Hundreds of thousands of Bangladeshis along with the country’s head of the government sang the national anthem in the capital city of Dhaka on the country’s Independence Day, breaking the Guinness World Record.
Pro-government media outlets have reported that 254,681 volunteers from the Bangladesh Army, educational institutions and the general public sang the national anthem in chorus around 11 am yesterday morning..
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, accompanied by a large number of her cabinet members, also sang in unison the national anthem, “Amar Sonar Bangla Ami Tomai Bhalobash” (My Golden Bengal, I Love You).
Organisers said the main objective of this event was not only to celebrate Bangladesh’s Independence Day but also to show the world the “inner strength and unity of the people of the nation”.
According to the organisers, in May 2013, an Indian organisation had set a Guinness World record by arranging the singing of the Indian national anthem by 121,653 people.
Bangladesh’s ministry of cultural affairs, in collaboration with the Bangladesh Army and other government and non-government organisations arranged the event titled “Lakho Konthe Sonar Bangla (Sonar Bangla in tens of thousands of voices)”.
After successful completion of the incredible event, the organisers said all the relevant documents and images will be sent to the Guinness World Record committee for validation.
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Guinness accredited representatives were present to oversee the event.
Tens of thousands of Bangladeshi volunteers in December last year formed the world’s biggest national flag in a bid to breach the Guinness World Record.
Critics have said this initiative was a direct way of Sheikh Hasina reasserting her authority over the country after an illegal electoral victory in January, the massacre of thousands of Hefazat-e-Islam protestors in May 2013 and the execution of Jammat-e-Islami leader Abdul Quader Molla last December.
The mass gathering to sing the national anthem has been perceived by Bangladesh’s numerous Islamic parties and organisations as an exercise of reigniting patriotism and nationalism to counter the likelihood of an Islamic revolution.