Bangladesh embarks on month of mourning with candlelight vigil

August is synonymous with tragedy as the nation remembers the brutal assassination of Bangabandhu and most of his family

Published : 1 August 2022, 06:26 AM
Updated : 1 August 2022, 06:26 AM

August is synonymous with irrevocable loss and tragedy for Bangladesh as the nation remembers the grisly assassination of its founding father Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman. This year, the month of mourning began with a candlelight vigil organised by the Awami League.

Leaders and activists of the Bangladesh Chhatra League and Swechchha Sebok League lit candles before the portrait of Bangabandhu at the Bangabandhu Museum in Dhanmondi 32 at 12:01 am on Sunday.

Awami League Joint General Secretary Dipu Moni participated in the ceremony arranged by the Mahila Awami League. Dhaka University Vice-Chancellor Md Akhtaruzzaman also joined a candlelight vigil on campus alongside Chhatra League members.

Bangladesh commemorates Aug 15 as the national day of mourning. On that day in 1975, Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, the architect of Bangladesh's independence and then president, and most of his family were massacred by a group of rogue army officers and soldiers. No one was spared from the brutality -- not even a 6-year-old child or a pregnant woman.

In August 2004, an attempt was made on the life of Awami League chief Sheikh Hasina, the daughter of Bangabandhu, in a grenade attack. Although Hasina survived, 24 people, including Awami League's Women Affairs Secretary Ivy Rahman, were killed.

As a part of the month-long programme, the Krishak League has made arrangements for blood and plasma donations at the Bangabandhu Bhaban premises on Monday, the Awami League said. Prime Minister Hasina will be the chief guest at the event.

To mark the birthday of Bangabandhu's eldest son Shaheed Sheikh Kamal, a ceremony will be held at the Abahani Club premises at 8:30 am on Aug 5. Later at 9:15 am, people can pay their respects to him at the Banani Graveyard.

On the occasion of Bangamata Sheikh Fazilatunnesa Mujib's birthday on Aug 8, tributes will be paid at the Banani Graveyard at 9 am. On that day, the Dhaka Metropolitan South Awami League will distribute food at the Azimpur Orphanage after the Zuhr prayers.

On Aug 15, black flags of mourning will be hoisted at half-mast along with the national and party flags at Bangabandhu Bhaban and all Awami League offices across the country.

Wreaths will be laid near the portrait of the Father of the Nation at Bangabandhu Bhaban in Dhanmondi at 7 am. Tributes will also be paid to the other martyrs of Aug 15 at Banani Graveyard at 7:45 am.

At 10:30 am, a special prayer service will be held at Bangabandhu's grave in Gopalganj's Tungipara. A delegation of the Awami League, along with leaders of the party's Gopalganj district and Tungipara Upazila units will attend the programme.

Special prayer services will be held in all places of worship, including the Baitul Mukarram National Mosque, on Aug 15.

Toufique Imrose Khalidi
Editor-in-Chief and Publisher