Socio-political stability and economic solvency along with favorable law and order situation across the country were the litmus indicating the comfort and enthusiasm under which the holy Eid -ul-Fitr was celebrated.
In view of religious fervor and solemnity, the holy month of Ramadan this year was a unique instance in many years to include five Fridays. The Ramadan started with a Friday when the devotees offered their first Juma prayer of the month while they finished the holy month on the Jamat-ul-wida, the last Friday of the Ramadan, ritually a sacred occasion of the holy month.
It was also a unique instance that there was no controversy over the date of celebration of the festival barring a handful of people in some scattered rural areas who celebrated the occasion as in the Saudi Arabia. Otherwise, people accepted the date announced by the national moon-sighting committee for the celebration of the holy occasion no matter whether the fasting limit was circumscribed to 29 days, one day lesser than a month.
The celebration of the holy occasion on Saturday fulfilled expectations of the people in accordance with their preparations.
Barring some stray incidents, home-bound journeys of the people were more or less smooth and satisfactory. Although the homeward journeys for people in the northern districts were prolonged on account of busy highway gridlocks, the busy "Dhaka-Chittagong" and "Dhaka Sylhet" highways were almost free from such traffic-jams. This time, the railways registered a record in maintaining time-table about their services in all routes under its system.
The holy Eid this year was celebrated in full monsoon season that was a matter of great concern to the home-bound people of Southern districts. However, luck smiled upon them that there was no big launch disasters like the ones occurring in the previous years causing huge tolls of life. Because of precautionary measures taken by the concerned authorities, no launch owners this year dared to run over-loaded vehicles. Passengers were also very cooperative with those of the authorities.
Most unprecedented was the strict surveillance put up by the members of law enforcing agencies to ensure peaceful situation both during the Eid-shopping and home-bound journeys of the people by road, waterways and by air. Eid shoppers could visit their choicest centers to purchase their items freely even during the late night outings -from posh shopping malls to commoners road-side impromptu installations. Eve-teasing and stalking of women were not reported.
According to market sources, a booming business to the tune of approximately Taka 50,000 crores was transacted during the 'Eid shopping spree. Side by side with foreign cloths, especially of Indian, Pakistani and Thai varieties, the indigenous and local apparels were also in the list of choice of the buyers. There was a unique combination of colour, style and design in various locally-made Eid outfits like Payjama, Punjabi, Three-pieces, Sarees, Selwar , Kamis etc. This time China also entered significantly in Bangladesh Eid markets with varieties of attractive and fashionable goods.
We are accustomed to suffer one illogical event that becomes perennial in our national life when such national occasions like the holy Eid appear before us. We have seen our RMG workers going in rampage during such occasion with the demands of getting salary and bonus from their employers, who were not so cooperative on this issue. Workers agitations that primarily ignite into their respective factory premises gradually spread over the whole area and finally take violent clashes with the police and other law enforcing agencies. At one stage, they take possession on the nearby highway creating miles of traffic jam at the displeasures of the home-bound people. Nonetheless, the unruly workers start vandalizing cars and other vehicles when their lawful demands are not properly redressed.
But this is for the first time all the 4,200 enlisted factories in the garments sector excepting two have paid salaries and bonus to their staff-members in due time. The two factories which have become defaulters in this regards were of genuine causes - one for the death of its owner and the other for some litigation before the court of laws. So, no such agitations were there in the garments sector.
However, some known faces belonging to left-front politics were seen demonstrating on the streets in front of the National Press Club with some faded-away placards and festoons and old miniature' red flags in hands demanded salary and bonus of the workers. But the show this time was very poor and even went beyond the notice of majority of the print and electronic media.
During the whole month of Ramadan, prices of daily essentials excepting brinjal and green chilies were normal and within the buying capability of the commoner. Even, the apprehension that beef would be costlier also proved false. But to the relief of the people, even after sighting of the Shawal moon and subsequent announcement of Eid day beef was sold at between Taka 370 and 400 per KG. Thanks to the posh shopping centers like Agora, Swapna, Saad- Musa, Mina Bazaar etc which announced special offer for price reduction on some essential items for preparation of delicious Eid foods and as such 'Chinigura rice' (rice for cooking pollow) and other scented variety of rice were sold at Tk 70 per kg that is usually sold at over Tk 100 per kg during normal time.