DHAKA, Mar 26, 2018 (BSS)-The nation in festivity and with the spirit of the War of Liberation is celebrating today the 48th Independence and National Day of the country.
On this day in 1971, Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman declared independence of Bangladesh following the crackdown by the Pakistani occupation forces on the unarmed innocent Bangalees on the black night of March 25.
The nation soon launched the War of Liberation at the call of Bangabandhu and brought independence to the country on December 16, 1971.
During the nine-month war, Pakistani forces killed three million innocent Bangalees, perpetrated atrocities on 200,000 Bangalee women and burnt down lakhs of houses across the country.
This year the nation is celebrating the Day amid much enthusiasm, fanfare and pride as the historic 7th March speech of Bangabandhu, which was the effective deceleration of the country’s independence, got the prestigious recognition as the world’s documentary heritage by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO).
The country this year has also achieved a milestone progress in socio- economic development.
The Committee for Development Policy (CDP) of the United Nations on March 15 officially declared the eligibility of Bangladesh for graduating from the Least Development Countries (LDCs). The nation is celebrating the success in festivity, which will continue till March 28 across the country.
The day’s programmes began early this morning with paying glowing tributes to the martyrs and veterans of the War of Liberation at the National Memorial at Savar – the main venue for the celebration of the day.
President Abdul Hamid and Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina paid rich tributes to the war martyrs by placing wreaths at the National Memorial here this morning marking the 48th Independence and National Day.
After placing the wreaths, the President and the Prime Minister stood in solemn silence for some time as a mark of profound respect to the memories of the martyrs of the Great War.
A smartly turned-out contingent drawn from Bangladesh Army, Navy and Air Force presented a state salute on the occasion while the bugles played the last post.
Ministers, PM’s advisers, parliament members, chiefs of the three services, freedom fighters, foreign diplomats and high civil and military officials were present on the occasion.
Later, flanked by senior leaders of the party, Sheikh Hasina, also the president of Bangladesh Awami League, laid another wreath at the National Memorial on behalf of her party.
Families of Bir Shreshthas, war wounded freedom fighters, members of the diplomatic corps, leaders of different political parties, social, cultural and professional bodies and people from all walks of life also laid wreaths at the national memorial in the morning.
On her return from the National Memorial at Savar, the prime minister paid the homage to Father of the Nation by placing a wreath at his portrait in front of Bangabandhu Memorial Museum at Dhanmondi in the capital city.
After placing the wreath, she stood in solemn silence for some time as a mark of profound respect to the memory of Bangabandhu, the architect of the independence.
Flanked by central leaders of the party, Sheikh Hasina, also the president of Bangladesh Awami League, laid another wreath at the portrait of Bangabandhu on behalf of her party.
Later in the morning, the prime minister led the nation to sing the national anthem in correct form at the “Jatiya Shishu Kishore Samabesh” held at Bangabandhu National Stadium.
On the eve of the Day, President Md Abdul Hamid and Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina issued separate messages, highlighting the significance of the day in building Bangladesh a prosperous nation.
The day is a public holiday.
The national flag is flying atop all government and private buildings while all streets and important city intersections have been decorated with national and multi-coloured miniature flags and festoons.
Important buildings and establishments as well as city streets and islands have also been illuminated with the light in red and green – the colour of the national flag.
National dailies have brought out special supplements while Bangladesh Betar, Bangladesh Television, private radio stations and television channels are airing special programmes highlighting the significance of the day.
Later on the day, special prayers will be offered at all mosques, temples, churches and other places of worship across the country seeking divine blessings for the eternal peace of the departed souls of Father of the Nation, four national leaders, martyrs of the War of Liberation and all other patriotic sons of the soil.
Improved diets will be served to the inmates of hospitals, jails, old homes and other public institutions to mark the day.
Different political parties as well as socio-cultural and professional organisations have drawn elaborate programmes to observe the day in a befitting manner.
Similar programmes have been organised at Bangladesh missions abroad while the expatriate Bangladeshis across the world are celebrating the Day by arranging different programmes.