Bangladesh recalls Mujib’s ‘homecoming’ 36 years ago

January 10th, 2009 - 12:41 pm ICT by IANS  

Dhaka, Jan 10 (IANS) Fresh from last month’s poll victory of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, Bangladesh Saturday observed the anniversary of the “historic homecoming” of its founding father, Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, from a Pakistani prison in 1972.In a hark-back to the days immediately after it separated from Pakistan, the Awami League (AL) that Mujib helped found in the Pakistan era, its front organisations and various socio-political organisations undertook elaborate programmes to mark the day.

The party now headed by Mujib’s daughter Hasina won 230 seats — 256 as part of an alliance — in a house of 299, and formed the government earlier this week.

Authorities in the then East Pakistan had arrested Mujib, clear victor in a 1970 election, March 25, 1971, during a late-night crackdown. He was later sent to the then West Pakistan and imprisoned.

After liberation and victory over Pakistan Dec 16, 1971, the then Pakistan junta was compelled to free him.

Sheikh Hasina in a message said the day should be observed “with a determination to build a democratic, modern and welfare-oriented Bangladesh”, The Daily Star newspaper said Saturday.

“January 10, 1972 is a historic day in the history of the struggle of the nation. On this day, Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, the greatest son of the soil, returned home from Pakistan,” she said.

“We have to go ahead with an open mind taking the spirit of Bangabandhu and his long struggle as the prime source of strength.”

Hasina said the ninth parliamentary elections clearly reflect the people’s desire to build a truly democratic and modern Bangladesh within the shortest possible time.

“Let’s take a new pledge on this day to help establish peace, earn prosperity and security for all in democratic Bangladesh with the spirit of secularism and the war of independence,” she was quoted as saying by BSS, the official news agency.

Paying respect to Mujib, President Iajuddin Ahmed in his message said: “The day is remembered as a memorable day in our national history.”

Hasina is to preside over a discussion on the political life of her father who, as the country’s president, was assassinated along with most of his family members Aug 15, 1975.

National and party flags were hoisted at the AL central office, Bangabandhu Bhaban and party offices in Dhaka and elsewhere in the country. Wreaths were be placed at Bangabandhu’s portrait at his erstwhile residence in Dhanmondi locality where he was slain.

Bangabandhu Lalitkala Academy and Sonar Bangla Jubo Parishad are holding various cultural programmes on the occasion.

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