Bangladesh Commemorates Independence Day Despite Cancellations of Public Gatherings

History:

March 26 marks the commemoration of the Independence day of Bangladesh (Bengali:স্বাধীনতা দিবস Shwadhinata Dibôsh). It commemorates the country's declaration of independence from Pakistan on late hours of 25 March 1971. The day is a memorial to the deaths of thousands of civilians who died in the subsequent Bangladesh Liberation War (Wikipedia, 2018).

Every year, March 26 brings the most tragic reminiscence of the history’s darkest episode that heralded a nine-month bloody ordeal from the night following March 25, 1971 in achieving the long-cherished independence on December 16 the same year at the cost of a sea of blood. The nation’s founding father Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman was detained that night. Before he was picked up, he had proclaimed independence.

2020 Celebrations (from bdnews24.com):

The government has cancelled all parades and gatherings planned for Mar 26 Independence Day throughout Bangladesh in an attempt to stop the coronavirus from spreading.

The Cabinet Division announced the revised program plans for the Independence Day and Mar 25 National Genocide Day in a circular on Thursday on approval of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina.

It asked the deputy commissioners of all districts and the Upazila executive officers to limit presence of people while hoisting the national flag at government, semi-government, autonomous and non-government buildings.

President Md Abdul Hamid and Hasina will place wreaths at the National Memorial in Savar at sunrise to pay respects to the martyrs of the 1971 Liberation War, according to the circular. A limited number of people will be invited there.

The government also urged all political, social and cultural organizations to refrain from crowding the memorial while paying homage to the martyrs.

The circular did not say anything in particular about the parade and gathering of children at the Bangabandhu National Stadium in Dhaka, but an official at the Ministry of Liberation War Affairs said the program has been cancelled as well. No reception for the freedom fighters at district and Upazila levels will be organized, the circular said. The local administrations can send the war veterans flowers and gifts instead of organizing such gatherings, it added.

No new coronavirus case was reported until Thursday noon after the detection of the first three patients in Bangladesh on Mar 8. But the government had already restricted gatherings that were scheduled for Mar 17 in celebration of Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman’s birth centenary. The main event to kick off the yearlong celebrations in Dhaka had been postponed.

References:

  1. Bdnews24 (12 March 2020). Bangladesh cancels Independence Day parades, gatherings over coronavirus. Retrieved from: https://bdnews24.com/bangladesh/2020/03/12/bangladesh-cancels-independence-day-parades-gatherings-over-coronavirus
  2. Rafid, R.R. (21 March 2017). The 26th of March: the Emergence of Bangladesh. Retrieved from http://www.thedailystar.net/law-our-rights/the-emergence-bangladesh-1378975
  3. Wikipedia (2018). Independence Day (Bangladesh). Retrieved from https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Independence_Day_(Bangladesh)

Videos:

  1. Bangladesh Victory Day Military Parade 2017. মহান বিজয় দিবস কুচকাওয়াজ- ২০১৭ https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iVu5POj0klI
  2. Bangladesh Victory Day Parade-2017 | Bangladesh Armed Forces Military Equipment Show [Part 1] (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KtOXXUmBrP4)
  3. 26 March | Independence Day of Bangladesh | Independence Day Song 2018 | PK Production https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EEzdM_be_cU
  4. BBC Documentary of the Bangladesh Liberation War: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HQlpkB0jM5Q

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