B’desh to celebrate Bangabandhu’s ‘Homecoming Day’ on Sunday

By Sumi Khan
Dhaka, Jan 9 (IANS) The historic ‘Homecoming Day’ of Father of the Nation of Bangladesh, Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, will be celebrated across Bangladesh on Sunday.

President of Bangladesh M Abdul Hamid and Prime Minister of Bangladesh Sheikh Hasina issued separate messages on Saturday on the occasion of Bangabandhu’s Homecoming Day.

Marking the day, the ruling Awami League, its front organisations and several socio-cultural organisations have taken up elaborate programmes.

Awami League president and Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina is scheduled to address the meeting virtually from her official residence Ganabhaban.

The Homecoming Day of Bangabandhu this year came with an extra significance as it coincided with Father of the Nation’s birth centenary celebrations and upcoming golden jubilee celebrations of the country’s independence.

All programmes marking the day this year will be observed maintaining health guidelines in face of the global pandemic coronavirus (COVID-19).

In his message, President Md Abdul Hamid has called upon the countrymen to make relentless efforts in building the ‘Sonar Bangla’ as dreamt by Father of Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman.

Paying profound homage to Bangabandhu, the President said, “Though we achieved ultimate victory on December 16 in 1971 through armed struggle but the true essence of victory came into being upon the Father of the Nation’s return home”.

Bangabandhu declared independence in the early hours of March 26 and called upon the countrymen to take part in the war of liberation and continue fighting until the final victory is achieved, he added.

In absence of Bangabandhu, the liberation war was being carried out under his leadership and on December 16, 1971 the Bangali nation achieved ultimate victory, Hamid added. Stepping into the soil of newly independent Bangladesh on January 10 in 1972, Bangabandhu was overwhelmed by feelings of emotion, Bangladesh President mentioned.

Bangladesh PM Sheikh Hasina expressed her firm determination of building a non-communal, hunger-free and prosperous Bangladesh as dreamt by Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman with collective efforts.

“The Father of the Nation dreamt of building a non-communal, hunger-free and prosperous Bangladesh, resisting all imminent conspiracies and inspired by the spirit of the Great Liberation War. We will fulfil that dream with unity,” Hasina said.

Bangladesh premier said in the absence of this great leader, there was an imperfection in the ecstasy and excitement of the final victory in the Liberation War, just as his assumption to the stewardship in the reconstruction of the newly independent war-ravaged country was much awaited in the universal perception.

“So, on January 10, the people of Bangladesh felt the true taste of ultimate victory when they got back their beloved leader,” Hasina said.

On January 10 in 1972, Bangabandhu, the supreme commander of the Liberation War of Bangladesh, returned to independent Bangladesh after his release from confinement for nine and a half months in Pakistan.

Bangabandhu was subjected to inhuman torture in the Pakistan jail where he had been counting moments for the execution of his death sentence that was pronounced in a farcical trial. He was released on January 8, 1972.

Bangabandhu flew to Dhaka on January 10, 1972 after a brief stopover in Delhi. He was given a reception by then Indian President VV Giri and Prime Minister Indira Gandhi, council of ministers, chiefs of three services and other dignitaries and common people.

On the Pakistani army’s slaughter of Bengalis, Mujibur Rahman declared, “If Hitler could have been alive today, he would be ashamed.”

On his return home, tens of thousands of people standing on the road from the airport to Racecourse Maidan (now Suhrawardy Udyan) greeted Bangabandhu.

Bangabandhu addressed a huge gathering of people that turned into a human sea at the historic ground where the Pakistani occupation forces surrendered to the allied force.

Following his release, Bangabandhu flew to London, where he met then British Prime Minister Edward Heath and addressed the international media there.

“I was a prisoner in the condemned cell awaiting hanging. From the day I went into jail, I didn’t know whether I was to live or not. I was mentally ready to die. But I knew Bangladesh would be liberated,” Bangabandhu spoke emotionally with tears about his ordeal in Pakistani prison at a news conference in London.

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