Special Correspondent: The nation is observing National Mourning Day today, commemorating the 44th anniversary of the martyrdom of Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman.
At the fateful dawn of August 15, 1975, a group of disgruntled army officers assassinated country’s undaunted leader Bangabandhu along with most of his family members and toppled his three and half-year-old government.
The Bangalee nation witnessed the history’s most heinous incident on this day at a time when Bangabandhu devoted himself to implementing his dream to build the country as Sonar Bangla.
Bangabandhu’s wife Sheikh Fazilatunnesa Mujib, sons Sheikh Kamal, Sheikh Jamal and Sheikh Russel, daughters-in-law Sultana Kamal and Rosy Jamal, brother Sheikh Naser, peasants leader Abdur Rab Serniabat, youths leader Sheikh Fazlul Haq Moni and his wife Arzu Moni, Baby Serniabat, Sukanta Babu, Arif and Abdul Nayeem Khan Rintu were also killed along with Bangabandhu.
Bangabandhu’s two daughters – Sheikh Hasina, now the incumbent Prime Minister, and her younger sister Sheikh Rehana – escaped the carnage as they were in Germany at that time.
The assassination of Bangabandhu dealt a major blow to the spirit of country’s liberation war. The country witnessed politics of killing, coup and conspiracy after the killing.
The world community strongly protested and condemned the killing of the iconic leader, saying it is an irreparable loss to millions of people of Bangladesh.
August 15 remains as a black chapter of the country’s history as the vested quarter, by capturing state power, trampled people’s long-cherished desire for economic emancipation.
After Bangabandhu’s killing, the country had been under military and quasi-military rule for 15 years. The spirit and objective of the liberation war was at jeopardy during the period.
The saga of the Bangalee nation’s long-drawn struggle for independence under the iconic leadership of Bangabandhu was nakedly twisted by the stratocracy.
Bangladesh Awami League led by Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman struggled for 24 years against the tyranny of West Pakistan inflicted on Bangalees.
As a continuation of the struggle, Awami League under the leadership of Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman secured a brute majority in the 1970 elections.
But the Pakistanis chose heinous tactics not to hand over power to Bangabandhu and conducted one of the history’s infamous pogroms.
Bangabandhu in the early hours of March 26 in 1971 officially proclaimed the country’s independence to rid the nation of the repression and killing of Bangalees by then Pakistani autocratic ruler.
Responding to the clarion call from Bangabandhu, Bangalees stood against the Pakistanis and engaged in the bloody war against Pakistani occupation forces and achieved the victory.
The government, the ruling Awami League and different socio-cultural organisations have chalked out elaborate programmes in observance of National Mourning Day.
The programmes, include hoisting of the national flag at half mast atop all government and non-government offices and Bangladesh missions abroad.
The day is a public holiday.