Monday, September 25, 2023

National Mourning Day today

The nation will pay homage to Bangladesh’s independence hero Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, in observance of the 37th anniversary of his death on
Wednesday. A group of disgruntled army officers, at the dawn of August 15, 1975, assassinated the Bangabandhu and most of his family members, at his Road 32, Dhanmondi residence.
The government, ruling Awami League and its front and associate organisations, have chalked out a series of programmes to remember the architect of independent
Bangladesh. Close associates of Bangabandhu expressed regret that Bangladesh could not make desired achievements towards the dreams of Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, as he
used to see his country with social equity and justice, and free from poverty and hunger. In absence of Bangabandhu, they said, Bangladesh could not take necessary
strides, to achieve its goals, even 41 years after independence.
Barrister Amir-ul Islam, the food minister in Bangabandu’s cabinet, observed that Bangladesh still lacks social equity and social justice, which Bangabandhu had
He said the country has made some progress in reducing hunger, but, there is still a long way to go, to achieve social equity and social justice.
“It’s mainly because of a lack of rule of law, accountability and compliance. The culture of compliance towards law, rules and regulations is still very poor,” said
Amir, who was a minister between 1973 and 1974.
ASM Abdur Rob, who hoisted the country’s first flag on March 2, 1971, only a few weeks ahead Bangladesh commenced the armed struggle against Pakistan for liberty, said
that Bangabandhu wanted a repression-free, secular Bangladesh which was reflected in his historic March 7 speech that inspired people for an independent country.
But the dreams shattered with the August 15, 1975, carnage.
The killers brutally murdered not only Bangabandhu, but his wife Fazilatunnesa Mujib, sons Sheikh Kamal, Sheikh Jamal and Sheikh Russell, daughters-in-law Sultana
Kamal and Parvin Jamal.
Seventeen more dear and near ones of Bangabandhu, including his brother Sheikh Abu Naser, brother-in-law Abdur Rab Serniabat, nephew Sheikh Fazlul Haq Moni, Moni’s
wife Arju Moni, Baby Serniabat, Arif Serniabat, Sukanto Abdullah Babu, security officer Col. Jamil Uddin Ahmed, and Abdul Naim Khan Rintu were also killed during the
Bangabandhu’s daughters, Sheikh Hasina, now the Prime Minister, and Sheikh Rehana, survived the attacks, as they were in Germany at that time.
The killers were identified by the next ruling government, but, after assuming power in 1996, Sheikh Hasina began the process of trial, and the court, eventually,
convicted 12 former army officials, who also had proudly declared themselves as the killers of Sheikh Mujib.
Five out of the 12 killers were executed at Dhaka Central Jail, in early 2010, while six others were fugitives. One of the murderers, reportedly, had died in exile.
Dismissed army personnel Lt. Col. Syed Farooq-ur Rahman, Lt. Col. Sultan Shahriar Rashid Khan, Lt. Col. Muhiuddin Ahmed, Maj. AKM Mahiuddin Ahmed and Maj. Bazlul Huda
were hanged on January 28, 2010.
Shariful Haque Dalim, AKM Mahiuddin, Rashed Chowdhury, Nur Chowdhury, Abdul Mazed, and Moslemuddin are on the run, while Aziz Pasha reportedly died abroad. The
government has been trying to bring back the six absconders, to face the court verdict.
The Awami League will hoist a black flag at its central headquarters and offices across the country. The national and party flag will be flown at half mast, with the
Prime Minister and Awami League chief Sheikh Hasina will place floral wreaths at the portrait of Bangabandhu at his Dhanmondi residence. Her cabinet colleagues, party
leaders, and lawmakers belonging to her party, are expected to accompany her.
To pay homage to the architect of independent Bangladesh, the party will organise mourning processions at different parts of the city, that will end at Road 32,
The leaders will then offer prayers at the Banani graveyard, where most of Bangabandhu’s relatives killed in the attack, were laid to rest.
The Prime Minister will fly to Tungipara of Gopalganj, to offer prayers and homage at the grave of Bangabandhu. Central leaders of the party will take part in a day-
long programme to mark the day.
The party will organise a special prayer, at mosques across the country.
On Thursday, the party will organise a discussion, highlighting the life and achievements of the Bangabandhu. The discussion will take place at the Bangabandhu
International Conference Centre in Dhaka.
While talking to The Independent, Barrister Amir ul Islam said basic norms and values have eroded in national life.
“Basic values system should be improved in every sphere of life, from schools to professional institutions, and at the family level as well,” he said.
Politics is another area where mistrust is overwhelming. Politics is taken as major vocation, not as a commitment to serve the people, what the Bangabandhu had taught,
he said.
Even democratic norms are missing nowadays. Culture of mutual respect and politics have become acrimonious, he added.
“The question is how to get rid of the vice. It is very important to empower the people, to strengthen the democratic institutions. If people can hold politicians
accountable, the culture of politics in Bangladesh will change. We should have more political institutions, for improving political integrity. And, there should be
more intellectual input from the political quarter, for bringing qualitative changes in the broad political spectrum.”
ASM Abdur Rob said Bangabandhu can not be compared with any other person, he is above all.
Rob added that Bangabandhu wanted a repression-free and secular Bangladesh, which was reflected in his historic March 7 speech that inspired the people of Bangladesh
in 1971 to launch their movement for an independent country.
“We’ve got geographical independence, but not real freedom. Economic emancipation is yet to be achieved,” said Rob, who was one of the leading figure and organiser of
Bangladesh’s independence struggle.

Courtesy of The Independent


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