Bangladesh celebrating Bangabandhu, the leader of the people

Bangladesh has celebrated Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman with a third day of programme on the occasions of his birth centenary and the golden jubilee of independence.

Published : 19 March 2021, 08:05 PM
Updated : 19 March 2021, 08:05 PM

Joined by her Sri Lankan counterpart Mahinda Rajapaksa, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina recalled how the nation's founding father dedicated his entire life to achieve freedom and ensure wellbeing for the people.

She urged all citizens to work for a developed Bangladesh free from hunger and poverty, and rich in secular spirit which the Father of the Nation dreamt of.

Rajapaksa said Bangladesh has continued to flourish under the capable leadership of Hasina and that is the best honour in the name of Bangabandhu.

Hasina received Rajapaksa at the airport and later welcomed him to the National Parade Ground in Dhaka, the main venue of the 10-day celebrations.

A group of students from the Government School for the Deaf and Hearing Impaired in Mirpur kicked off the third day’s programme by singing the national anthem in sign language.

State Minister for Cultural Affairs KM Khalid spoke after an audio-visual presentation on Bangabandhu.

“Bangabandhu decided to put a smile on the people's faces because their misery touched his tender heart,” he said.

Author and critic Syed Manzoorul Islam said, “When a politician from the grassroots becomes the creator and hero of the most important chapter of thousand years of history of a country, he naturally becomes an everlasting presence in the memories and creative works of the people.”

Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov in a video message remembered Bangabandhu “as an outstanding political figure and a devoted fighter for the freedom and happiness of his people, and the true friend of our country”.

Afterwards, Rajapaksa described Bangabandhu “as a person of principle who dedicated his entire life for the Bangali people, their language and their wellbeing”.

“In this 21st century, with the great aspiration for Asian prosperity,” he said, “our new generation needs to be aware of the countless sacrifices made by their forefathers to achieve freedom.”

Sri Lankan artists performed in the second session of the programme after the discussion. 

Bangladeshi artist Sabina Yasmin sang “Bangabandhu Fire Ele”, a song sung by legendary West Bengal singer Sandhya Mukhopadhyay on Jan 10, 1972 when Bangabandhu returned home from a Pakistani jail via Britain.

“The people have shown me the love [to let her perform the song] - I don’t know whether I'm worthy of it,” the 89-year old said in a video message.

Folk songs, dance sequences and poem recitations were also held.

Toufique Imrose Khalidi
Editor-in-Chief and Publisher