The nation is set to observe the National Mourning Day on Thursday (Aug 15), marking the 44th martyrdom anniversary of father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman and his family members. The killing of Bangabandhu and most of his family members on the fateful night of Aug 15, 1975 is the ugliest chapter of the nation’s history. The self-confessed killers of Aug 15 did not assassinate Bangabandhu alone, but also killed 16 other members of his family, friends and relatives.
They include his wife Begum Fazilatunnesa Mujib, sons Sheikh Kamal, Sheikh Jamal and Sheikh Russell, daughters-in-law Sultana Kamal and Rosy Jamal, brother Sheikh Naser, brother-in-law Abdur Rab Serniabat, nephew and eminent journalist Sheikh Fazlul Huq Moni, his pregnant wife Arzoo Moni and Colonel Jamil. Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, the eldest daughter of Bangabandhu, escaped the planned assassination with her sister Sheikh Rehana as they were staying overseas then.
The killing of Bangabandhu, the greatest son of the soil in thousand years, descended a pall of gloom and spread a sense of deep sadness among the people in the country and across the globe.
The world protested and condemned the killing, saying it is an irreparable loss to millions of people of Bangladesh.
Like previous years, the government, Bangladesh Awami League and different political and socio-cultural organisations, educational institutions and professional groups chalked out elaborate programmes to pay the utmost respect to the greatest son of the soil on the day of his martyrdom.
Meanwhile, the nation started observing the month of mourning from Aug 1, recalling the most brutal killing in its history and renewing the pledge to safeguard perpetually the country’s independence and sovereignty.
President Md. Abdul Hamid and Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina issued separate messages on the eve of the Day, local media reported.
The government drew elaborate programmes to observe the Day with due respect and solemnity. As part of the programme, the national flag will fly half-mast atop the offices of all government, semi-government and autonomous bodies and educational institutions on the day.
In the morning, President Hamid and Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina will place wreaths at the portrait of Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman at Bangabandhu Museum in the capital city. A smartly turned out contingent of the Armed Forces will give a guard of honour to the portrait of the Bangabandhu. A special Munajat and Fateha also will be offered there.
Later, Sheikh Hasina will place wreaths and offer fateha at the Banani graveyard for the family members of the father of the nation and others, who embraced martyrdom with Bangabandhu on Aug 15, 1975.
Following the President and the PM and other dignitaries, people from all walks of life wearing black badges will throng the Bangabandhu Memorial Museum to pay their profound homage to Father of the Nation by placing wreaths at his portrait there.
The PM will also place wreath at the mazar of Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman at Tungipara in Gopalganj. Fateha will be offered, and the armed forces will again stage a guard of honour there. A special milad mahfil and dua will be held there on the day.
In line with the national programme, different ministries and departments, directorates and agencies will organise various programmes at their respective institutions. Similarly, all city corporations, district councils, municipalities and union councils will organise different programmes to observe the day with due respect and solemnity.
Bangladesh missions abroad will arrange discussions with hoisting the national flag half-mast atop their respective offices.
Bangladesh Betar, Bangladesh Television, private TV channels and radio stations will take special programmes in observance of the National Mourning Day. National and regional newspapers will bring out special supplements on the occasion.
Besides, specially designed posters will be displayed at educational institutions and other public places, reminding the black chapter of the country’s history.
Bangladesh Awami League has chalked out elaborate programmes to observe the day. As part of the programmes, the national and party flags will fly half-mast atop the all offices of Awami League and Bangabandhu Bhaban on the day.
In the morning, the party leaders will place wreaths at the portrait of Bangabandhu in front of Bangabandhu Museum in the capital city. Later, the party leaders will place wreaths and offer fateha at the Banani graveyard for the family members of the Father of the Nation and others, who embraced martyrdom with Bangabandhu on Aug 15, 1975.
A delegation of the Awami League central executive committee, including Awami League Presidium Members Sheikh Fazlul Karim Selim, Kazi Zafar Ullah and Muhammad Faruk Khan, executive member Abul Hasnat Abdullha, joint general secretaries Jahangir Kabir Nanak and Abdur Rahman, agriculture and cooperative secretary Faridunnahar Laily and information and research secretary Advocate Afzal Hossain, among others, will join the programmes in Tungipara on Aug 15. The programmes include placing of wreaths at the shrine of Bangabandhu and offering fateha there.
The ruling party leaders will distribute foods among the poor, distressed and orphans in the afternoon. Besides, Mohila Awami League will arrange a Milad and Doa mahfil in front of Bangabandhu Bhaban after Asr prayers.
On Aug 16, a discussion will be held at Bangabandhu International Conference Centre in the afternoon with Awami League President and Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina in the chair.
The district and upazila administrations will observe the day through doa mahfil and discussions in line with the national programmes.
Different institutions, socio-cultural organisations and people from all walks of life will place wreaths at Tungipara and at the portrait of Bangabandhu at road no. 32, Dhanmondi, and will hold Doa Mehfils and discussions there. The different organisations and directorates under the Information Ministry will also hold different programmes.
Bangladesh Television has taken initiatives to read out the Bangabandhu’s books – 'Oshomapto Attojibani' and 'Karagarer Rojnaamcha'.
On the day of national mourning, special prayers will be offered at all mosques across the country seeking eternal peace of the departed souls of Bangabandhu and his deceased family members. Besides, special prayers will also be offered at all temples and places of worships of other religions.