In independent Bangladesh, special events were arranged for celebrating Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman’s birthday between 1972 and 1975. The papers during this period also carried wishes from different companies and an image of the observance of birthday. The celebrations reached a pinnacle in 1975 when papers printed editorials plus special supplements.
But in 1976, the year after Bangabandhu’s assassination, no paper carried any message.
On 17 Mar, 1972, Indian Prime Minister, Indira Gandhi was in Bangladesh and despite being busy with a state level visit, Bangabandhu shared the special day with friends, fellow comrades and well-wishers.
In 1973, the Indian PM sent a birthday message saying, “May you live long to drive Bangladesh forward with steely determination. Hopefully, your efforts to restructure Bangladesh will be no less than the ones given to attain the country’s historic birth.”
On this day, family picture of Bangabandhu was printed in Banglar Bani and Ittefaq.
In 1975, Bangladesh Observer’s lead story was on the father of the nation on his birthday.
After the gruesome killing in 1975, history was distorted with conspiracies hatched to expunge the name of Bangabandhu from all aspects. As a result, there was no mention of the birthday in the papers of 1976.
In 1976, Dainik Bangla’s lead news was about the possibility of Japanese investment in Bangladesh and Ittefaq’s top story underlined the importance of family planning.
Papers, courtesy: International Crimes Strategy Forum and Centre for Genocide