The nation is set to celebrate the 51st Victory Day on Thursday, the most joyous day when the country was born at the cost of the supreme sacrifice of three million martyrs and the honour of nearly half a million mothers and sisters, with elaborate programmes.
On this glorious day in 1971, Bangladesh was liberated as an independent country after the Pakistani occupation forces surrendered following a bloody nine-month-long war.
People from all walks of life will join various programmes on Thursday to pay deep homage to the martyrs who laid down their lives for the country during the Liberation War 50 years back.
Along with the government, different socio-political, educational and cultural institutions and organisations have chalked out a series of programmes to celebrate the day. Bangladeshis at home and abroad will also celebrate the day.
This year’s Victory Day has special significance as it coincides with the celebrations of the birth centenary of Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman and the golden jubilee of the country’s independence.
The day’s programme will begin with a 31-gun salute.
Tributes will be paid to the martyrs of the Liberation War by placing wreaths at the National Mausoleum in Savar on behalf of President Abdul Hamid and Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina with the rising of sun.
They will be followed by the freedom fighters and their family members, foreign diplomats, leaders of Awami League and different political and social organisations and people from all walks of life.
As part of the day’s programmes, a colourful parade will be held at the National Parade Square in Tejgaon around 10:30 am.
Freedom fighters, members of the Armed Forces and law enforcement agencies will take part in the parade.
President Abdul Hamid will take salutes and inspect the parade as the chief guest while Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina will also be present at the parade.
A two-day programme titled “The Greatest Hero of the Glorious Victory” will begin on December 16 to mark the Victory Day along with the birth centenary of Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman and the Golden Jubilee of the country’s independence at the South Plaza of the National Parliament.
The National Implementation Committee for the celebration of the birth centenary of Father of the Nation has taken up the programme.
President Abdul Hamid will join the programme as the chief guest while Indian President Ram Nath Kovind will be present as the guest of honour at the programme on December 16.
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina will preside over the ceremony, where she will conduct an oath on these twin national events.
Sheikh Rehana, the younger daughter of Bangabandhu, will present ‘The Eternal Mujib’ memento to Kovind.
A commemorative volume on Father of the Nation will be unveiled during the programme.
Speaker Shirin Sharmin Chaudhury and Liberation War Affairs Minister AKM Mozammel Huq will speak at the event.
On December 17, a special cultural programme will be held in presence of the prime minister and other dignitaries at the same venue.
The national flag will be hoisted atop government, semi-government, autonomous and private offices across the country.
The day is a public holiday. National dailies will bring out special supplements on the occasion.
State-owned and private television channels and radios will broadcast month- long special programmes highlighting the significance of the Liberation War.
Receptions will be accorded to freedom fighters and family members of martyrs at city, district and upazila levels.
Destitute children will be allowed to visit the children park in the capital on the day free of cost. Improved diets will be served in jails, hospitals, orphanages and vagrant homes across the country.
Meanwhile, President Abdul Hamid and Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina issued separate messages on the occasion.
In his message, the President has greeted the country’s people living at home and abroad on the occasion of the Victory Day.
“December 16th is our great Victory Day. On this day in 1971, we achieved our long-cherished victory after a long struggle and bloodshed war. This year, we are celebrating the birth centenary of Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman and the golden jubilee of Independence in a festive mood, which has added a unique dimension to the Victory Day celebration of Bengalees,” he observed.
Stating that the aims of the independence were to attain political sovereignty as well as people’s economic emancipation, the President said, “We shall have to give institutional shape to democracy in order to deliver the benefits of Independence at people’s doorstep.”
He said the political parties will have to nurture the culture of mutual respect and tolerance of others’ opinions. “Let us contribute more from our respective position in implementing the spirit and values of war of liberation and take the nation towards the path of development and prosperity.”
In her message, the Prime Minister said the establishment of the nation-state ‘Bangladesh’ through the victory of the War of Liberation on 16 December 1971 was the greatest achievement of the Bangalee nation.
She urged all to convey the spirit of the great Liberation War from generation to generation. “Let this be our pledge on this auspicious occasion of the Golden Jubilee of our victory.”
Source: United News of Bangladesh