The month of August returns at a time when the country is passing through a global pandemic
The month of mourning begins today as the nation recalls once again the most brutal assassination in its history and renews the pledge to safeguard the country's independence and sovereignty.
The month of August returns at a time when the country is passing through a trying period of a pandemic and also at the end of the over yearlong observance of Bangabandhu's birth centenary and the ongoing golden jubilee celebrations of the country's independence.
The killing of Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman and most of his family members on the fateful night of August 15, 1975 is the ugliest chapter in the nation's history.
The self-confessed killers of August 15 did not assassinate Bangabandhu alone, but also killed 16 other members of his family, friends and relatives.
They included Bangamata Begum Sheikh Fazilatunnesa Mujib, sons Sheikh Kamal, Sheikh Jamal and Sheikh Russell, daughters-in-law Sultana Kamal and Rosy Jamal, Bangabandhu's brother Sheikh Naser, brother-in-law Abdur Rab Serniabat, nephew and eminent journalist Sheikh Fazlul Huq Moni, his pregnant wife Arzoo Moni, and military secretary Colonel Jamil.
Bangabandhu's two daughters – Sheikh Hasina, today Bangladesh’s Prime Minister, and Sheikh Rehana – escaped the carnage as they were visiting Germany at the time.
The killing of Bangabandhu, the greatest son of the soil in a thousand years, cast a pall of gloom over the country and led to deep sadness among the nation and across the globe. The world protested and condemned the killing, terming it an irreparable loss for the millions of people of Bangladesh.
The month of August is also black marked with another conspiracy aimed at assassination.
The nation cannot ever forget the heinous attempt to kill Sheikh Hasina through grenade attacks. The vested quarters, who assassinated Bangabandhu in 1975, also tried to destroy the Awami League by killing its President Sheikh Hasina with grenades at an anti-terrorism rally at Bangabandhu Avenue in Dhaka on August 21, 2004.
Sheikh Hasina narrowly escaped the attack, suffering splinter injuries, but 24 of her party colleagues, including the Awami League's women's affairs secretary Ivy Rahman, were killed and 500 others were injured.
Every year the Awami League and various political, social and cultural organizations arrange different programs to recall the memories of the Father of Nation in this month.
But this time due to the Covid-19 pandemic Bangladesh will mark the month on a limited scale and through following health guidelines.
In view of the current coronavirus pandemic, the ruling Awami League has decided to observe the month-long programmes commemorating the 46th martyrdom anniversary of Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman and National Mourning Day on August 15 on a limited scale by maintaining health guidelines.
As per the programs drawn up to observe the month of mourning, at midnight with the arrival of 1 August, the Awami Shechha Shebok and Bangladesh Chhatra League will march with candles to the Dhanmondi 32 residence, which is known as Bangabandhu Bhaban.
In the afternoon the Awami Jubo League will start month-long prayers and food distribution to the poor and Krishak League will launch blood donation programs centrally at Banglabandhu Avenue.
On 5 August, marking the birth anniversary of freedom fighter Shaheed Sheikh Kamal, floral wreaths will be placed at his portrait on the premises of Abahani Club at Dhanmondi at 8:30am. Later, wreaths will be laid at his grave at Banani Graveyard at 9:15am.
To observe the birth anniversary of Bangamata Sheikh Fazilatunnesa Mujib, wreaths will be placed at her grave at Banani Graveyard at 9:00am on August 8.
From 11 to 14 August Awami the Sheccha Shebok League and some other associated bodies will observe continuous programs at the capital.
On August 15, marking the martyrdom anniversary of Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman and National Mourning Day, homage will be paid to Bangabandhu by placing wreaths at his portrait in front of Bangabandhu Memorial Museum at Dhanmondi Road No. 32 at 8:30 am.
Homage will also be paid to other August 15 martyrs by laying wreaths at their graves at Banani Graveyard at 9:15am on that day.
An AL delegation will pay tributes to the Father of the Nation by placing wreaths at his mausoleum at Tungipara in Gopalganj at 11:00am on the day.
Special prayers will be arranged at all mosques, temples, churches, pagodas and other places of worship across the country to observe the National Mourning Day.
Besides, a discussion will be arranged marking National Mourning Day at 3:30pm on August 16 at Bangabandhu Avenue.
On August 17, Dhaka city south units of AL will organise a discussion commemorating the countrywide series of bomb attacks that took place on the day in 2005.
From 18 to 31 August, the Awami Jubo Mohila League, Bangladesh Mohila Awami League, Bangladesh Chhatra League, Sramik League, Matsyajibi League, Tati League and Krishak League will observe several programs, including discussions, seminars, prayers, book launch and debating programs to mark this month.