Today is the 40th homecoming day of Awami League President and Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina.
On May 17 in 1981, she returned to the country after a long exile.
Boarding on an aircraft of the Indian Airlines, Awami League President Sheikh Hasina reached the then Kurmitola Airport in Dhaka from the Indian capital of New Delhi via Kolkata at 4.30pm on that day.
Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman was brutally killed along with most of his family members on August 15 in 1975 and his two daughters– Sheikh Hasina and Sheikh Rehana –– luckily escaped the brutal assassination as they stayed abroad.
In a national council session of the Awami League on February 14, 15 and 16 in 1981, Sheikh Hasina was elected as party president in her absence and then she returned to the country on May 17.
“I have returned to the country not to become a leader of the Awami League, rather to participate in the struggle for freedom by staying beside the people,” said the AL president in a heart touching reception awarded by nearly 1.5 million people at the airport at that time.
She added: “I want to stay beside you as your sister, as your daughter, and as a worker of Awami League, who believes in the ideals of Bangabandhu.”
On the occasion of Sheikh Hasina’s homecoming day, various organisations, including the Awami League, observe detailed programmes every year throughout the country, but this year, no formal programme will be observed due to the novel coronavirus situation.
As part of the programme, AL’s information and research affairs sub-committee has arranged an exhibition on information and news clipping on May 16 and 17which will be held on the premises of Bangabandhu Memorial Museum at Dhanmondi road number 32.
To mark the day, Dhaka City North unit of AL has arranged a discussion at 23 Bangabandhu Avenue at 11am on May 17 while AL’s Dhaka City South unit has arranged a doa mahfil and discussion at Mahanagar Natyamancha in the capital at 3pm on that day.
Special doa and prayers will also be offered at mosques, temples, churches and pagodas to mark the day.