Bangladesh PM pays homage on National Mourning Day

Insight Online News

By Sumi Khan

Dhaka, Aug 15 : Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on Sunday paid rich tributes to the Father of the Nation, Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman marking the National Mourning Day and the 46th anniversary of his death.

As part of the state program, the Prime Minister paid homage to her father, who was the architect of the country’s independence, by placing a wreath infront of his portrait at the Bangabandhu Memorial Museum at Dhanmondi Road No 32 in Dhaka.

The premier then stood in solemn silence for some time showing profound respect to the great leader.

A smartly turned out contingent of the Bangladesh Armed Forces gave a state salute at that time, while the bugle played a tune of grief and somber to the last post.

Bangabandhu, his spouse Bangamata Begum Fazilatun Nesa Mujib, his three sonsSheikh Kamal, Sheikh Jamal, and Sheikh Russell, his three close relatives and other members of his family were assassinated in cold blood on the night of August 15, 1975, by a group of disgruntled army men.

Bangabandhu daughters, Sheikh Hasina and her younger sister Sheikh Rehana, escaped the carnage as they were staying in Germany at that time.

After paying tributes to Bangabandhu, the Prime Minister visited the historic residence of Father of the Nation at Dhanmondi Road No. 32 which witnessed the world’s most barbaric carnage on this day 46 years ago.

Sheikh Hasina stayed in the house, which has now been turned into Bangabandhu Memorial Museum, for a while.

From Dhanmondi, the Premier visited the Banani Graveyard where her mother Bangamata Begum Fazilatun Nesa Mujib, brothers Sheikh Kamal, Sheikh Jamal, and Sheikh Russel and other martyrs of August 15 were laid to rest.

The Prime Minister placed wreaths and spread flower petals on their graves.

The then government of General Ziaur Rahman desperately worked to protect Bangabandhu’s 12 killers.

Zia continued with their foreign postings instead of bringing the killers home and trying them for the heinous crime that they had committed. Even when one of them returned and instigated indiscipline in the armed forces he was handled with kid gloves and never held accountable.

One of his most ignominious actions was the Indemnity Act, which gave constitutional protection to the self-proclaimed killers and made it impossible for any legal action to be taken against the pro-claimed killers.

Zia was assassinated in Chittagong Circuit house. The then Army chief Gen Hossain Mohammad Ershad grabbed power and followed the policy to appeasing the killers. He made no attempt to bring the killers to justice, never touch the Indemnity Act.

Khaleda Zia’s first government 1991-96 followed meticulously the line set by her late husband Zia. She also celebrated August 15 as a new twist with her fake birthday, which had no basis in any official document and was strong support the killers of Bangabandhu against the liberation war movement, meant to specifically hurt pro-liberation people and daughters.

Distortion of history started from August 1975 into full force and the Goebbels of the world stood reincarnated in their devilish best.

During Zia’s time, suddenly the genocide-perpetrating Pakistan army was replaced by the word “Hanadar Bahini” (marauding force) in history books, school books, and official narratives as those responsible for the killings of the millions. Also, attempts were made to establish the independence movement was triggered by one radio announcement. Nothing much happened before Zia came onto the scene. Decades of struggle since 1948, the Language Movement, the anti-martial law movement, the six-point movement, the 11-point movement — everything had to be removed, distorted, downplayed only because of Bangabandhu’s essential and central role in them.

All the while Bangabandhu was rapidly but unsuccessfully, being removed from public focus with misleading history. Leave aside paying minimum respect to the man who led to creating Bangladesh, there was not even a mention of the leader on national occasions

Bangabandhu’s iconic speech, which is now a part of the world intellectual heritage and which played such a crucial role in inspiring the nation and motivating the freedom fighters in the field, did not exist for them and the March 7 speech did not happen for those in power from 1975 to 1996.

On the first evening following Sheikh Hasina’s assumption of power in 1996 when, while in office, suddenly people heard Bangabandhu’s March 7 speech over the radio.

It was after 21 years that, the nation heard that speech publicly.

People overwhelmed with emotion, memorised the historical moment of the magical day, 25 years earlier, when millions of freedom-loving people had gathered at the Race Course Maidan (now Suhrawardy Udyan) of Dhaka.

IANS / AGENCY

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