President M Abdul Hamid today termed 15 August as a scandalous chapter in the history of the Bengali nation.
"15 August is a scandalous chapter in the history of the Bengali nation. On this fateful night of 1975, the undisputed leader and the greatest Bangalee of all time, Father of Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman was brutally assassinated at his Dhanmondi residence by a group of killers with the direct and indirect connivance of anti-liberation forces. His wife Bangamata Sheikh Fazilatunnessa Mujib, sons Sheikh Kamal, Sheikh Jamal and Sheikh Russel, and many of his near and dear ones were also killed along with Bangabandhu," the President said in a message on the eve of the National Mourning Day.
On the 47th martyrdom anniversary of Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman and National Mourning Day, the head of the state also paid his deep homage to them and prayed to the Almighty Allah for the eternal peace of the departed souls.
He said that Bangabandhu was a visionary leader of the Bengali Nation and the architect of our Independence.
He (Bangabandhu) led the nation at every democratic and freedom movements including the 'All-party State language Action Committee' formed to ensure the right to mother-tongue in 1948, the historic Language Movement in 1952, Juktafront Election in 1954, the movement against Martial Law in 1958, the movement against anti-people Education Commission in 1962, Six-Point Movement in 1966, Mass Upsurge in 1969 and the General Elections in 1970, all of which were directed towards realizing Bangalees` emancipation and their rights, Hamid added.
For this, he had to embrace jail several times, he continued.
He said Bangabandhu was uncompromising in establishing fundamental human rights and independence.
He, even on the gallows, upheld the interest of Bangla and Bangalees, president said.
Ignoring the blood-curdling eyes of the then Pakistani rulers, Bangabandhu delivered a historic speech on March 7 in 1971 before a mammoth gathering at the then Race Course Maidan, he said.
"With unique eloquence and political wisdom, Bangabandhu, combining the emotions, dreams and aspirations of Bangalees in a single thread, thunderously uttered, "The struggle this time is the struggle for emancipation, the struggle this time is the struggle for Independence' which was, in fact, the call for Independence," he mentioned.
In line with this historic speech, he finally declared the country's Independence on March 26, 1971, he said, adding: "And subsequently we achieved victory through a nine-month-long armed war of liberation under his leadership."
Bangabandhu and Bangladesh thus emerged as a unique entity to the people of Bangladesh, Hamid added.
Bangabandhu has made an outstanding contribution to establishing world peace along with equality, friendship and democracy throughout his life, he continued.
He was a symbol of independence and ambassador of freedom for oppressed and exploited people in the world, he mentioned.
"Addressing the Non-Aligned Conference in Algiers on September 9, 1973, he said, 'the world today is divided into two--the exploiters and the exploited: I am on the side of the exploited'," he added.
"Bangabandhu is no longer with us, but his principles and ideals will always inspire the freedom-seeking people to attain their rights and the mass awakening against exploitation and oppression around the world," he said.
The assassins killed the Father of the Nation but could not erase his principles and ideals, he said, adding that Bangabandhu will remain as an eternal source of inspiration not only for millions of Bangalees in this country, but also for freedom-seeking people of the world.
Bangabandhu had struggled throughout his life with the aim of achieving political freedom as well as economic emancipation of the people, he said.
His dream was to establish a 'Golden Bangla' free from hunger and poverty, he added.
For this purpose, a people-oriented constitution was formulated within one year of Independence, he continued.
"Bangabandhu did not just give us a country; He also formulated a contemporary outline of what the economic, social, political and cultural structure of a newly independent state would look like," he mentioned.
Bangabandhu always had trust and faith in his people, he said, adding that he used to give most importance to the united and joint efforts of the people to achieve development and self-reliance.
The president further said that Bangladesh is moving forward with the aim of building a self-reliant country on the path shown by Bangabandhu, under the able leadership of his worthy daughter Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina.
She (the premier) announced 'Vision 2041' to turn Bangladesh into a developed and prosperous country, he said.
Padma Bridge, a unique milestone in the development of Bangladesh, has already been opened for traffic, he added.
Metro rail, Karnaphuli Tunnel and other mega projects will be completed very soon and a new chapter in the development history of Bangladesh will be introduced, he said.
"Our responsibility will be to make Bangladesh a happy and prosperous country by completing Bangabandhu's incomplete task by being enriched with knowledge and dignity," he added.
"Only then will proper respect be shown to this great leader," Hamid continued.