Khaleda turns 70 Saturday | Greenwatch Dhaka | The leading online daily of Bangladesh

Khaleda turns 70 Saturday


BNP chairperson and former Prime Minister Khaleda Zia turns ’70’ on Saturday.
Unlike previous years, Party sources hinted, Khaleda may not cut cake at the wee hours on Saturday celebrating her birthday at her Gulshan office.
A BNP leader close to Khaleda said the BNP chief usually neither goes to her political office nor allows her party men in her residence on Friday as she passes the weekend on her own at home.
BNP central office sources said there is no scheduled programme there at night to celebrate the birthday.
However, a party leader, wishing anonymity, said the associate bodies of BNP, including Mohila Dal, Chhatra Dal and Jubo Dal, are likely to cut cakes and hold doa mahfil on Saturday, marking Khaleda’s birthday.Khaleda, a three-time Prime Minister, was born in 1946. But, there is a lot of debates about her actual date of birth.
There is controversy over her birth year as well. Various records suggest Khaleda Zia was born in 1945. But last year her party claimed her actual birth year is 1946. She also registered her birth year 1946 in her new passport.
According to Banglapedia and well-known encyclopedias wikipedia and Britannica Khaleda Zia was born to Iskandar Majumder, a businessman, and Taiyaba Majumder in Dinajpur district in 1945. The bio-data Khaleda Zia submitted to the Parliament Secretariat when she was made the opposition leader last suggests that the BNP chief was born on August 15, 1945.
The controversy over the birthday began in 1991 when Khaleda first celebrated it on August 15 after assuming office as Prime Minister and declared it as her ‘official birthday’.
Despite criticisms by Awami League, BNP and its associate bodies have been celebrating her birthday on August 15 since then. Awami League leaders have long been claiming that her birthday is Sept 5, 1945 according to her marriage certificate while Aug 19, 1946 as per her first passport. Khaleda herself put the date as Aug 9, 1944 while registering her name for the matriculation exams, they said.
Senior Awami League leaders on various recent occasions, urged Khaleda to refrain from celebrating her birthday on August 15 from this year as the nation mourns on that day commemorating the brutal killings of Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman and most of his family members.
In response, BNP spokesman Asaduzzaman Ripon said it is the party men, not party chairperson Khaleda Zia, who celebrate her birthday on August 15 that coincides with the National Mourning Day.
“BNP chairperson Khaleda Zia herself doesn’t celebrate her birthday (on August 15),” he said at a press briefing recently at the party’s Nayapaltan central office.
As his attention was drawn to Awami League leaders’ call to the BNP chief for not celebrating her birthday on August 15, Ripon said, “Celebrating birthday is one’s very personal matter. You can’t impose on any one whether he/she will celebrate his/her birthday.” – UNB


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