Mongol Shobhajatra started at 9am from DU campus
Dhaka University (DU) celebrated Pohela Boishakh 1426, the first day of the Bangla New Year Calendar, with a number of programs.
Singing “Mostok Tulitey Dao Ononnto Akashey” (Let’s raise our heads to the infinite sky), DU Fine Arts Faculty brought out the traditional “Mongol Shobhajatra” from its premises at 9am on Sunday, with a call for unity. DU Vice-Chancellor (VC), Prof Md Akhtaruzzaman, inaugurated the procession.
Pro-VC (administration), Prof Dr Muhammad Samad, Proctor AKM Golam Rabbani, Fine Arts Faculty Dean, Prof Nisar Hossain, and others, took part in the rally.
Before inaugurating the procession, the DU VC said: “Pohela Boiskakh is a universal and non-communal cultural festival. The celebration of liberal, human values of this festival should remain in the hearts of people of the whole country.
“This festival is not just a tradition to protect our heritage, but also motivates us to be human beings with greater values.”
“Many countries celebrate Boishakh like us. We hope the New Year will bring happiness, peace, and prosperity to everyone's life,” the VC added.
At 8am on Sunday, there was a musical event of “Eso hey Boishakh,” organised by the DU Music Department. The DU VC inaugurated the program as chief guest at the Battala in front of the Arts Building on campus.
The DU VC, Art Faculty Dean, Prof Abu Md Delwar Hossain, and Music Department Chairman, Tumpa Samaddar, were present on the occasion.
No vehicles other than those with DU stickers were allowed on campus from 7pm Saturday and the movement of all kinds of vehicles will remain suspended at the campus throughout Sunday. Outsiders will not be allowed on campus after 5pm.
Strict security measures taken for Pohela Boishakh
This year, the Rapid Action Battalion and other law-enforcement agencies have taken heavy security measures to ensure smooth celebrations of the Bangla New Year.
A bomb disposal team, dog squad, and medical teams, are on standby while all the open venues are under CCTV surveillance. The Dhaka Metropolitan Police has also undertaken stringent measures for this year's celebrations.
DU Proctor, Prof Rabbani, on Saturday said: “We have taken foolproof security measures to make the Pohela Boishakh celebration programmes a success.”
Cultural programs were organized in association with the Theatre and Performance Studies Department at the Nat-Mandal premises. DU students, teachers, and the trans-gender community performed colourful plays and songs.
Boiskhakh has deep roots
Boishakh celebration is deep-rooted in the Bangali cultural identity. It is a common symbol against all odds and religious communalism.
The new sunrise, early on Sunday morning, brought new hope of better days for Bangalis.
As dawn broke, thousands swarmed to the Ramna Batamul festival grounds to join the Bangla New Year festival.
As the sun started to rise in the east, Chhayanaut, a leading cultural organization in the country, greeted the New Year with a chorus, singing songs of Pohela Boishakh, poetry recitation, and traditional songs.
Many more cultural organizations, including Udichi and Sammilita Sangskritik Jote, also chalked out several programs to celebrate the day.
True to a centuries old tradition, people from all walks of life will gather at different popular and historic spots at dawn, in the capital and elsewhere, to welcome the New Year with new hopes and aspirations for a better, more peaceful year.
The celebration of Pohela Boishakh has become an integral part of Bangalis since it began over six centuries ago.
Mughal Emperor Akbar, introduced the Bangla calendar in 1556 of the Gregorian calendar, to streamline the timing of land tax collection in the then "Subah Bangla" region, much of which falls in current-day Bangladesh.
The day is also a public holiday.