To us, Pahela Baishakh has come to mean more than just the beginning of another new year. Over the last several decades it has become a day when we reaffirm the unity of a nation whose social, cultural and religious tapestry is woven by diverse threads blending in perfect harmony, reflecting the collective psyche and ethos of the eclectic society that we are. And that is reflected in the different activities and merrymaking that people of all walks of life indulge in to welcome the new year. This is the demonstration of the cultural unity in the diverse and multi-cultural-ethnic-religious society that we live in.
It may be mentioned that Iran celebrates the first day of the Iranian calendar Naurauz with similar gaiety and festivity, a celebration that has been praised by the UN for promoting peace and solidarity. Naurauz is also celebrated in countries like Afghanistan, Tajikistan, Russia, Turkey and Iraq, who have population of Iranian descent. The Vaisakhi, a celebration of the New Year in the Nanakshahi calendar of the Sikhs, coinciding with the first day of the first month of the Bangla calendar, welcoming the first day of spring, is celebrated with such festivity in Pakistan also. About the same time, spring is welcomed in Thailand, that being the first day in the Thai calendar called Songkran. And all these celebrations are related to agriculture and harvesting. We would thus hope that our celebrations on Pahela Baishakh, will assume more inclusivity in future and that it will be seen for what it is without ascribing any other extraneous connotations to it.
1425 has been eventful in many ways; the national election, students' demand for making roads safer, several fire disasters, to recall a few. We also recall painfully the people who left us in the course of the last 12 months. As we say goodbye to 1425 we need to also take an objective look at things that we achieved and those that we did not, hoping that a critical examination would equip us better prevent repetition of the errors.
On this happy day, we wish our readers, patrons and well-wishers SHUBHO NABABARSHO and a peaceful and prosperous year.