Nation set to observe Mujibnagar Day today

DHAKA, April 17, 2017 (BSS) - The nation is set to observe the historic Mujibnagar Day today to recall the history as on this day in 1971 the nation witnessed the oath-taking of the country's first government.

President Abdul Hamid and Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina issued separate messages recalling the able leadership, proper directives and war strategies of the Mujibnagar Government to take the 1971 Liberation War towards its successful culmination.

In his message, President Abdul Hamid said the importance and role of the Mujibnagar government were immense in our Liberation War.

He said the Mujibnagar Government had discharged entire duties in leading the Liberation War, creating public opinion in fabour of newly independent Bangladesh in the world arena, managing the refugees, standing beside the war-torn countrymen and leading the wartime government.

In her message, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina described the day as a red-letter day in the country's history.

She said the Liberation War and running of a government got an

institutional shape following taking oath of office of the government of Bangladesh on April 17 at the mango grove of Baidyanathtala in Meherpur district.

The government has taken elaborate programmes in Mujibnagar and capital Dhaka to mark the day.

The programme will begin with the hoisting of national flag at dawn atop memorial monument at Mujibnagar.

The other programmes of the day will include placing of wreaths at the memorial monument at 9am and presenting guard of honour and parade by freedom fighters, police, Ansar-VD, BNCC, Scout and school students.

A discussion will be held at the Sheikh Hasina Mancha at Mujibnagar at 10.30am while Awami League General Secretary and Road Transport and Bridges Minister Obaidul Quader will join it as chief guest. Health and Family Welfare Minister Mohammed Nasim will chair it.

Cultural function will be staged at 5pm as leading artistes of the country will perform. Special fireworks will feature the day's programmes later on.

Different political parties and different social and cultural organizations also have chalked out programmes coinciding with the day.

Awami League programmes include hoisting of national and party flags atop Bangabandhu Bhaban at Dhanmondi 32 and Central Office and all offices of the party across the country at 6am, placing of wreaths at the portrait of Bangabandhu at Bangabandhu Bhaban at 7am.

In Dhaka, a cultural function will be organized at Bangladesh Shilpakala Academy in the afternoon to mark the day while important buildings in Dhaka, Meherpur and Mujibnagar will be illuminated. A discussion will be held at Teacher-Student Centre of Dhaka University to mark the day.

Besides, different district towns and upazilas and Bangladeshi missions abroad will organise various programmes to recall the day.

On April 17, 46 years back, the tiny mango grove-covered village in

Baidyanathtala witnessed the ceremonial formation of the provisional

government of Bangladesh and millions of freedom loving people listened to the announcement of the formation of the government over radio.

Following Pakistan army's dastardly attack on unarmed people in the night of March 25-26 in 1971, the first government of independent People's Republic of Bangladesh was formed on April 10 in 1971 comprising the elected representatives with Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman as its President, Syed Nazrul Islam as Vice-President and Tajuddin Ahmed as Prime Minister.

On April 10, the elected representatives firmly supported and approved the declaration of independence by Bangabandhu on March 26, 1971 and issued formal proclamation of independence.

In absence of Bangabandhu, who was arrested after declaration of country's independence on the night of March 25 and kept in a jail in the then West Pakistan during the whole period of liberation war, Vice President Syed Nazrul Islam was entrusted with the charge of Acting President.

The government was sworn in on April 17, 1971 in a ceremony at a mango-grove in Baidyanathtala under Meherpur, which later was renamed as Mujibnagar.

A day after the swearing-in ceremony the portfolios of the government was distributed when M Mansur Ali was given the charge of minister for finance, commerce and industry, AHM Quamaruzzaman was given the charge of minister for home, relief, rehabilitation and agriculture and Khondker Mushtaque Ahmed was made the foreign minister.

Mushtaque, however, was virtually made dysfunctional in the subsequent months as his stance against the independence appeared clear to the government.

The Mujibnagar Government led the war of liberation in 1971 and freed the country from the clutches of Pakistani occupation forces on December 16 the same year, fighting a nine-month-long war.

Source: Bangladesh Sangbad Sangstha (BSS)