Today is Bangladesh's Independence Day.
In the wake of the deadly novel coronavirus, the government has suspended all programmes of the day.
Every year, President M Abdul Hamid and Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina gives separate messages extending heartfelt greetings and warm felicitations to the countrymen living both at home and abroad and paid tributes to the martyrs and veterans of the War of Liberation at the National Mausoleum at Savar. Usually on that day, President M Abdul Hamid and Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina placed wreaths early in the morning as a mark of profound respect to the memories of the martyrs.
But this year, all programmes commemorating national independence have been suspended.
Different political parties as well as socio-cultural and professional organisations have also suspended all programmes to avoid public gathering and maintain social distancing protocols following the directives of the government as well as the World Health Organization (WHO).
March 26 represents a new chapter in Bangladesh's history, one that would be followed by nine months of struggle before victory would be within grasp for the Bangladeshi people.
But the prologue of the blackest of nights on March 25, 1971 is a moment that can never be forgotten as the final catalyst of Bangladesh's push for independence. Amid the killing spree conducted under Operation Searchlight by the Pakistani army that targeted sleeping Bengali teachers, students, police, soldiers and common folk, the Bengali leadership took swift and decisive action to say, no more.
Over the wireless, Bangladesh's independence from the terrible grip of West Pakistan was announced.
Under the steady guidance of Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, the people of the nation built a strong resistance to Pakistan and their military junta, and through a bloody and taxing war, ultimately achieved liberation on December 16, 1971.