President Md Abdul Hamid today paid his deep homage to the memory of Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman on the occasion of the his birth centenary.
In a message on the eve of the birth centenary celebration, he said March 17 is a memorable day in the history of the Bengali nation.
This year is the birth centenary of the greatest Bangali of all time Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, he added.
The President said the government has announced 'Mujib Barsho' (Mujib Year, 17 March 2020 to 17 March 2021) to celebrate gorgeously the birth centenary of Father of the Nation both at home and abroad throughout the year.
He called upon the fellow countrymen living at home and abroad to join the birth centenary celebration of Bangabandhu in a very colourful and befitting manner.
Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, the architect of sovereign and independent Bangladesh, was born in Tungipara of Gopalganj district on March 17, 1920, he added.
From his boyhood, he said, this most distinguished great man was very kind and generous but uncompromising on attaining the rights.
In the early forties of the last century, as a young student leader, having come into contact with Huseyn Shaheed Suhrawardy, Sher-e-Bangla A K Fazlul Haque and Moulana Abdul Hamid Khan Bhasani, Bangabandhu got involved in active politics, he added.
The President said Bangabandhu led the nation in every democratic movement including Sarbodolio Rashtrobhasa Sangram Parishad (All Party State Language Action Committee), formed in 1948, the Language Movement in 1952, Jukta-Front Election in 1954, movement against Martial Law in 1958, Six-Point Movement in 1966, Mass Upsurge in 1969 and the General Elections in 1970 for attaining freedom and rights of our people.
The great leader was sent to jail several times and had to bear inhuman sufferings for his active participation in those movements. Despite manifold challenges, he did never compromise with the Pakistani rulers on the question of establishing the rights of Bengalis, he added.
He said on March 7 in 1971 at the Race Course Maidan, keeping the feelings and aspirations of the Bengalis, Bangabandhu uttered in his thunderous voice, 'The struggle this time is a struggle for emancipation, the struggle this time is a struggle for independence'.
This historic address was, in fact, the true charter of our independence, he added.
On the night of March 25, he said, when Pakistani invaders attacked the unarmed Bengalis in a blaze, the Father of the Nation declared the long-cherished independence on 26th March in 1971.
"We achieved ultimate victory on December 16, 1971 through a nine-month long armed struggle under the leadership of Bangabandhu," he said.
He said how an address can rouse the whole nation, inspire them to leap into the war of liberation for independence, the historic March 7 speech by Bangabandhu is its unique example!
UNESCO has recognized the 7th March Speech of Bangabandhu as part of the 'World's Documentary Heritage' and included it in the 'Memory of the World international Register' on 30th October 2017, he added.
He said the Newsweek Magazine in its Issue on 5th April in 1971 termed Bangabandhu as the 'Poet of Politics' for this historic address.
During the War of liberation, he said, Bangabandhu was confined in Pakistan jail and the then ruler of Pakistan farcically awarded him death sentence.
But Bangabandhu said, 'I shall not bow down my head to them rather I will say I am a Bangali, Bangla is my country, Bangla is my language', he added.
The President said for his extraordinary contributions to the nation, Bangla, Bangladesh and Bangabandhu, thus, emerged as a unique symbol to the people of Bangladesh.
Just after independence, Bangabandhu returned home on 10 January in 1972 freeing from Pakistan Jail, he added.
Bangabandhu put all-out efforts to rebuild the war-torn economy, he said.
The President said the great leader took all preparations including the returning of the members of allied forces to their country, framing the country's constitution in a short time, fulfilling the basic rights of the people, eliminating corruption at all levels, launching agricultural revolution, nationalizing the industries to transform the country into 'Sonar Bangla'.
But the anti-liberation forces did not give the scope for materializing that dream as this murderer group assassinated Bangabandhu and almost all of his family members on 15 August in 1975, he added.
In politics, he said, Bangabandhu appears as a symbol of principle and ideals.
He said the new generation will be able to know about the life and works of Bangabandhu by reading 'Unfinished Memoirs' and 'Karagarer Rojnamcha' (Diary in Jail) written by Bangabandhu himself and other autobiographical books written on him and thus will be able to contribute towards building the nation inspired by the ideology of Bangabandhu.
Bangabandhu is not amongst us but his ideals will remain to be our source of eternal inspiration, he added.
"Let the principle and ideals of Bangabandhu spread from generation to generation; build a courageous, selfless and idealistic leadership-it is my expectation on this day. Imbued with the spirit of the war of liberation, let us pledge on the eve of 'Mujib Barsho' to turn Bangladesh into 'Sonar Bangla' by completing the unfinished tasks of Bangabandhu," he said.