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Bangladesh set to celebrate 48th Independence Day on Monday

  • Published at 10:07 pm March 25th, 2018
  • Last updated at 10:50 pm March 25th, 2018
Bangladesh set to celebrate 48th Independence Day on Monday
The nation has taken all out preparations to celebrate the 48th Independence Day on Monday, refreshing the resolution to uphold the spirit of the Liberation War and build a "Sonar Bangla" as dreamt by Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman. This year the nation is celebrating the day amid much enthusiasm, fanfare and pride as the historic March 7 speech of Bangabandhu, which was the effective declaration of the country's independence, received the prestigious place in the register of the world's documentary heritage. In October last year, the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) included the speech in the Memory of the World International Register - a list of the world's important documentary heritage. This recognition has taken the country's status to a new stature in the global context. The country this year has also achieved a milestone in socio-economic development. The Committee for Development Policy (CDP) of the United Nations on March 15 officially declared the eligibility of Bangladesh for graduating from the Least Development Countries (LDCs) category to Developing Country status. The nation is also celebrating the success with festivity, which will continue till March 28 across the country. Amid this success and festivity, glowing tributes will be paid to the martyrs and veterans of the Liberation War on Independence and National Day, a public holiday. The National Memorial at Savar will be the main venue of the celebration of the day where President Md Abdul Hamid and Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina will place wreaths early in the morning as a mark of profound respect to the memories of the martyrs. Families of Bir Shreshthas, war wounded freedom fighters, members of the diplomatic corps, leaders of different political parties, social, cultural and professional bodies, and people from all walks of life will also lay wreaths at the National Memorial in the morning. Every year, March 26 brings the most tragic reminiscence of the history's blackest episode that heralded a nine-month bloody ordeal from the night following March 25, 1971 in achieving the long-cherished independence on December 16 the same year at the cost of a sea of blood. [caption id="attachment_54471" align="aligncenter" width="800"] Bodies of Bangali students of Dhaka University's Iqbal Hall (now Shaheed Sergeant Zahurul Haq Hall) killed during the Pakistani occupation forces' Operation Searchlight on March 25, 1971 lying in front of the dormitory the next day. A report of journalist Simon Dring published under the headline "Dateline Dacca" in the Daily Telegraph on March 29, 1971, had revealed that 200 students of the dormitory were killed by the Pakistani military during the onslaught Photo: Muktijuddho E-Archive Trust[/caption] In the wake of the military crackdown, Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, who became the undisputed leader of the then Pakistan following the massive victory of his party, Awami League, in the 1970 general elections, declared independence of Bangladesh through the then EPR (East Pakistan Rifles) wireless at 0030 hours on March 26 (the night following March 25) in 1971 at his historic Road-32 residence at Dhanmondi in Dhaka. The great leader also called upon the people to build up strong resistance against the Pakistani barbaric occupation forces. The Pakistani military junta, in a bid to stop the legitimate movement of the Bangalis, arrested Bangabandhu on that night following his declaration of independence. Later, Bangabandhu was taken to the then West Pakistan where he had to spend long nine months in a dark condemned cell. Bangabandhu wrote down the declaration of independence soon after the Pakistani army crackdown on the fateful night of March 25, 1971. The declaration of independence was soon put on air by wireless. The declaration was first broadcast by Awami League leader MA Hannan from Kalurghat Radio Station in the port city of Chittagong on March 26, 1971. On March 27, 1971, the then major Ziaur Rahman announced the proclamation of independence on behalf of Bangabandhu from the same radio station. The Pakistani military junta in their monstrous outburst unleashed a bloody holocaust breaking the silence of the night following March 25 in 1971 when they mercilessly killed hundreds of innocent sleeping people, including teachers, students, police, soldiers, pedestrians, and rickshaw-pullers in Dhaka. The nation soon launched the Liberation War at the call of Bangabandhu in the early hours of March 26. Bangladesh emerged as an independent and sovereign country on December 16, 1971 with the surrender of the Pakistani occupation forces, who killed three million innocent people, perpetrated atrocities on 200,000 women, and burnt down hundreds of thousands of dwelling houses across the country during the nine-month-long war. On the eve of the day, President Md Abdul Hamid and Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina will issue separate messages, highlighting the significance of the day in building Bangladesh a prosperous nation. The day's programs will be heralded with a 31-gun salute early in the morning as a mark of respect to the heroic struggle of this nation, which suffered a protracted subjugation under foreign rules from time to time till achieving their coveted Independence in 1971. [caption id="attachment_211539" align="aligncenter" width="800"] File photo: People lit candles at Dhaka's Manik Mia Avenue on the eve of the Independence Day in memory of the martyrs of 1971 Liberation War in March 2017 Syed Zakir Hossain/Dhaka Tribune[/caption] The nation will also pay glowing tributes to the Father of the Nation and valiant patriots whose supreme sacrifices freed the country from Pakistani bondage. The national flag will fly atop all government and private buildings while all streets and important city intersections will be decorated with national and multi-coloured miniature flags and festoons. Important buildings and establishments as well as city streets and islands have already been illuminated with colourful lights. The government has organized a program to sing the country's national anthem “Amar Sonar Bangla” written by Rabindranath Tagore in correct form at 8am across the country and Bangladesh missions abroad on the Independence Day. Prime Minister Hasina will lead the nation to sing the national anthem at the main program at Jatiya Shishu Kishore Samabesh to be held at Bangabandhu National Stadium on Monday. National dailies will bring out special supplements while Bangladesh Betar, Bangladesh Television, private radio stations, and television channels will air special programs highlighting the significance of the day. Special prayers will be offered at all mosques, temples, churches, and other places of worship across the country seeking divine blessings for the eternal peace of the departed souls of Bangabandhu, four national leaders, martyrs of the Liberation War, and all other patriots. Improved diets will be served to the inmates of hospitals, jails, old homes, and other public institutions to mark the day. Different political parties as well as socio-cultural and professional organizations have planned elaborate programs to observe the day in a befitting manner.