Victory Day todayMohiuddin Alamgir
The nation today celebrates the 43rd Victory Day recalling the triumph in the war of independence in 1971 against the Pakistani occupation forces .
Efforts are also being made to make two Guinness world records — by creating the world’s largest human flag with participants holding up green and red cards to represent the Bangladeshi standard and with more than 3 lakh people singing the national anthem, on the day.
On this day in 1971, the chief of the eastern command of the Pakistani forces, General Amir Abdullah Khan Niazi, along with 93,000 troops, surrendered to the allied forces in the Ramna Race Course, now Suhrawardy Udyan, in Dhaka after their defeat in the war.
People of all walks of life will pay homage today to the three million martyrs of 1971 who made their supreme sacrifice to free their motherland from Pakistani rule.
The national committee on the observance of the 43rd Victory Day and some other organisations including the Sector Commanders Forum, with Shahbagh protesters planned an event where more than three lakh people would be singing the national anthem in their efforts to make a Guinness world record.
The celebrations will take place at 4:31pm in Suhrawardy Udyan. India holds the current record.
Mobile operator Robi Axiata Ltd, in partnership with the army, announced that they would create the world’s largest human flag to represent the Bangladeshi standard in the National Parade Ground on Victory Day.
About 30,000 people will hold up a green and red cards to create the flag aimed at another Guinness world record. Pakistan holds the current record.
This year, the day has a special significance as Jamaat-e-Islami’s assistant general secretary Abdul Quader Molla was executed on Thursday night for crimes against humanity committed during the war of independence. This is the first execution of the death sentences against any of the war crimes convicts by the International Crimes Tribunal set up March 25, 2010.
The day, a public holiday, is heralded by a 31-gun salute at dawn in the National Parade Ground.
In one of the worst acts of genocide in human history, the Pakistan army and their local collaborators killed hundreds of innocent and unarmed Bengalis in the erstwhile East Pakistan in nine months from March 25, 1971 until Bangladesh was liberated on December 16, 1971.
The Jamaat-e-Islami and some Islamist political parties of the time collaborated with the Pakistani forces, raising paramilitary and auxiliary forces such as Razakar, Al-Badr and Al-Shams which took part in the genocide.
The president, Abdul Hamid, in his message on the occasion said, ‘On this great Victory Day, may it be our pledge to continue our combined efforts to build a prosperous Bangladesh.’
The prime minister, Sheikh Hasina, in her message said, ‘With the spirit of the struggle for freedom and the liberation war, we would have to work together to achieve our ultimate goal. This is our vow on Victory Day of 2013.’
The leader of the opposition in the parliament, Khaleda Zia, in her message urged the countrymen to build a national unity with the spirit of the independence war to protect democracy and safeguard sovereignty from the plots of the ‘evil power.’
The national flag will be hoisted atop all buildings across the country today. Buildings of the government, semi-government and autonomous agencies, the armed forces and other institutions will be illuminated in the evening.
All major political parties, socio-cultural and professional organisations and educational institutions will hold programme marking the occasion.
The government has tightened security across the country, especially in the capital and its suburbs, to head off probable subversive activities.
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