Bangladesh is celebrating the 47th Victory Day on Saturday, with elaborate programmes set up by the government and social organizations to pay deep homage to the martyrs who laid down their lives for the country during the liberation war in 1971.
On this day in 1971, Pakistani occupation forces surrendered after a nine-month war resulting in free, independent and sovereign Bangladesh.
The day is a public holiday.
This year the victory day celebration has reached a new height as the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) on October 30 recognised the Bangabandhu’s historic March 7 Speech as a world documentary heritage.
On March 7 in 1971, Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman called on the people of freedom-loving Bengalis to wage war against the Pakistani occupation forces.
Bangabandhu declared in a thunderous voice at a mammoth rally at the Racecourse Maidan (now Suhrawardy Udyan) that day.
Different political parties, socio-cultural organisations and educational institutions have taken up various programmes to mark the Day.
President Abdul Hamid, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina and BNP chairperson Khaleda Zia have issued separate messages on the occasion.
President Abdul Hamid said in his message that the historic 7th March Speech of the Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman has been included in the international memory of the world register as World Documentary Heritage by UNESCO. This recognition of the 7th March Speech has made the whole nation proud once again.
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina said in her message that recognition of the 7th March Speech is the source of inspiration and a great pride for Bangali Nation.
As part of the day’s programmes, a colourful parade will be held at the National Parade Square at Sher-e-Bangla Nagar in the morning.
Freedom fighters, members of the Armed Forces and law enforcement agencies will take part in the parade.
President Abdul Hamid will received salute and inspected the parade as the chief guest while Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina also attended.
President Hamid and Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina placed wreaths at the National Mausoleum in Savar in the morning to pay their tributes to the martyred freedom fighters.
They will be followed by the freedom fighters and their family members, foreign diplomats, leaders of Awami League and different political and social organisations and people from all walks of life.
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.
The President will accord a reception to freedom fighters at Bangabhaban in the afternoon.
Destitute children will be allowed to visit the children park in the capital on the day free of cost. Improved diets will be served in jails, hospitals, orphanages and vagrant homes across the country.
Bangladesh missions abroad will hoist the national flag and organise discussions, cultural functions and receptions.
The ruling Awami League has chalked out elaborate programmes to mark the day.