Euphoric union at Bangabhaban as president, PM celebrate Victory Day

The Bangabhaban turned into a jubilant gathering of throngs when people from across the broad social spectrum joined the president to celebrate the 46th Victory Day.

Published : 16 Dec 2016, 06:02 PM
Updated : 18 Dec 2016, 09:18 PM

The euphoria of union on Friday assumed a special significance as the host of the event, President M Abdul Hamid, is a 1971 war veteran. He fought the War of Independence from Pakistan as a sub-sector commander of Bangladesh Liberation Force (Mujib Bahini) in Kishoreganj and Sunamganj districts.

Around 1,000 invitees descended on the presidential palace in a loose assemblage of diverse groups – injured freedom fighters, politicians, civil and military officers, foreign diplomats, businesspeople, journalists, other professionals, and the commoners.

Famous singers and child artists performed patriotic and folk songs while a band from the army played instruments and the festivity shifted up a notch in intensity.

Hamid and his wife Rashida Khanom came to the Bangabhaban ground, the venue of the programme, sometime after 4pm. The national anthem was sung when they came onstage. Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina was already there.

This is one of the few days when the president's security protocol is relaxed to a certain extent to allow the public to enter the Bangabhaban and celebrate the special day with him.

The president and the prime minister exchanged greetings with the injured freedom fighters, the families of the Birshreshthas, members of National Cadet Corps of India and Sri Lanka, and other guests.   

They also checked on the injured freedom fighters and promised support for their welfare.

A 27-member delegation of the Indian Army, who took part in the Liberation War, attended the reception. Retired Lt Gen Gurbaksh Singh led the delegation.

Some of the foreign guests wore outfits to match the gravity of the day.

Wanja Campos da Nóbrega, Ambassador of Brazil, wore a green saree with red blouse matching with the national flag. US Ambassador Marcia Bernicat also donned a saree with works of red, green and yellow, the colours of the national flag used during the war.

The president and the prime minister cut a cake to celebrate the day at the VVIP enclosure.

Among the guests, Cabinet members, advisers to the prime minister, state ministers, diplomats, senior lawyers, Supreme Court judges, election commissioners, chiefs of the three services, MPs, senior political leaders, senior civil and military officers, academics, business community leaders, senior journalists, artistes and distinguished citizens were present.

They included Finance Minister AMA Muhith, Commerce Minister Tofail Ahmed, Prime Minister's Adviser Gowher Rizvi, Agriculture Minister Matia Chowdhury, Foreign Minister AH Mahmood Ali, Civil Aviation and Tourism Minister Rashed Khan Menon, and Deputy Speaker Fazle Rabbi Miah.

Dhaka North Mayor Annisul Huq, State Minister for Finance and Planning MA Mannan, State Minister for Labour Mujibul Haque Chunnu, Chief Election Commissioner Kazi Rakibuddin Ahmad, and Bangladesh Investment Development Authority Executive Chairman Kazi Aminul Islam also attended the event. 

Among the political leaders were CPB President Mujahidul Islam Selim, Samyabadi Dal General Secretary Dilip Barua, Jatiya Samatantrik Dal (JSD) President ASM Abdur Rab, Krishak, Shramik, Janata League chief Kader Siddique and Jatiya Party Presidium Member Ziauddin Bablu.  

The government officials included Cabinet Secretary Mohammad Shafiul Alam, Prime Minister's Principal Secretary Kamal Abdul Naser Chowdhury, PMO Secretary Suraiya Begum and Prime Minister's Press Secretary Ihsanul Karim. 

Former Bangladesh Bank governor Mohammed Farashuddin, Attorney General Mahbubey Alam, lawyer Amir-Ul Islam, Public Service Commission Chairman Mohammad Sadiq and BTRC Chairman Shahjahan Mahmood were also present.

Besides Prime Minister's Information Affairs Adviser and The Daily Observer Editor Iqbal Sobhan Chowdhury, many other media personalities joined the reception.

They included Bangladesh Sangbad Sangstha Editor-in-Chief Abul Kalam Azad, Bangladesh Press Institute Director General Md Shah Alamgir, Editor-in-Chief Toufiqe Imrose Khalidi and Channel-i Head of News Shaykh Siraj.   

From the cultural arena, filmmaker Kazi Hayat, actors Miju Ahmed and Ezazul Haque and actress Rokeya Prachy came to the programme.

Singers Rafiqul Alam, Shakila Zafar, Fahmida Nabi, Sandipan, Priyanka Biswas and Sajeeb Das performed at the function. Children artists from Shishu Academy also enthralled the audience.

Toufique Imrose Khalidi
Editor-in-Chief and Publisher