World’s largest human flag

During the Victory Day celebrations at the National Parade Ground yesterday, 27,117 volunteers holding red and green cards over their heads form the national flag in just six minutes and 16 seconds, which could become a world record. The event was sponsored by carrier Robi. Photo: Focus Bangla

During the Victory Day celebrations at the National Parade Ground yesterday, 27,117 volunteers holding red and green cards over their heads form the national flag in just six minutes and 16 seconds, which could become a world record. The event was sponsored by carrier Robi. Photo: Focus Bangla

With high hopes for healing the wounds inflicted on the nation 42 years ago, people in their thousands flooded the city streets to celebrate the Victory Day yesterday, four days after convicted war criminal Abdul Quader Mollah walked the gallows.
Overcoming the fear of political violence, people from all walks of life carrying the national flag came out of their homes, calling for the execution of all verdicts against the 1971 war criminals.
The day came as a welcome relief from non-stop blockades and hartals that have caused immense sufferings to people over the last two months.
On this day in 1971, Bangladesh defeated the Pakistan occupation forces in a nine-month war and emerged as a free, independent and sovereign country.
Bangladesh yesterday made attempts to set two world records by forming the largest human national flag and organising the biggest gathering of people singing the national anthem in chorus.
In a magnificent display of unfaltering love for the country, a total of 27,117 participants raised red and green placards above their heads to form the world’s largest human flag at the National Parade Ground, said Sayed Talat Kamal, vice president (communications and media relations) of Robi.
The telecommunication company organised the event in partnership with the Bangladesh Army.
With placards of four square feet each, the human flag covered an area of about 108,468 square feet.
The current world record is held by Pakistan. The record was set in October last year with the participation of 24,200 people.
The Sector Commanders Forum, 2013 Bijoy Udjapon Committee and Gonojagoron Mancha attempted to set a world record by gathering an estimated three lakh people at Suhrawardy Udyan to sing the national anthem together.
They started singing the national anthem in chorus at 4:31pm, commemorating the exact time when Pakistani General Niazi surrendered to Lieutenant General Jagjit Singh Aurora 42 years ago.
“I came from outside Dhaka to celebrate,” said Rizvi, a kindergartener, who travelled to the parade ground from Narayanganj with her uncle.
Rukhsana, a third grader born of a British mother and a Bangalee father, came there all the way from England to take part in the celebration.
“I brought her to the country to celebrate, as justice has finally prevailed,” said her father.
Different political parties, socio-cultural organisations and educational institutions held various programmes to celebrate the day.
In the capital, the day was heralded with 31 gun salutes at dawn. However, no parade was held this year as law enforcers remain occupied with additional duties ahead of the national election, reports UNB.
President Abdul Hamid, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina and Leader of the Opposition Khaleda Zia placed wreaths at the national memorial at Savar early in the morning to pay homage to the martyred freedom fighters.
People from all walks of life thronged the memorial to pay respects to the fallen heroes of the nation.
Bangla Academy organised a discussion and cultural programme at the academy to mark the day.
Speaking at the discussion, eminent historian Prof Muntassir Mamoon said the mass killers of 1971 were now reengaged in a conspiracy to carry out mass killings.
He stressed the need for including the history of Liberation War in the curriculum at every level.
Professor emeritus Anisuzzaman said many attempts had been made to make the war crimes trial controversial. But those were not successful as the trial was being conducted maintaining all legal procedures.
Once the war crimes trial was completed, it would pave the way for running the country in the spirit of the Liberation War, he said.
Bangla Academy Director General Shamsuzzaman Khan made the welcome address.
The national flag was hoisted atop all government and private buildings. Roads and medians were decorated with flags and festoons all over the city.
Special diets were served in jails, hospitals, orphanages and vagrant homes across the country.
Awami League leaders and workers placed wreaths at the national memorial, and also brought out a procession from the Institution of Engineers, which ended at Dhanmondi.
The main opposition BNP also held various programmes to celebrate the day.
BNP Chairperson Khaleda Zia along with her party leaders and activists placed wreaths at the grave of party’s founder Ziaur Rahman at Sher-e-Bangla Nagar in the morning.