income country by 2021 and a developed-prosperous one by 2041. I call upon all, irrespective of party affiliation and opinion, to materialize these programmes unitedly.

On the National Mourning Day, let us translate our grief into strength, and devote ourselves to build “Sonar Bangla” as dreamt of by Father of the Nation.

Joi Bangla.

Khoda Hafez, May Bangladesh Live Forever.