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Bangladesh: Nation commemorates founding father

Nation observes March 7 declaration of independence speech of founding father Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman

SM Najmus Sakib   | 07.03.2020
Bangladesh: Nation commemorates founding father

DHAKA, Bangladesh

Bangladesh on Saturday commemorated its founding president on the day in 1971 he delivered an informal declaration of the country’s independence.

A host of social, cultural and political events, including laying wreaths at portraits of Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, were held to mark the day in a fitting manner.

On March 7, 1971, Mujib delivered his historic 19-minute speech propelling the nation towards independence in a huge rally at the historic Racecourse Square, now Suhrawardy Udyan, in the capital Dhaka.

President Abdul Hamid and Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina both issued messages marking the historic day.

The events come in the run-up to Mujib's 100th birthday on March 17, set to include huge events and many international guests to mark the occasion.

'Friend of Bengal'

The Bangladeshi politician and statesman, also known as "Sheikh Mujib," served as the country’s first president and later as its prime minister.

His eldest daughter, Sheikh Hasina, is now also the current prime minister.

Mujib is popularly known as "Bangabandhu,” or “Friend of Bengal.” He struggled to gain political autonomy for then-East Pakistan (now Bangladesh) and eventually became the central figure behind the 1971 War of Liberation.

Under his leadership, the Awami League secured a landslide victory in the 1970 general elections across Pakistan to form a one-party government.

But the central government refused to allow him to form the government and in March 1971, President Yahya Khan postponed a National Assembly session amid huge demonstrations.

His contribution earned him the title Father of the Nation. In 2004, BBC announced him as the Greatest Bengali of all time follow an opinion poll among Bengalis worldwide.

The founding father of nation of Bangladesh was murdered along with most of his family in a 1975 military coup.

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