Live Correspondent: The nation today observed the historic Mujibnagar Day with a pledge to let the new generations know true history of the Liberation War and make the people reap the benefits of democracy.
Highlighting the significance of the day through observing different programmes across the country, the Mujibnagar Day recalled the history as on this day in 1971 the nation witnessed the oath-taking of the country’s first government.
On the occasion of the day, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina paid rich tributes to Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman by placing a wreath at his portrait in front of Bangabandhu Memorial Museum at Dhanmondi in the city this morning.
Flanked by central leaders of the party, Sheikh Hasina, also the president of Bangladesh Awami League, placed another wreath at the portrait of Bangabandhu on behalf of her party.
Awami League Advisory Council Members Amir Hossain Amu, Tofail Ahmed and Advocate Yusuf Hossain Humayun, Presidium Members Begum Matia Chowdhury, Abdul Mannan Khan and Dr Abdur Razzak, General Secretary Obaidul Quader, Joint Secretaries Dr Dipu Moni and Abdur Rahman, Publicity Secretary Dr Hasan Mahmood, Organising Secretaries AFM Bahauddin Nasim and Ahmed Hossain and Office Secretary Dr Abdus Sobhan Golap were present, among others.
Later, the leaders of AL’s associate bodies including Jubo League, Chhatra League, Mohila Awami League, Jubo Mohila League, Swechchhasebak League, Sramik League and Krishak League laid wreaths at the portrait of Bangabandhu.
Earlier, President Abdul Hamid and Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina issued separate messages yesterday recalling the able leadership, proper directives and war strategies of the Mujibnagar Government to take the 1971 Liberation War towards its successful culmination.
The government drew up elaborate programmes in Mujibnagar and capital Dhaka to mark the day.
The programme began with the hoisting of national flag at dawn atop memorial monument at Mujibnagar.
The other programmes of the day included placing of wreaths at the memorial monument and presenting guard of honour and parade by freedom fighters, police, Ansar-VD, BNCC, Scout and school students.
A discussion was held at the Sheikh Hasina Mancha at Mujibnagar this morning while Awami League General Secretary and Road Transport and Bridges Minister Obaidul Quader addressed it as the chief guest with Health and Family Welfare Minister and Awami League Presidium Member Mohammed Nasim in the chair.
Liberation War Affairs Minister AKM Mozammel Haque, Awami League Joint General Secretaries Mahbub-ul Alam Hanif and Abdur Rahim, Organizing Secretary Abu Sayeed Al Mamun Shawpan, Labour Affairs Secretary Habibur Rahman Siraj, former Rajshahi City Corporation Mayor Khairuzzaman Liton, District AL’s General Secretary Abdul Khaleque and Bangladesh Chhatra League President Saifur Rahman Sohag.
Quader urged the party leaders and activists for taking preparations for the next general election. “The next general election will be held in due time under the leadership of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina…so, the party leaders and activists will have to take preparations from now,” he said.
Mohammad Nasim said those who do not observe the historic Mujibnagar Day are not believers of spirit of Liberation War.
Cultural function was staged in the afternoon as leading artistes of the country performed while special fireworks featured the day’s programmes.
Different political parties and different social and cultural organizations also chalked out programmes coinciding with the day.
In Dhaka, a cultural function was organized at Bangladesh Shilpakala Academy in the afternoon to mark the day while important buildings in Dhaka, Meherpur and Mujibnagar were illuminated.
Dhaka University organized a discussion at Teacher-Student Centre on the campus with its Vice-Chancellor Professor AAMS Arefin Siddique in the chair.
Addressing on the occasion, Arefin Siddique underscored the need for arranging discussion on various historic days to project the country’s true history to the new generations.
“We have to arrange discussions on different historical days of the country including independence, victory and Mujibnagar days, birth and martyrdom days of Bangabandhu to make the new generations know the country’s true history,” he said.
DU Pro-VC (administration) Prof Md Akhtaruzzaman, Pro-VC (academic) Prof Nasreen Ahmad and Treasurer Professor Kamal Uddin addressed the discussion, among others.
Mujibnagar Day was also observed on the temporary campus of Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman Maritime University (BSMRMU) in the city’s Pallabi area. A discussion on “Historic Mujibnagar Day and Independence of Bangladesh was organized while its Vice-Chancellor Rear Admiral ASM Abdul Baten addressed the discussion as chief guest.
Besides, different district towns and upazilas and Bangladeshi missions abroad organised various programmes recalling the day.
Our Rajshahi Correspondent reports: The Mujibnagar Day was observed in Rajshahi with due respect as a discussion meeting was held at Shilpakala Academy auditorium largely attended by cross-section people including freedom fighters, government and non-government officials, members of the civil society, professional leaders and cultural personalities.
Commissioner of Rajshahi division Noor-Ur-Rahman addressed the meeting as chief guest with Deputy Commissioner Kazi Ashraf Uddin in the chair.
On April 17, 46 years back, the tiny mango grove-covered village of Baidyanathtala witnessed the swearing-in ceremony of the provisional government of Bangladesh and millions of freedom loving people listened to the announcement of the formation of the government over radio.
Following Pakistan army’s dastardly attack on unarmed people in the night of March 25-26 in 1971, the first government of independent People’s Republic of Bangladesh was formed on April 10 in 1971 comprising the elected representatives with Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman as its President, Syed Nazrul Islam as Vice-President and Tajuddin Ahmed as Prime Minister.
On April 10, the elected representatives firmly supported and approved the declaration of independence by Bangabandhu on March 26, 1971 and issued formal proclamation of independence.
In absence of Bangabandhu, who was arrested after declaration of country’s independence on the night of March 25 and kept in a jail in the then West Pakistan during the whole period of liberation war, Vice President Syed Nazrul Islam was entrusted with the charge of Acting President.
The government was sworn in on April 17, 1971 in a ceremony at a mango-grove in Baidyanathtala under Meherpur, which later was renamed as Mujibnagar.
A day after the swearing-in ceremony the portfolios of the government was distributed when M Mansur Ali was given the charge of minister for finance, commerce and industry, AHM Quamaruzzaman was given the charge of minister for home, relief, rehabilitation and agriculture and Khondker Mushtaque Ahmed was made the foreign minister.
Mushtaque, however, was virtually made dysfunctional in the subsequent months as his stance against the independence appeared clear to the government.
The Mujibnagar Government led the war of liberation in 1971 and freed the country from the clutches of Pakistani occupation forces on December 16 the same year, fighting a nine-month-long war.