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Historic Homecoming Day of Bangabandhu tomorrow

DHAKA, Jan 9, 2017 (BSS) - The historic Homecoming Day of Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman will be observed in the city and elsewhere in the country in a befitting manner tomorrow.

Bangabandhu, the undisputed leader of the nation and supreme commander of the country's Liberation War, returned to the sacred soil of independent Bangladesh via London and New Delhi on January 10 in 1972, after 290 days captivity in Pakistan jail.

To mark the Homecoming Day of Bangabandhu with due respect, the ruling Awami League, its associate bodies, other political parties and socio-cultural-professional organisations have chalked out elaborate programmes.

Pakistan army arrested Bangabandhu from his Dhanmondi residence on the night of March 25, 1971 and sent him to a West Pakistani jail the following day.

Bangabandhu was subjected to inhuman torture in the Pakistan jail where he had been counting moments for the execution of his death sentence that was pronounced in a farcical trial.

"I was a prisoner in the condemned cell awaiting hanging. From the day I went into jail, I didn't know whether I was to live or not. I was mentally ready to die. But I knew Bangladesh would be liberated," Bangabandhu spoke emotionally of his ordeal in Pakistani prison in a news conference at Claridge's, London's most elegant hotel.

On the Pakistani army's slaughter of Bengalis, "Mujib declared: "If Hitler could have been alive today, he would be ashamed."

Earlier on March 26 in 1971, Bangabandhu proclaimed independence of Bangladesh and urged people from all walks of life to participate

wholeheartedly in the nation's War of Liberation.

Immediately after proclamation of the independence, Bangabandhu was arrested by Pakistani military junta and then flown to West Pakistan to keep him in prisons there.

Though the final victory in the nine-month-old War of Independence was achieved defeating Pakistani occupation forces on December 16 in 1971, the nation's expectations were fulfilled and the people got the real taste of victory with the homecoming of Bangabandhu on January 10 in 1972.

On reaching Dhaka (Tejgaon) airport in the afternoon on January 10, Bangabandhu was greeted by tens of thousands of jubilant people who had been eagerly waiting to see the beloved leader since the final victory on December 16 in 1971.

From airport Bangabandhu was moved to the Racecourse Maidan (now

Suhrawardy udayan) where he addressed a spontaneous reception accorded to him by the cheerful countrymen believed to be one million. He recalled with respect the contribution of all during the war and urged the people to rebuild the war-ravaged country.

Bangabandhu took oath of office as the country's Prime Minister on January 12, 1972.

The Day's program will start with hoisting the national and party flags at the AL central office, Bangabandhu Bhaban, and the party offices across the country around 6:30am tomorrow. Later a delegation of senior AL leaders is expected to lay wreath at the portrait of Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman at Bangabandhu Bhaban around 7 in the morning on the same day.

The ruling AL is set to hold a rally at Suhrawardy Udyan in the city at 2:30pm tomorrow Awami League. President and Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina will attend the discussion as the chief guest while eminent intellectuals and national leaders are expected to take part in the discussion.

Bangladesh role model for development: President

DHAKA, Jan 9, 2017 (BSS) - President Md. Abdul Hamid today said Bangladesh is being considered worldwide as a 'role model' for development in various sectors, including education, health, agriculture and information technology.

In a message, on the eve of the Home Coming Day, he said Bangladesh is now being gradually transformed into a 'Golden Bengal' of Bangabandhu's dream.

The President said, "Today is the historic 10 January, the Homecoming Day of Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman. Bangladesh achieved victory after a 9 month-long bloody war, but the victory of the Bangalee nation was fulfilled only after the homecoming of Father of the Nation."

"On this memorable day of the Bangalee nation, I pay my profound homage to Bangabandhu and pray for the salvation of his departed soul," he added.

The President said, "The Awami League had won absolute majority in the General Election of 1970. But as the Pakistani rulers were reluctant to hand over power, the people of the country started Non-Cooperation Movement under the leadership of Bangabandhu."

On the fateful night of 25 March 1971, the Pakistani invading forces started genocide by executing 'Operation Searchlight' in accordance with their preplanned blueprint to annihilate the Bangalees, he added.

"Under these circumstances, Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman declared the independence of Bangladesh in the early hours of 26 March in 1971 and urged people from all strata to join the war of liberation. Immediately after that, the Pakistani forces arrested Bangabandhu from his residence, Road No. 32 of Dhanmondi and confined him in Mianwali jail of the then West-Pakistan," he said adding Bangabandhu had to undergo 9 months 14 days of rigorous imprisonment there.

Abdul Hamid said, "The liberation war was conducted in the name of Bangabandhu. He was the source of inspiration in the war of liberation."

He said, "Bangabandhu became very emotional after setting his feet on the country's soil in the garb of a triumphant hero. In front of thousands of people at the Racecourse Maidan, he declared, "The dream of my life has been fulfilled today, My Sonar Bangla is now free and sovereign State".

"He further said if anybody wants to snatch the independence of Bangladesh, then Mujib will sacrifice his life first to protect the independence. On 15 August 1975, he kept his word by shedding his fresh blood from the heart along with his family," the President added.

The conspirators made a heinous attempt to wipe out the ideals of Bangabandhu and foil the independence and sovereignty of the country, he said adding, "But the Bangalis are a nation of heroes. As long as Bangladesh and the Bangalis exist, Bangabandhu will remain as the source of inspiration for all."

The President said, "Bangabandhu cherished a true and deep love for Bangla, Bangalee and Bangladesh. He was awarded death sentence during his imprisonment at Mianwali jail in Pakistan. Bangabandhu uttered, I will say, while going to the gallows, I am a Bangalee, Bangla is my country and Bangla is my language. Joy Bangla. Such an example of profound love for country and people is rare in the world."

Bangabandhu sought economic emancipation of the Bangalee alongside their political freedom, he said adding with this goal, he had started rehabilitation work in the newly-independent war-ravaged country.

"But that forward-march was brought to a halt through the assassination of Bangabandhu. The present government under the leadership of the illustrious daughter of Bangabandhu Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina is working tirelessly for the progress and development of the country," the President said.

"Bangladesh, in the meantime, has attained the status of lower middle income country and I am hopeful that it will become a middle-income country soon," he added.

The President said, "With the continuation of the pace of development, I am sure, Bangladesh will be a developed and prosperous country by 2041 through concerted efforts of all. Let us advance our country by becoming united with the spirit of patriotism and liberation war. Let this be our pledge on the Homecoming Day of Bangabandhu this year."

PM calls for building prosperous Bangladesh

DHAKA, Jan 9, 2017 (BSS) - Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina today called for building a non-communal, hunger-poverty-free and happy-prosperous Bangladesh being imbued with the spirit of liberation war.

In a message on the occasion of the Homecoming Day, she said, " Let us build a "Sonar Bangla" as dreamt by Bangabandhu where there will be no disparity between the rich and the poor and equal opportunity of prosperity will be available for all."

The Prime Minister said "The 10th January of 1972 is one of the red letter days in the history of the liberation struggle of the Bangalee nation. On this day, the greatest Bangalee of all time, Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman returned to independent Bangladesh after over nine and a half months' captivity in a Pakistan jail."

She said Bangladesh Awami League achieved absolute majority in the 1970 elections under the leadership of the Father of the Nation. But, the Pakistani military junta continued to cling to power ignoring the people's mandate staging various farces, she added.

The Prime Minister said, "Aiming at an ultimate target to free the Bangalee nation, Bangabandhu in his address at the then historic Racecourse Maidan on the 7th March in 1971 declared, this time the struggle is for our freedom, this time the struggle is for the independence."

"The Pakistani occupation forces launched brutal attack on the innocent Bangalees and carried out massacre on the night of the 25th of March in 1971. The Father of the Nation declared Independence of Bangladesh at the first hour of the 26th March," she added.

Sheikh Hasina said "Just after his declaration of the independence, Bangabandhu was arrested and subsequently sent to a solitary confinement in Pakistani jail. He was subjected to inhuman torture in the jail where he had been counting moments for being executed after his death sentence was pronounced in a farcical trial."

In the face of death, he rejoiced the spirit of the Banglee nation, she said adding he was the inspiration of the freedom fighters.

"Under his undisputed leadership, the Bangalee nation earned the ultimate victory waging the 9-month solemnly-vowed war. The defeated Pakistani rulers were finally compelled to free Bangabandhu"

"The Father of the Nation returned to independent Bangladesh on the 10th January in 1972. On his return, he delivered a speech before a mammoth gathering at Suhrawardi Udyan where he narrated the inhuman torture of the Pakistani military junta meted out on him. The Bangalee Nation got back the Father of the Nation and their victory attained the fulfillment," she added.

"After his return, the Father of the Nation devoted all his efforts to rebuild the war-ravaged Bangladesh. He took the initiative for immediate withdrawal of the allied Indian forces from Bangladesh's soil. Responding to his call, various international organizations, including the United Nations and the friendly countries, quickly gave recognition to Bangladesh" she added.

The Prime Minister said the country earned the membership of the OIC in 1974. Bangladesh soon made its strong presence in the comity of nations under the charismatic leadership of Bangabandhu.

The assailants halted the march-forward of Bangladesh through killing the Father of the nation along with most of his family members on the 15th August 1975, she said adding the armed usurpers marred the democracy, defaced the Constitution and halted the path of progress and development.

Sheikh Hasina said "The democracy has been reestablished after a protracted struggle and sacrifice. Awami League government has been working relentlessly to bring positive changes in people's living standard. Our per capita income has been risen to USD 1466. Foreign exchange reserve surpassed USD 32 billion."

She said, "We have reestablished the spirit of the Liberation War through the 15th amendment to the Constitution. It sealed off usurping power through any unconstitutional means. We have ensured that elected representatives would rule the country."

Bangladesh is now the 'Role Model' in all fields of socio-economic fronts including agriculture, education, healthcare, communication, ICT, industrialization, trade and commerce, the Prime Minister said adding, "We will turn Bangladesh into a middle-income country by 2021 and a developed one by 2041, Inshallah."

She said, "Let us take a fresh vow on the homecoming day of the Father of the Nation so that no evil force could disrupt the ongoing march of our progress and development."

Source: Bangladesh Sangbad Sangstha (BSS)