Today is the 36th homecoming day of Awami League President and now Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina.
On May 17, 1981, she returned to Dhaka after a long exile.
“I have come to stay beside the people of Bangladesh and taken part in the struggle for freedom. I have not come to be the leader of Awami League. 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,” she told a huge mass at Manik M ia avenue on the day.
These were the first public remarks of Sheikh Hasina on her return home.
A nor’wester had hit the city and there was incessant rainfall on the day, yet over a million people had gathered outside the Kurmitola Airport in Dhaka to receive her. They had come from every corner of the country and the whole thoroughfare from the Farm Gate point to Kurmitola in the city was full of jubilant crowd.
Earlier on February 14, 15 and 16 in 1981, Awami League in its council meeting had elected Sheikh Hasina as the president of the party. After a long hovering over the airport, an aircraft of Indian Airline carrying Sheikh Hasina from New Delhi via Kolkata, touched the runway at 4:30 pm. Soon after alighting from the aircraft, she was overwhelmed by emotion and kissed the soil of the motherland.
Father of the Nation, Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, along with his family members was brutally killed on August 15, 1975. Luckily his daughters, Sheikh Hasina and Sheikh Rehana, were in Germany then, and thus became the survivors.
AL has chalked out a seven-day programme marking the homecoming of its president.
The programmes include hoisting of national and party flags atop party offices across the country at sunrise tomorrow and placing wreaths at the portrait of Bangabandhu at Dhanmondi.
Awami Juba League, Chhatra League and other associate bodies of Bangladesh Awami League have chalked out elaborate programme marking the day.