The historic Homecoming Day of Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman has been observed in the country today (January 10).
The supreme commander of the country's Liberation War Bangabandhu returned liberated Bangladesh via London and New Delhi on January 10 in 1972, after 290 days captivity in the then West Pakistan jail.
Ruling Awami League, its front organizations, other political parties and socio-cultural-professional bodies have chalked out elaborate programs to mark the day.
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. He was subjected to inhuman torture in the jail.
“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, Sheikh 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.
Later, the country achieved final victory through the nine-month-long Liberation War on December 16 in 1971.
People, however, got the real taste of victory with the homecoming of Bangabandhu on January 10 in 1972.
Marking the day, the ruling Awami League, its front organisations and several socio-cultural organisations have taken up elaborate programmes.
The AL daylong celebrations have begun with hoisting of the national and party flags at its offices and Bangabandhu Bhaban at Dhanmondi at 6:30am.
AL leaders and activists placed wreaths at the portrait of Bangabandhu at Dhanmondi 32 in the capital at 9:00am.
Besides, the party organised a discussion in afternoon at its central office on Bangabandhu Avenue in the capital.
Awami League president and Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina addressed the meeting virtually from her official residence Ganabhaban.
The Homecoming Day of Bangabandhu this year came with an extra significance as it coincided with Father of the Nation’s birth centenary celebrations and upcoming golden jubilee celebrations of the country’s independence.
All programmes marking the day this year have been observed maintaining health guidelines in face of the global pandemic coronavirus (COVID-19).
Bangladesh Army arranged Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujib Dhaka Marathon 2021 as part of ‘Mujib Barsha’ celebrations and to commemorate the homecoming day of the father of the nation.
Besides, newspapers published special supplements while radios and televisions aired special programmes highlighting the significance of the day.
BDST: 1950 HRS, JAN 10, 2021