Today is the 40th homecoming day of Bangladesh Awami League President and Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina. On May 17 in 1981, she returned to the country after a long exile. Boarding on an aircraft of the Indian Airlines, Awami League President Sheikh Hasina reached the then Kurmitola Airport in Dhaka from the Indian capital of New Delhi via Kolkata at 4.30 p.m.
Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman was brutally killed along with most of his family members on Aug 15 in 1975 and his two daughters – Sheikh Hasina and Sheikh Rehana – luckily escaped the brutal assassination as they stayed abroad.
In a national council session of the Awami League on Feb 14, 15 and 16 in 1981, Sheikh Hasina was elected as party president in her absence and then she returned to the country on May 17.
“I have returned to the country not to become a leader of the Awami League, rather to participate in the struggle for freedom by staying beside the people,” said the Awami League president in a heart touching reception awarded by nearly 1.5 million people at the airport at that time.
She added: “I want to stay beside you as your sister, as your daughter, and as a worker of Awami League, who believes in the ideals of Bangabandhu.”
On the occasion of Sheikh Hasina’s homecoming day, various organisations, including the Awami League, observe detailed programmes every year throughout the country, but this year, no formal programme will be observed due to the novel coronavirus situation.
As part of the programme, Awami League’s information and research affairs sub-committee will arrange an exhibition on information and news clipping on May 16 and 17which will be held on the premises of Bangabandhu Memorial Museum at Dhanmondi road number 32.
To mark the day, Dhaka City North unit of Awami League will arrange a discussion at 23 Bangabandhu Avenue at 11 a.m. on May 17 while Awami League’s Dhaka City South unit will arrange a Doa Mehfil and discussion at Mahanagar Natyamancha here at 3 p.m. on that day.
Special Doa and prayers will also be offered at mosques, temples, churches and pagodas to mark the day, local media reported.