The nation will celebrate the 45th Victory Day on Wednesday, commemorating its glorious victory in a nine-month war against Pakistan occupation forces in 1971.This year, the Victory Day is going to be celebrated within one month into the executions of condemned war criminals Salauddin Quader Chowdhury and Ali Ahsan Muhammad Mojaheed who were hanged for their war crimes in the early hours of November 22.
On this day in 1971, the chief of the Pakistani occupation forces, Gen AAK Niazi, along with his 93,000 Pakistani troops, surrendered at Ramna Racecourse, now Suhrawardy Udyan, in Dhaka following their miserable defeat to the joint forces of Mukti Bahini and Mitra Bahini.
In one of the heinous acts of genocide in human history, the Pakistan army and their local collaborators had launched a barbarous crackdown on March 25, 1971 in the erstwhile East Pakistan at midnight past, killing innocent and unarmed people.
The nation, under the leadership of Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, finally clinched independence on December 16 after the nine-month Liberation War.
The day is a public holiday.
Various political parties, socio-cultural organisations and educational institutions have chalked out elaborate programmes on the occasion.
The national flag will be hoisted atop all government and private buildings, while the government and semi-government buildings and other public places will be illuminated and roads and islands be decorated with flags and festoons in all cities of the country to mark the day.
Special prayers will be offered in mosques, temples, churches, pagodas and other places of worship seeking divine blessings for the peace and progress of the country.
President Abdul Hamid will place wreaths at the National Mausoleum at Savar at 6:34 am to pay tributes to the martyred freedom fighters.
A colourful parade will be held at the National Parade Square at Sher-e-Bangla Nagar at 10:30am. President Abdul Hamid will take salute and inspect the parade as the chief guest.
The President will accord a reception to freedom fighters at Bangabhaban at 3:45 pm.
The ruling Awami League has also taken various programmes to mark the day.
National and party flags will be hoisted at the party’s central office at Bangabandhu Avenue and other offices across the country at dawn.
Awami League leaders and workers will place wreaths at the National Mausoleum at Savar in the morning. The ruling party leaders will also pay tributes to Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman by placing wreaths at his portrait at Bangabnadhu Bhaban at Dhanmondi in the city in the morning.
Besides, the party leaders and workers will place wreaths at the grave of Bangabandhu at Tungipara in Gopalganj district.
Awami League will also bring out a victory rally from Suhrawardy Udyan in the afternoon and hold a discussion at Krishibid Institution at 3pm on Thursday where Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina will be present as the chief guest.
BNP will hoist national and party flags atop the party offices in the morning on the occasion.
BNP chairperson Khaleda Zia along with party leaders and activists will place wreaths at the National Mausoleum in Savar at 8am and also place wreaths at the mazar of late president and BNP founder Ziaur Rahman at Sher-e-Banglanagar in the capital around 9am.
BNP will also bring out a ‘V Day Rally’ in the city and hold a discussion on Friday at the Institution of Engineers, Bangladesh.
Meanwhile, President Abdul Hamid, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina and BNP chairperson Khaleda Zia have issued separate messages, paying deep homage to the valiant freedom fighters who made the supreme sacrifice in the Liberation War for the cause of country’s independence.
In his message, the President said, “On the occasion of our great victory day, I extend my sincere felicitations and congratulations to my fellow countrymen living at home and abroad. December 16 is a glorious and memorable day in the history of Bangalee nation.”
He called upon the countrymen irrespective of party affiliation to contribute more from their respective positions to realise the spirit and objectives of War of Liberation.
Abdul Hamid also expressed the expectation that with the concerted efforts of all, Bangladesh will turn into a hunger -and poverty- free prosperous ‘Sonar Bangla’ (Golden Bengal) as dreamt by Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman.
In her message, the Prime Minister said, “I extend my sincere greetings and warm felicitations to the countrymen at home and abroad on the occasion of the 44th Victory Day. On this glorious day, I pay my deep homage to the Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman.”
She said democracy was established after a long struggle and sacrifices in 1996. “Bangladesh has set up an example in the world in socio-economic development of its people. I take a solemn vow to build a Golden Bangla free from hunger and poverty keeping the development spree going.”
Sheikh Hasina also urged all to come and uphold the development and democratic process being imbued with the spirit of the Liberation War. “Let us engage ourselves to the services for the country and its people. Let this be our pledge on the Victory Day of 2015.”
Khaleda Zia, in her message, urged the country’s people to form a national unity to protect country’s independence, sovereignty and democracy from the plots of the evil forces.
She observed that though the country was freed from enemies in 1971, the plots of the conspirators are still on to grasp its independence and sovereignty and turn the nation into a subservient one.
Hasina alleged that the evil forces have put the country’s hard-earned democracy at stake through its various plots.
Mentioning the country’s current situation is anarchic and dangerous, she called upon all to get united to save the country from the hands of the evil forces. “On this Victory Day I urge all the country’s people to forge a national unity inspired with the spirit of the day to free the country’s independence, sovereignty and democracy from danger.”