The homecoming day of Awami League President and Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina is tomorrow as she returned to the country on May 17, 1981, after a long exile.
This year, the day will be observed without any elaborate programme in view of the current COVID-19 situation.
Boarding on an aircraft of the Indian Airlines, Sheikh Hasina reached the then Kurmitola Airport here from the Indian capital of New Delhi via Kolkata at 4.30 pm on that day.
Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman was brutally killed along with most of his family members on August 15 in 1975 and his two daughters – Sheikh Hasina and Sheikh Rehana – luckily escaped the brutal assassination as they stayed abroad.
In a national council session of the Awami League on February 14, 15 and 16 in 1981, Sheikh Hasina was elected as party president in her absence and then she returned to the country on May 17.
"I have returned to the country not to become a leader of the Awami League, rather to participate in the struggle for freedom by staying beside the people," said the AL president in a heart touching reception awarded by nearly 15 lakh people at the airport at that time.
She added: "I want to stay beside you as your sister, as your daughter, and as a worker of Awami League, who believes in the ideals of Bangabandhu."
On the occasion of Sheikh Hasina's home coming day, various organizations, including the Awami League, observe detailed programmes every year throughout the country, but this year, no formal programme will be observed due to the novel coronavirus situation.
Highlighting Sheikh Hasina's home coming day as an important event in the history of the nation, ruling AL presidium member Mohammad Nasim said, "Sheikh Hasina's return home as a politician on May 17 in 1981 had paved the way for establishing the values of independence and democracy."
After the brutal assassination on August 15 in 1975, the country's democracy was jeopardized and values of independence also ravaged, he added.