BNP’s grand plans for 50 years of Independence

Salman Tareque Sakil
Published : 00:01, Jun 01, 2019 | Updated : 00:02, Jun 01, 2019

FILE PHOTO/Syed Zakir HossainThe BNP is reportedly planning grand celebrations for Mar 26, 2021 when Bangladesh will step into its 50 years of Independence.
The party’s leadership along with acting chief Tarique Rahman has already started mulling over ideas to ‘politically celebrate’ the prestigious event.
The policymakers of the party said that not only was talks of grand celebrations underway, the party organisation will see significant transformation.
“Our politics is obviously pro-Liberation War,” BNP’s policymaking National Standing Committee member Khandaker Mosharraf Hossain told Bangla Tribune.
“We’ll celebrate the golden jubilee of Independence in light of the utmost respect that we have for the Liberation War and the country’s independence,” he added.
Reliable sources at the party said that not only does BNP want to celebrate the event on a state level, it doesn’t want to lag behind politically either.
Senior leaders are of the view that party founder Ziaur Rahman played an important role as a sector commander during the nine-month long 1971 War of Liberation. Moreover, now incarcerated BNP Chairperson Khaleda Zia had been in the prime minister’s chairman three times and their struggles and sacrifices must be presented to the world.
They claim that BNP played an important role in Bangladeshi politics both during and after the war.
“The BNP must bring forward that the Liberation War is our pride,” said Emazuddin Ahmed, author in the field of Political Science.
“BNP founder Ziaur Rahman was a freedom fighter and sector commander. I personally think that BNP should celebrate the golden jubilee of independence with utmost importance,” he added.
An influential BNP leader said that discussions are underway to form a central committee and 20 sub-committees to initially fix the itinerary, programs, unveiling souvenirs and other publication work.
Another leader said that although the Standing Committee is yet to discuss the agendas, the issue might be tabled in the next meeting. He said that the party will undertake the task of celebrating 50 years of Independence to further cement its political position and strengthen the organisation.
“We haven’t yet discussed how the golden jubilee of Independence will be celebrated,” said Khandker Mosharraf Hossain and added, “We’ll make it public in due time.”
According to sources at the party, Ziaur Rahman’s article 'The Birth of a Nation' [Ekti Jatir Jonmo] will be the centre of the spirit of the celebrations.
The move is an attempt to step out of the criticism BNP face both locally and abroad due to its affiliation with its long-time ally Jamaat-e-Islami.
They said that the article is given importance in order to send a clear message to the ‘Jamaat-influenced’ leaders in the party on the Liberation War and Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman.
Ziaur Rahman’s article ‘The Birth of a Nation’ [Ekti Jatir Jonmo] was published in ‘Dainik Bangla’ in 1972 and in weekly magazine ‘Bichittra’ in 1974.
In the article Zia mentions that the inspiration behind him taking part in the War of Liberation was Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman's Mar 7 address.
"Bangabandhu's historical address at the Race Course ground on Mar 7 seemed like a green signal to us. We gave final shape to our plan," Zia wrote in his article Zia.
His writing also talked how the Pakistan army treated the leader of the liberation movement –Sheikh Mujibur Rahman.
According to sources, BNP wants to once more bring the former military dictator’s stance at the very front of party leadership.
They said that the celebrations might be month long and special videos might be released in YouTube and social media.
The programs will be arranged so that the contributions, struggles and achievements of Ziaur Rahman, Khaleda Zia and the party will be highlighted.
The party will also arrange Liberation War-centric creative programs and honour the works of artists who were part of Shadhin Bangla Betar Kendra back during the war and later joined BNP.
The BNP chief’s media wing member Shairul Kabir Khan said that celebrations might also bring to light the struggles of their imprisoned chief while her husband, who was a sector commander went to take part in the war.
BNP leader Jahir Uddin Shwapan said that although he doesn’t have knowledge of the celebrations, 50 years of Independence is a matter of pride for the nation will surely inspire the youth of this generation.
“BNP and Awami League is currently two of the largest representative political parties in the country. Both their founders were involved in the Liberation War,” he said.
He added that keeping that at such a historic milestone the nation expects programs from not just the ruling party but also BNP.
He added that the nation expects a democratic Bangladesh where the main spirit of Liberation, the voting right of people and justice is upheld.