DHAKA: The historic Homecoming Day of Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman will be observed in the city and elsewhere in the country in a befitting manner today.
Bangabandhu, the undisputed leader of the nation and supreme commander of the country's Liberation War, returned to the sacred soil of independent Bangladesh via London and New Delhi on January 10 in 1972, after 290 days captivity in Pakistan jail.
To mark the Homecoming Day of Bangabandhu with due respect, the ruling Awami League, its associate bodies, other political parties and socio-cultural-professional organisations have chalked out elaborate programmes.
Pakistan army arrested Bangabandhu from his Dhanmondi residence on the night of March 25, 1971 and sent him to a West Pakistani jail the following day.
Bangabandhu was subjected to inhuman torture in the Pakistan jail where he had been counting moments for the execution of his death sentence that was pronounced in a farcical trial.
"I was a prisoner in the condemned cell awaiting hanging. From the day I went into jail, I didn't know whether I was to live or not. I was mentally ready to die. But I knew Bangladesh would be liberated," Bangabandhu spoke emotionally of his ordeal in Pakistani prison in a news conference at Claridge's, London's most elegant hotel.
On the Pakistani army's slaughter of Bengalis, "Mujib declared: "If Hitler could have been alive today, he would be ashamed."
Earlier on March 26 in 1971, Bangabandhu proclaimed independence of
Bangladesh and urged people from all walks of life to participate
wholeheartedly in the nation's War of Liberation.
Immediately after proclamation of the independence, Bangabandhu was
arrested by Pakistani military junta and then flown to West Pakistan to keep him in prisons there.
Though the final victory in the nine-month-old War of Independence was achieved defeating Pakistani occupation forces on December 16 in 1971, the nation's expectations were fulfilled and the people got the real taste of victory with the homecoming of Bangabandhu on January 10 in 1972.
On reaching Dhaka (Tejgaon) airport in the afternoon on January 10,
Bangabandhu was greeted by tens of thousands of jubilant people who had been eagerly waiting to see the beloved leader since the final victory on December 16 in 1971.
From airport Bangabandhu was moved to the Racecourse Maidan (now
Suhrawardy udayan) where he addressed a spontaneous reception accorded to him by the cheerful countrymen believed to be one million. He recalled with respect the contribution of all during the war and urged the people to rebuild the war-ravaged country.
Bangabandhu took oath of office as the country's Prime Minister on
January 12, 1972.
The Day's program will start with hoisting the national and party flags at the AL central office, Bangabandhu Bhaban, and the party offices across the country around 6:30am tomorrow. Later a delegation of senior AL leaders is expected to lay wreath at the portrait of Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman at Bangabandhu Bhaban around 7 in this morning on the same day.
The ruling AL is set to hold a rally at Suhrawardy Udyan in the city at 2:30pm today Awami League. President and Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina will attend the discussion as the chief guest while eminent intellectuals and national leaders are expected to take part in the discussion.