Bangladesh mourns its founding father

Bangla Tribune Desk
Published : 07:30, Aug 15, 2019 | Updated : 07:30, Aug 15, 2019

This family portrait of Sheikh Mujibur Rahman with his wife and children hangs on a wall inside the Bangabandhu Museum on Dhanmondi 32. Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina and her sister Sheikh Rehana are the only ones who survived August 15, 1975.Bangladesh remembers its independence hero Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman on his 44th death anniversary with humility and respect.
It was on Aug 15, 1975, the nation’s founding father, then president of the infant republic, was killedd by a group of disgruntled junior army officers with almost all members of his family at his home.
The day - a public holiday – began with the flying of the national flag at half-mast at all government, semi-government and autonomous organisations, educational institutions, private establishments and Bangladesh missions abroad.
Programmes to mark the day started by paying tributes at Sheikh Mujib's mural in front of the Bangabandhu Bhaban at 32, Dhanmondi early in the morning.
President Md Abdul Hamid and Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina led the tributes by placing wreaths on the mural.
Bangabandhu’s daughter Hasina then offered prayers at the Banani Graveyard, where most of the Aug 15, 1975 victims are buried.
She will also travel to Gopalganj’s Tungiparha to lead the Awami League leaders to pay homage at Bangabandhu’s grave.
Special prayers will be organised at mosques, temples, pagodas, churches and other places of worship throughout Bangladesh.
Discussions will also be held at several places on the significance of the day.
A handful of rogue army officials on Aug 15, 1975 assassinated the independence hero along with his wife Begum Fazilatunnesa Mujib, sons Sheikh Kamal, Sheikh Jamal and Sheikh Russel, daughters-in-law Sultana Kamal and Rosy Jamal, younger brother Sheikh Abu Naser, nephew Sheikh Fazlul Haque Moni and brother-in-law Abdur Rab Serniyabat, Moni’s wife Begum Arju Moni and Serniabat’s daughter ‘Baby’, son ‘Arif’ and grandson Sukanto Babu.
Sheikh Mujib’s security chief Col Jamiluddin Ahmed, police’s Special Branch Sub-Inspector Siddiqur Rahman, three guests and four domestic helpers were the others to fall.
His daughters Hasina and Sheikh Rehana survived for their being in Europe at the time.
Sheikh Mujibur Rahman was born on Mar 17, 1920 at Tungiparha in Gopalganj.
He came to limelight with the formation of Purba Pakistan Chhatra League following the end of British rule in the Indian sub-continent.
Mujib continued to rise in national politics because of his active involvement in the Language Movement in 1952, 1954 general elections, and six-point declaration in1966.
His arrest in the Agaratala conspiracy case catapulted him into national limelight, making him the undisputed leader of the Bengalis' freedom struggle against Pakistani exploitation.
He was given 'Bangabandhu' title after he was freed from jail in 1969.
On Mar 7, 1971 he delivered the historical speech at Race Course Maidan (Now Suhrawardy Udyan), which inspired the Bengalis to wage an armed struggle to win independence from Pakistan.
August 15 is being observed differently in different political situations since 1975.
The day was not observed officially for 20 years until 1996, when the Awami League assumed office and announced the day as the National Mourning Day.