Creating a new Guinness world record, over two-and-half lakh Bangladeshis on Wednesday performed a chorus of their national anthem at the national parade ground here to mark the country’s 43rd Independence Day.
The erstwhile East Pakistan witnessed a historic moment after 2,54,681 persons gathered at the venue to chant “Amar shonar Bongla, ami tume balobashi… (My golden Bengal, I love you)” — penned and tuned by poet Rabindranath Tagore — which inspired the nation during the liberation war against Pakistan in 1971. The venue bore a sea of humanity draped in national colours, red and green clothes and badges, during the much-publicised ceremony attended by Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, the Speaker of Parliament, Ministers, MPs, armed forces officials and foreign diplomats.
The previous record for largest chorus to sing a national anthem at a single venue was held by Sahara India Pariwar, which organised 1,21,653 people to sing the Indian anthem in unison.
Apart from the congregation at the parade ground, millions of Bangladeshi civilians across the country participated in the event, “Lakho Konthe Sonar Bangla (Sonar Bangla in a lakhs of voices).” All television channels aired the event.
Besides targeting the record books, the event, according to officials, aimed to arouse the patriotic spirit among the newer generation against the backdrop of the re-emergence of communalism and religious fanaticism in the nation.
The mass singing, overseen by Guinness officials, kicked off around 11.20 a.m., with students, day labourers, garment factory workers, government and non-government employees making up the chorus.