Friday, January 10th, 2020

Bangabandhu’s Homecoming Day today

Published 10:42 pm | January 10, 2020

The historic Homecoming Day of the greatest Bangalee of all the times Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur
Rahman is being observed today in a befitting manner. 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 of confinement in Pakistan jail.

This year, the observance of the Bangabandhu’s Homecoming Day is very significant as the nation is going to celebrate the great leader’s year-long birth centenary programmes from March 17. The government has already declared ‘Mujib Year’ from March 17, 2020 to March 17, 2021.

The countdown for the birth centenary celebration will begin from the Homecoming Day. Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina will inaugurate the countdown for the yearlong birth centenary celebration at the National Parade Ground at Tejgaon here today.

To mark the day, the ruling Awami League, its associate bodies, other political parties and socio-cultural-professional organisations have chalked out elaborate programmes.

The day’s programme will start with hoisting of the national and party
flags at the AL central office, Bangabandhu Bhaban, and party offices across
the country around 6:30am. AL leaders and workers will place wreaths at the
portrait of Bangabandhu at Bangabandhu Bhaban in the city’s Dhanmondi here at
7 am.

AL leaders will attend the countdown programme, which will begin at the
National Parade Ground around 3pm.

On the night of March 25, 1971, Pakistan army arrested Bangabandhu from
his Dhanmondi residence 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 about his ordeal in Pakistani prison at a news conference in
London.

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

Though the final victory in the nine-month-long bloody War of Liberation
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, 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 Udyan) 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.
(BSS)

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