Sheikh Mujibur Rahman’s Birthday, observed on March 17 each year, is one of the most important holidays in Bangladesh. It celebrates Sheikh Mujibur Rahman who is regarded as the father of the nation of Bangladesh, also popularly known as “Bangabandhu” (Friend of Bengal). The Sheikh was born in the Tungipara village of Gopalganj as the third of six children. His father was Sheikh Lutfur Rahman and his mother was Sheikh Sayera Khatun. Despite controversy and debate among politicians, Sheikh Mujibur Rahman remains a popular figure in Bangladesh. He was voted the “Greatest Bengali of All Time” in a 2004 B.B.C. Bengali opinion poll. Rahman has been depicted on Taka (Bangladeshi currency), and many Bangladesh public institutions are named after him.
History of Sheikh Mujibur Rahman Birthday
From his early days as a student, Rahman acquired an interest in politics. He later became an influential figure in the Muslim League, which pushed for the creation of a separate Islamic state from India.
During the general elections in Pakistan in 1970, Sheikh Mujibur Rahman led the Awami League to victory. The party won by an overall majority, but the West Pakistani regime stubbornly held on to power.
This led to a power struggle where Rahman declared Bangladesh’s independence on March 26, 1971, marking the start of the War of Independence. However, he was soon arrested by the Pakistan Army and sent to solitary confinement at Miyanwala jail in Pakistan until January 8, 1972, when Zulfikar Ali Bhutto responded to international pressure and released him.
Rahman’s arrest triggered the Liberation War. In the end, the Pakistani occupational forces surrendered on December 16, 1971, and Bangladesh emerged as a sovereign state after the nine-month-long bloodbath.
Rahman would have turned 102 had he not been assassinated on August 15, 1975, together with most of his family. His daughters Sheikh Hasina and Sheikh Rehana escaped this massacre as they were abroad at the time.
Sheikh Mujibur Rahman Birthday timeline
Rahman is born.
Rahman is arrested by the Pakistani army.
Mujibur takes the role of Prime Minister.
Bangladesh celebrates the birth centenary of Rahman and the golden jubilee of independence at the National Parade Ground in Dhaka.
Sheikh Mujibur Rahman Birthday FAQs
Who is Bongomata?
She is a great woman in the history of Bangladesh and the wife of Sheikh Mujibur Rahman.
Is Bangladesh a country?
Yes. It is a country in South Asia.
What is the old name of Bangladesh?
Sheikh Mujibur Rahman Birthday Activities
There's much to see in the land of the Bengal tiger, the longest natural uninterrupted sea beach in Asia (Cox's Bazar beach), and many other amazing attractions. Take a vacation and see for yourself!
Try traditional cuisine
There's nothing better than digging into some authentic Bangladesh dishes. From Pitha (rice cakes), bortha (mashed vegetables and fish), and biryani, you'll be spoilt for choice.
Read about Rahman
Rahman led a rich and impactful life. We have much to learn from this fearless leader.
5 Interesting Facts About Rahman
Two in one
Bangladesh also celebrates this day as National Children's Day.
In her father's footsteps
Sheikh Hasina, one of Rahman's daughters, is the current Prime Minister of Bangladesh.
Twice a president
Rahman became Bangladesh's first President in 1971, and the fourth President in 1975.
Celebrated in death
The date of Bangabandhu's death is a public holiday marked as National Mourning Day.
A fixed marriage
Rahman's marriage had already been arranged when he was 13 years old.
Why We Love Sheikh Mujibur Rahman Birthday
It celebrates an icon
Sheikh Mujibur Rahman played an important role in the formation of the nation of Bangladesh. His political activism for the autonomy and rights of Bengalis in Pakistan is appreciated to this day.
We learn some history
The history of Bangladesh is incomplete without mentioning Sheikh Mujibur. On this holiday we learn more about the monumental events from the birth of Bangladesh until today and the Sheikh's role in them.
It’s a day of rest
Sheikh Mujibur Rahman's Birthday is a public holiday, so the citizens of Bangladesh get the day off. It's also a day of reflection on Rahman's impactful life.
Sheikh Mujibur Rahman Birthday dates