August 15, 1975 is a date that has cast a shadow so dark over our nation, that the tragedy of it shall forever haunt Bangladesh. Nothing can justify the atrocities unleashed upon the residence at House 677 of Road 32 in Dhanmondi.
Today, we observe National Mourning Day. We lost the very leader, Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, who not only taught us the meaning of independence, but also bestowed it upon us as a nation. Regarding the significance and solemnity of the day, the Bangladesh National Museum arranged a month long special exhibition at the Nalini Kanta Bhattashali Gallery which was inaugurated on August 1.
Alongside, the management also arranged for various seminars throughout the month. Today, there will also be a poetry recitation where renowned names are set to attend. However, prior to entering the museum building, it is a good idea to visit the small portable theatre that has been set up outside, where one can watch and listen to the historic speech delivered by Bangabandhu on March 7, 1971. Added to that is a splice of 3D visual technology along with seat movements.
The walls of the gallery are adorned with Sheikh Mujibur Rahman's photographs. Starting from the left corner, they spread far and wide across the room in a chronological order, summarising his life. From his college days, to his rise as a fighter; from his success as a politician, to his demise as a father of the nation -- the pictures speak for themselves. There are various other materials on display, including books, documents, paper-cuttings, the first constitution (hand written), and various memorabilia of Bangabandhu, which he donated to the museum himself.
Md Abdul Mannan Ilias, Additional Secretary (Admin), Ministry of Cultural Affairs who is also the Director General of Bangladesh National Museum has been playing a significant role since taking up responsibility, to make the museum a favoured destination for locals and tourists alike. “This is the first time in our history that we have arranged a month-long exhibit on Bangabandhu, because one day is just not enough,” he says.“I had written to 30 colleges in Dhaka, requesting them to send their students to the museum for free, so that they can experience the special exhibition and understand our history. If needed, I said I would also arrange for their transport!”
For those who have not yet visited the museum this month, they should consider making a rendezvous to perceive the essence of our nation's history.