A number of polls in recent years have reflected that the people value democracy and a sense of ownership over their own affairs. Shaheed Noor Hossain Day is being observed today, commemorating the martyrdom of a young pro-democracy activist during the anti-Ershad movement in the late 80s.
On November 10, 1987, Noor Hossain, a leader of Awami Jubo League, was killed in police firing while protesting against the then autocratic rule of Gen HM Ershad at the capital’s zero point near Gulistan.
The 26-year-old took to the streets with the slogan ‘Swairachar Nipat Jak, Gonotantra Mukti Pak’ (down with autocracy, let democracy be freed) inscribed in white on his chest and back. His death sparked a mass uprising that finally overthrew the Ershad regime.
‘Zero Point’ in the capital’s Gulistan area was renamed as ‘Noor Hossain Chattar’ (square) after the young man was gunned down in the area.
Different socio-political, cultural and professional organisations have chalked out elaborate programmes to observe the day with due reverence.
Leaders and activists of different political parties, including Awami League and BNP, and their associate bodies paid tributes to the martyr by placing wreaths at Noor Hossain Square in the city’s Gulistan area in the morning.
On the eve of the day, President Abdul Hamid and Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina issued separate messages.
President Hamid, in his message, said November 10 is an important day in the history of the movement for the restoration of democracy in Bangladesh.
He recalled with respect all the martyrs, including Noor Hossain, who sacrificed their lives for democracy.
In her message, PM Hasina said the country’s democracy was restored through the sacrifice of the lives of many for the ouster of the dictator.
She prayed for eternal peace for the departed souls of all martyrs, including Noor Hossain, and conveyed deep sympathy to the bereaved members of his family.
BNP Acting Chairman Tarique Rahman and Secretary General Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir also issued separate messages on the occasion recalling the supreme sacrifice of Noor Hossain for the restoration of democracy.
In a statement, Awami League general secretary Obaidul Quader urged all and the leaders and activists of Awami League and its associate bodies to mark the day with due respect.