April 12, 2017 - 6:30pm
Describing Pahela Baishakh celebrations as part of the country's tradition, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on Wednesday called upon people to stay alert about misinformation regarding the festival.
"There's no connection between the celebrations of Bangla New Year and the religion ... the festival is part of (our) cultural tradition," she told the oath-taking ceremony of newly elected Narsingdi Zila Parishad chairman Abdul Matin Bhuiyan at her office.
After the event, PM's Press Secretary Ihsanul Karim briefed reporters.
The Prime Minister said Bangla New Year has been being celebrated since the Mughal Empire and Mangal Shobhajatra was also introduced at the same time. "The word, Mangal, doesn't evolve from the Hindu religion and the practice of Halkhata began during the Mughal rule. There's no scope of spreading confusion about it," she said.
She said Pahela Baishakh is a universal festival which is celebrated by the people of all faiths. "It's the only festival which the people of all religions celebrate together," she said.
Hasina said the New Year is celebrated even in China and Iran, and there is no justification to mingle it with religion.
She also reiterated her call to the country's people not to eat hilsa on Pahela Bashakh to help boost the production of the delicious fish. "I would like to call upon all not to catch and eat hilsa on Pahela Baishakh ... instead you can take 'khichuri' (hotchpotch), 'panta bhat' (soaked rice), vegetables, fried egg and burnt dry chili," she said.
Earlier, the Prime Minister administered the oath to the newly elected Zila Parishad chairman.
LGRD Division Secretary Abdul Malek conducted the function while LGRD Minister Engineer Khandakar Mosharraf Hossain, PM's Principal Secretary Dr Kamal Abdul Naser Chowdhury and Senior PMO Secretary Suraiya Begum were present.
Matin was elected chairman of Narsingdi Zila Parishad unopposed in the by-polls. The post fell vacant after Advocate Asaduzzaman died on February 1.