The nation has begun paying tribute to its greatest leader Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman on the occasion of his birth centenary. Year-long celebrations started on Tuesday to mark the auspicious day.
The government has declared the period from March 17, 2020 to March 16, 2021 Mujib Borsho (Mujib Year). The day is jointly being celebrated with the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization, globally.
On March 17, one hundred years ago, Bangabandhu was born in Tungipara. To coincide with the exact moment of his birth, a huge display of fireworks was held at 8pm on Tuesday at Suhrawardy Uddyan, where Bangabadhu delivered his historic March 7 speech.
The Birth Centenary Celebration National Implementation Committee organised the show without a public congregation due to the worldwide outbreak of Covid-19. The inaugural ceremony of Mujib Borsho was followed by another fireworks display at the South Plaza of the Jatiya Sangsad Bhaban.
The streets of the capital city, Dhaka, were decorated with colorful festoons and billboards depicting the life of the Father of the Nation and important landmarks and buildings were garlanded with decorative lights.
To mark the day, President Abdul Hamid and Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina delivered televised speeches to the nation.
The president and prime minister placed a wreath at the mausoleum of Bangabandhu at 10am in Tungipara. They stood there in silence, for some moments, in remembrance of the founder of independent Bangladesh.
Later, the president, prime minister and top leaders of the ruling party, Awami League, prayed for the eternal peace of the departed souls of Bangabandhu as well as other martyrs of the August 15 carnage.
Bangabandhu's youngest daughter Sheikh Rehana, grandson Radwan Mujib Siddiq and granddaughter Saima Wazed Hossain were also present at the programme.
Earlier in the morning, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina paid tribute by placing a wreath at the portrait of Bangabandhu, in front of Bangabandhu Memorial Museum at Dhanmondi Road No 32, in Dhaka.
Cabinet members, the prime minister's advisers, parliament members, and senior leaders of the party were also present there.
Awami League held programmes including hoisting party flags atop all Awami League offices across the country – including Bangabandhu Bhaban and the party's central office on Bangabandhu Avenue.
Special prayers were arranged at all religious institutions across the country while special food was distributed among orphans and destitute people.
Meanwhile, Foreign Minister Dr AK Abdul Momen inaugurated Bangabandhu Corner at his ministry.
The Bangabandhu Corner on the ground floor of the ministry's main building displays different books and documents related to the diplomacy of the country's founding father. The corner will preserve documents about Bangabandhu and the country's foreign relations.
All 77 Bangladesh missions abroad also held special programmes to mark the day.
People across the country placed floral wreaths at the portraits of Bangabandhu and brought out colorful processions to celebrate his birth anniversary.
In many townships, special cleaning drives were conducted and blood donation camps were set up.
World leaders pay tribute to Bangabandhu
In a tweet, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi paid tribute to Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman. "Tributes to Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman on his birth anniversary," Modi wrote.
"He [Bangabandhu] is remembered for his courage and indelible contribution to Bangladesh's progress," Modi continued.
Bhutanese Prime Minister Lotay Tshering on Tuesday relayed his greetings to Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on the occasion of the birth centenary of Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman.
The Prime Minister's Press Secretary Ihsanul Karim said Lotay Tshering phoned Sheikh Hasina on Tuesday afternoon and congratulated her and the people of Bangladesh.
The Bhutanese prime minister informed Sheikh Hasina that the Bhutanese people also celebrated the event and prayed for eternal peace of the departed soul of the architect of independent Bangladesh by illuminating one thousand lamps.
In response, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina extended her sincere thanks to Lotay Tshering and the people of Bhutan for celebrating the birth centenary of the great leader.