Today marks the 97th birth anniversary of Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman.
On this day in 1920, Bangabandhu was born to Sheikh Lutfar Rahman and Sayera Khatun in Tungipara of Gopalganj, then a sub-district of Faridpur.
Called Khoka, Bangabandhu got involved in politics in his adolescence, and was arrested for the first time as an eighth grader of Gopalganj Mission School for joining the movement against the British rule.
He founded Chhatra League in 1948 and Awami League in 1949.
On March 7, 1971, he gave the historic speech that inspired Bangalis against the subjugation and subordination by West Pakistan, saying “Our struggle is for our freedom. Our struggle is for our independence.”
A few weeks later, in the early hours of March 26, he declared Bangladesh’s independence before being arrested by the Pakistani occupation army.
On returning from imprisonment in Pakistan after the liberation, Mujib began rebuilding the war-ravaged state.
On August 15, 1975, he and most of his family members were brutally assassinated.
In observance of his birth anniversary, the Awami League has organised multiple events to take place throughout the day. March 17 is also observed as the National Children’s Day, adopted in 1996.
In Dhaka, the celebrations will commence at 6:30am with the hoisting of the national and party flags at Bangabandhu’s residence, a press release issued on Thursday said.
A discussion will also be held at Bangabandhu International Conference Centre at 3pm. Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, also the party chief, will address the programme as chief guest, with other AL leaders making speeches as well.
A tribute will be paid at Bangabandhu’s mural in his residence at 7pm.
Hasina will lead a delegation of the party’s central leaders to his tomb in Tungipara at 10am to pay their respects.
Special prayers to take place after Jumma prayers have also been organised at Tungipara. A children’s rally, book fair, and a cultural programme will also be held there.