Birth Centenary Celebration of Bangabandhu
Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman’s 100th birth anniversary will be celebrated all across the country on Mar 17 next. The 100-day countdown to ‘Mujib Year’ will begin across the country ahead of the celebration of Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman’s birth centenary on Dec 8 this year.
Bangabandhu is the greatest son of this soil and the architect of the independence of Bangladesh. Bangabandhu need no introduction to any Bangladeshi as he has tremendous contribution behind our existence and identity and rightfully so he is the father of the nation.
Not only the Bangladesh government but also UNESCO will celebrate the occasion with millions of Bangladeshis. From Mar 17, 2020 to Mar 26, 2021 has been declared as the ‘Mujib Year’ as different programs focusing on different aspects of his life, works and achievements will be held throughout this year. It is a huge task to convey and even embed the ideology of Bangabandhu to the next generation who unfortunately neither could see him in person nor were known to his glory due to several years’ conspiracy to destroy the correct history of Bangladesh after his brutal killing. Hence, it is important that this significant celebration of Bangabandhu’s 100th birth anniversary does not lose its right focus throughout the year.
An event will be observed across the country to begin the 100-day countdown to ‘Mujib Year’ will begin to mark the celebration of Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman’s birth centenary. Bangabandhu’s daughter Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina will inaugurate the countdown. Bangabandhu’s Birth Day on March 17 is also the National Children’s Day. On the day, various programs including daylong art competition for children will be held across the country.
The opening ceremony of the 100th birth anniversary and Mujib Year at the city’s Suhrawardy Uddyan will be broadcast live from the venue.
The celebration programs will include dissemination of historical information and photo display on Bangabandhu’s life and work, attractive illumination and fireworks. All these plans were disclosed after a meeting of the Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman Birth Centenary Celebration National Implementation Committee. Many other programs will be held as the ruling party and its different wings are also expected to hold separate programs on this auspicious occasion.
Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman was born at Tungipara in Gopalganj on Mar 17, 1920. He spearheaded the Bengalis’ liberation struggle and Bangladesh emerged as an independent country from Pakistan on the world map in 1971. A year after his 100th birth anniversary, Bangladesh will celebrate the golden jubilee of independence on Mar 26, 2021. During ‘Mujib Year’ programs on such occasions as Bangabandhu’s Homecoming Day, the Awami League’s founding anniversary, National Mourning Day and Jail Killing Day will be organized in coordination as the plan was initially explained by the Prime Minister.
There will also be several publications including a compilation of reports by Pakistan’s intelligence agency on Bangabandhu with 14 sections of 9,000 pages selected from 47 files of 30,000 pages. Another compilation of writings on the Agartala Conspiracy and Bangabandhu’s Smritikatha or Memories of Bangabandhu will also be published.
This celebration is not contained inside the Bangladesh border as we believe the celebrations will be observed at different countries as Bangabandhu is considered to be a global leader and his political ideology and character charms most of the politically concerned people around the world. Moreover, the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) together with Bangladesh would celebrate the ‘Mujib Year’. The UNESCO as they made the decision unanimously at the plenary session of its 40th General Assembly on November 25 to celebrate the ‘Mujib Year’ together with Bangladesh.
The contribution of Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman to the emergence of an independent Bangladesh is beyond explanation. It was his strong, dedicated and visionary leadership that inspired the people to stand against the oppression of the Pakistani junta and fight for the independence of the country. In the light of his courageous leadership, Bangladesh achieved independence in 1971.
It is important that every Bangladeshi hold the ideals of Bangabandhu at the core. Bangabandhu led Awami League and himself with some certain principles which can be termed as people-oriented, progress-oriented and uncompromising. He never compromised the interest of the people for self-benefit or benefits for some certain groups. The welfare of his fellow countrymen was his greatest priority. He was farsighted in terms of enabling regional cooperation where Bangladesh would take a leadership position in the region.
The next generation of Bangladesh needs to know about the ideals of Bangabandhu first and then they can practice it to take the country forward. If the future of Bangladesh is built on the thoughts of the father of the nation, then there is no way that Bangladesh cannot progress to take the global stage. Bangabandhu’s dream of ‘Golden Bengal’ is still a dream we are chasing but under the glorious leadership of Bangabandhu’s daughter Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, that chase has fastened during the last decade.
Our one and only focus of celebrating ‘Mujib Year’ must be to spread the philosophy of Bangabandhu among the next generation. It is a great opportunity for the Bangladesh government to embed the pure history of Bangladesh. This occasion will not succeed if the partisan activities remain at the core or the elder generation is focused. There is no need to have programs focusing on the elders rather the government must try to involve the children and teenagers as much as possible.
Publications and programs should follow the priorities of the future generations of the country as these are the people who will lead this country in the future and will be responsible to protect and enhance the huge developments that the current government made in chase of Bangabandhu’s dream of ‘Golden Bangla’ as well as to ensure the welfare of the citizens of Bangladesh.
From the very beginning of the 100 day countdown, a nationwide campaign should be launched to inform the people especially the 70 million members of the young generations about Bangabandhu as well as his birth centenary celebration. They should be well informed before the celebration begins. Moreover, his birthday is also the National Children’s Day. All the children should receive something to celebrate. Important establishments, entertainment parks and zones should be open and free for the children. Even all children can receive a card from the Prime Minister congratulating them for being a part of this celebration. The next generation must get the utmost importance to protect the history and future of the country.
Unfortunately, from our previous experiences, we have seen partisan influence on different celebrations of the government’s achievements. Bangladesh government has allocated a huge budget for the celebration of ‘Mujib Year’. We must make sure that this budget is utilized properly and receives the proper feedback.
Every child of Bangladesh must learn about Bangabandhu’s contribution and principles from this celebration. It is neither an opportunity for the ruling party leaders or activists to promote selves to the party high command nor a scope for the opposition to do politics by destructive criticism. We hope the government and its leaders and activists will keep this important factor in their mind for the sake of this nation’s future throughout the ‘Mujib Year’.
From another aspect, we must focus on few prevailing issues of the country. We already know that the government has allocated a huge budget for the ‘Mujib Year’ celebration. On the other hand, the citizens are facing huge pressure from the inclining price of different commodity products.
Despite several promises, the government could not bring the onion price down which has been the talk of the nation in recent times. Along with that, we are observing sudden price rise for rice, oil, salt etc. The vegetables price is also high. Overall, the citizens, except extreme rich group, of this country are under extreme pressure.
Along with that, the taxes, utility prices and any other government service charges have gone up multiple times during the last few years.
The income is losing further everyday against the expenses. Only for the government employees, the income has gone up multiple times in the last few years but that did not happen for the private sector employees and workers. Moreover, we are losing the war against corruption in pathetic ways. Hence, economically the citizens are feeling burdened and a silent discomfort exists.
If the citizens are not in comfort, then this celebration will seem like a mere wastage of citizen’s money to the mass people of Bangladesh. Besides, the forces that tried to wipe off the ideals of Bangabandhu after his brutal killing will have the chance to take its advantage. So, the government should immediately take some strong measures to control the commodity products’ price hike at least. They should also adopt short-term and long-term plans to relief the citizens from different sort of pressures. Bangabandhu could not tolerate the pain of his people. While celebrating his 100th birthday, we should not forget this great feature of his character.
We hope the future generations will know about Bangabandhu and will practice his principles which will definitely take Bangladesh a lot further. Not only the leaders or political activists but also the mass people of this country need to follow the guidelines of this great leader. If so, the future of Bangladesh can be protected as if the welfare of people is ensured, then none can stop the progress of a nation and it was strongly believed and practiced by Sheikh Mujibur Rahman.
The success of this birth centenary celebration will depend on embedding the Bangabandhu’s ideals among the next generation as well as people’s participation in this celebration. We wish a successful 100th birth anniversary celebration of the all time’s greatest Bengali Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman.
The writer is chief editor at Mohammadi News Agency (MNA), editor at Kishore Bangla and vice-chairman, Democracy Research Center (DRC)