Pahela Baishakh fully a Bangalee culture, reiterates PM
Dhaka: Terming Pahela Baishakh celebration completely a Bangalee culture, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina reiterated that it has no link with religion and no body should try to create any conflict between the two.
"Pahela Baishakh celebration is fully a Bangalee culture. The people of all faiths across Bangladesh celebrate this first day of Bangla Nababarsha altogether. It has no conflict with religion. Nobody should try to create any conflict," she said.
The prime minister made the remarks while inaugurating the 'grand musical dancing fountain' and amphitheater at Hatirjheel on the eve of Bangla Nababarsha 1424.
Sheikh Hasina opened the largest grand musical dancing fountain in South Asia and amphitheater through videoconferencing from her official Ganabhaban residence in the morning.
Sheikh Hasina said everybody should stay alert so that Pahela Baishakh is celebrated in a peaceful and festive manner. "Pahela Baishakh is the only festival which the people of all religions celebrate together."
She said Emperor Akbar had started celebrating Pahela Baishakh during the Mughal rule. "Since then, people have been celebrating Bangla Nababarsha and now it has become a universal festival of all faiths."
The prime minister said Bangla Nababarsha has a connection with the economic activities of Bangalees. "On this day, they start their business afresh by opening halkhata (new ledger book) and making the day," she said.
Sheikh Hasina said Mangal Shobhajatra (procession welcoming the New Year) has been recognised as a world heritage by UNESCO. "Mangal Shobhajatra is not a matter of religion," she said.
She said making earthen elephant, horse, pots and pans and preparing flowers with papers are part of Bangalee culture and tradition, and it has been continuing over the ages.
Like that, Sheikh Hasina said, people have been arranging Baishakhi Fair at different parts of the capital, including Azimpur, New Market and Plassey areas and elsewhere in the country providing entertainment to people. "This is how the tradition of Bangla Nababarsha has been built," she said.
At the beginning of her speech, the premier extended her heartiest greetings to the people of the country on the occasion of Pahela Baishakh and said, "The grand musical dancing fountain and amphitheater at Hatirjheel are her Nababarsha gifts to the city dwellers and the country's people."
The amphitheater and the largest musical dancing fountain in South Asia, with capacity of 2000 audience, have been constructed on the water of Hatirjheel Lake giving a facelift to it.
Bangladesh Army's Special Works Organization (SWO-West) implemented the project in collaboration with the Housing and Public Works Ministry, Rajdhani Unnayan Katripakhya (Rajuk) and Dhaka WASA.
Chief of Army Staff General Abu Belal Muhammad Shafiul Haque also spoke at the function.
Project Director Major General Abu Sayeed Mohammad Masud highlighted various key features of the fountain and amphitheater through a power-point presentation.
Housing and Public Works Engineer Mosharraf Hossain, Agriculture Minister Begum Matia Chowdhury and LGRD Minister Engineer Khandakar Mosharraf Hossain were present on the dais, while Principal Secretary Dr Kamal Abdul Naser Chowdhury moderated the function.