DHAKA: The nation today began a 10-day nationwide
celebration of Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman’s Birth
Centenary coinciding with the Golden Jubilee of 1971 Independence with a
grand ceremony at the National Parade Square.
President Abdul Hamid, his wife Rashida Khanam and Prime Minister Sheikh
Hasina joined the ceremony along with visiting Maldivian President Ibrahim
Mohamed Solih and his spouse Fazna Ahmed while the national anthem sang
collectively by 100 young children marked the grand opening of the
celebrations at the Parade Square.
The children then sang in chorus several songs of Biswa Kabi Rabindranath
Tagore, National Poet Kazi Nazrul Islam and several others at the function,
joined among others by Bangabandhu’s younger daughter Sheikh Rehana, chaired
by Sheikh Hasina, the elder daughter of the country’s founder.
Chinese President Xi Jinping, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau,
Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga and famous British journalist Mark
Talley sent congratulatory messages on the first day function at the Parade
Square where verses of the Holy Quran and scripts of followers of other
faiths were recited.
Presentation of video footages of Bangabandhu’s historic addresses and
comments were displayed at the function where national-level singers along
with young artistes sang the Mujib Year’s theme song titled “Tumi Banglar
Dhrubo Tara and Banglar Batighar” authored by poet Kamal Chowdhury and
composed by Nakib Khan.
Sheikh Hasina and Sheikh Rehana also joined the chorus.
Apart from the Bangladesh president and the prime minister, the Maldivian
president and Bangabandhu’s younger daughter Sheikh Rehana, Chairman of the
Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman Birth Centenary
Celebration National Implementation Committee National Professor Rafiqul
Islam were present on the decorated dais.
Professor Rafiqul Islam gave the welcome speech, while former minister and
eminent cultural personality Asaduzzaman Noor moderated the function.
Chief Coordinator of the Committee Dr Kamal Abdul Naser Chowdhury presented
“Sraddha Swarak” (souvenir of tributes) to the Bangladesh president, prime
minister, the Maldivian president, Sheikh Rehana and Professor Rafiqul Islam.
Earlier, function’s chief guest President Abdul Hamid along with his wife
arrived at the venue at 4.30pm and were received by Prime Minister Sheikh
Guest of Honour Maldives President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih along with his
wife reached the venue later and were received by President Abdul Hamid and
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina.
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina arrived at the venue with her younger sister
Sheikh Rehana at 4.27pm.
Chairman of the Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman’s
Birth Centenary Celebration National Implementation Committee National
Professor Rafiqul Islam and Chief Coordinator of the Committee Dr Kamal Abdul
Naser Chowdhury received them.
A recorded video of the eye-catching flying past of the Bangladesh Air
Force was showed, while a bust of Bangabandhu sent by the Chinese president
as a gift was also displayed.
The first day’s programme ended with colorful cultural function and
spectacular fireworks and laser shows.
At the cultural function part, the audio-visual, based on the theme
‘Vengechho Duar Esechho Jotirmoy’, has covered various chapters of the
struggling life of the Father of the Nation. The other programmes at the
inaugural session included performing song with musical instruments, a
symbolic letter sacrifice to Bangabandhu, a video titled ‘Looking back on
Mujib’s centenary activities’, a special performance led by renowned Indian
dancer Mamata Shankar.
Jatiya Sangsad Speaker Dr Shirin Sahrmin Chaudhury, Chief Justice Syed
Mahmud Hossain, cabinet ministers, parliament members, foreign diplomats and
other dignitaries were present at the opening function.
The events will be held till March 26 with the main theme of the 10-day
event ‘Mujib Chirantan’ while each day will be celebrated with separate
‘Vengechho Duar Esechho Jotirmoy’ is the theme of March 17, ‘Mohakaler
Torjoni’ for March 18, ‘Jotokal Robe Padma Jamuna’ for March 19, ‘Tarunner
Alokshikha’ for March 20, ‘Dhongsostupe Jiboner Gan’ for March 21, ‘Banglar
Mati, Amar Mati’ for March 22, ‘Nari Mukti, Sammo o Swadhinata’ for March 23,
Santi, Mukti o Manobotar Agrodoot’ for March 24 events, ‘Gonohottar Kalratri
o Aloker Avijatra’ for March 25 and ‘Swadhinatar Panchash Bochhor o Agrogotir
Subornorekha’ for March 26.
Five hundred guests from home and abroad were invited to join each day’s
functions at the Parade Ground on March 17, 19, 22, 24 and 26 following the
health guidelines due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Major streets and key points across the country have been illuminated with
colourful lights as part of the festival while the television channels
including the state-run BTV would air the 10-day programmes live on March 17,
March 18, 20, 21, 23 and 25, alongside their streaming online and social
media in view of the current situation of Covid-19.
President Abdul Hamid will be present on March 17, 22 and 26 and Prime
Minister Sheikh Hasina will be present on March 17, 19, 22, 24 and 26
programmes at the Parade Ground.
The events will be held from 4.30pm to 8pm on March 17, 19, 22, 24 and 26
and the programmes of other days will be held from 5.16 pm to 8pm.
The heads of the state and the government of different countries will be
present in person at the events as guests of honour.
Sri Lankan Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa is set to attend the function
on March 19, the event as guest of honour, while Nepalese President Bidhya
Devi Bhandari will be present on March 22.
Bhutanese Prime Minister Dr Lotay Tshering will be present at the National
Parade Ground on March 24, while Pope Francis will deliver his welcome
Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi will attend the closing day of the 10-
day event on March 26 and deliver his speech.
Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen will deliver his welcome speech on March
18, while OIC Secretary General Dr Yousef bin Ahmed Al-Othaimeen will deliver
a speech on March 20, and South Korean Prime Minister Chung Sye-kyun and
Bangladesh’ Japanese friend Takasi Hawakawa’s son Osamu Hawakawa on March 25.