The nation has taken all out preparations to celebrate the 48th Independence and National Day on Monday (Mar 26), refreshing the resolution to uphold the spirit of the War of Liberation and build a "Shonar 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 7th March speech of Bangabandhu, which was the effective deceleration of the country's independence, got the prestigious place in the world's documentary heritage.
In October last year, the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (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 progress in socio-economic development. The Committee for Development Policy (CDP) of the United Nations on Mar 15 officially declared the eligibility of Bangladesh for graduating from the Least Development Countries (LDCs). The nation is also celebrating the success in festivity, which will continue till Mar 28 across the country.
Amid this success and festivity, glowing tributes will be paid to the martyrs and veterans of the War of Liberation on the Independence and National Day on Monday. 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, Mar 26 brings the most tragic reminiscence of the history's blackest episode that heralded a nine-month bloody ordeal from the night following Mar 25, 1971 in achieving the long-cherished independence on Dec 16 the same year at the cost of a sea of blood.
In the wake of the military crackdown, Father of the Nation 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 00-30 hours on Mar 26 (the night following Mar 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 Bangalees, 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 cracked down on the fateful night of Mar 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 port city Chittagong on Mar 26, 1971. However, on Mar 27, 1971, the then Major Ziaur Rahman announced the proclamation of independence on behalf of great leader Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman from the same radio station.
The Pakistani military junta in their monstrous outburst unleashed a bloody holocaust breaking the silence of the night following Mar 25 in 1971 when they mercilessly killed hundreds of innocent sleeping Bangalees including teachers, students, police, soldiers, pedestrians and rickshaw-pullers here.
The nation soon launched the War of Liberation at the call of Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman in the early hours of Mar 26.
Bangladesh emerged as an independent and sovereign country on Dec 16, 1971 with the surrender of the Pakistani occupation forces, who killed three million innocent Bangalees, perpetrated atrocities on 200,000 (two lakh) Bangalee women and burnt down lakhs of dwelling houses across the country during the nine-month 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 programmes 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. The nation will also pay glowing tributes to Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman and valiant sons of the soil whose supreme sacrifices freed the country from the of Pakistani bondage.
The day is a public holiday. The national flag will fly atop all government and private buildings while all streets and important city intersections will be tastefully 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 taken a programme to sing the country's national anthem 'Amar Shonar Bangla' written by Rabindranath Tagore in correct form at 8 a.m. across the country and Bangladesh missions abroad on the Independence Day. Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina will lead the nation to sing the national anthem at the main programme at 'Jatiya Shishu Kishore Samabesh' to be held at Bangabandhu National Stadium.
National dailies will bring out special supplements while Bangladesh Betar, Bangladesh Television, private radio stations and television channels will air special programmes 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 Father of the Nation, four national leaders, martyrs of the War of Liberation and all other patriotic sons of the soil. Improved diets will be served to the inmates of hospitals, jails, old homes and other public institutions to mark the day.
Political parties as well as socio-cultural and professional organisations have drawn elaborate programmes to observe the day in a befitting manner.