Bangladesh President Abdul Hamid and Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina have issued separate messages to mark the 98th birth anniversary of Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman on Saturday.
On this day in 1920, the architect of the nation was born in Tungipara village under Gopalganj district.
Through his dynamic leadership, Bangabandhu organized the Bangali people to fight against exploitation and repression by the Pakistani rulers. The movement culminated in an independent Bangladesh in 1971 following the nine-month Liberation War.
His moment of triumph was short-lived: on August 15, 1975, the leader was assassinated along with most of his family members by a disgruntled group of army men.
In his message, President Abdul Hamid said: “We will have to build our young generation with noble qualities so they can realize Bangabandhu's dream of transforming the country into Sonar Bangla [Golden Bengal].”
“We have to put in our sincere efforts to nurture the intrinsic values of our children from their very childhood," he added.
The president called for the new generation to be raised as “enlightened citizens” through proper education and a deep sense of patriotism, so they can be “worthy citizens and love the country and its people”.
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The prime minister in her statement said the “charismatic leadership and personality” of Bangabandhu brought the whole nation under one umbrella in 1971.
“As a result, we got the independence and a sovereign Bangladesh and Bangali nationalism flourished," she said.
Hasina urged everyone to sacrifice their present for the welfare of the children's future and build a “non-communal, hunger- and poverty-free, and prosperous Bangladesh as dreamt by the father of the nation”.
President Abdul Hamid and the prime minister will pay homage to Bangabandhu by placing wreaths at his grave in Tungipara at 10am.
Hasina will release a commemorative postage stamp on Sheikh Russel - her brother and the youngest son of Bangabandhu - and unveil the cover of a children's book titled "Amader Chhoto Russel Sona".
She will address a children's rally, discussion meeting and cultural function and distribute sewing machines among the distressed, and open a book fair and visit a children's painting exhibition titled "Amar Bhabnai 7th March".
A Qurankhani and a milad mahfil will be held at the Baitul Mukarram National Mosque.