Month of independence begins
Five decades ago, the nation engaged in the Liberation War in this month under the leadership of Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman
The month of independence began Monday giving a heartbreaking reminder of the genocide that the Pakistani occupation forces carried out in the country from March to mid-December in 1971.
The month of March is very significant in the country’s history as Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman declared the country’s independence in the early hours of March 26 in 1971.
The nation will observe the golden jubilee of independence this year by paying glowing tributes to the Liberation War martyrs whose supreme sacrifices made Bangladesh a sovereign state through the nine-month Liberation War that began on March 26, 1971.
The month also made the nation proud for the historic 7th March speech of Bangabandhu, which has been recognised by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) as part of the world’s documentary heritage.
Architect of independent Bangladesh Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman was born on March 17, 1920, at Tungipara in Gopalganj.
Earlier, the government has announced Mujib Borsho for a yearlong celebration of the birth centenary of Bangabandhu from March 17, 2020, to March 26, 2021.
Later, the government decided to extend the Mujib Borsho till December 16, 2021, as the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic forced the cancellation of many programs during the previously announced timeframe. This year the nation is going to celebrate the golden jubilee of independence when the country has got the final recommendation for Bangladesh’s transition to a developing country — from the least-developed country status on February 27 last.
Five decades ago, the nation engaged in the War of Liberation in this month of March under the leadership of Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman and earned a sovereign Bangladesh on December 16, 1971, after fighting against the Pakistani occupation forces for around nine months.
March is depicted in the country’s history as a month of grief as well as inspiration and dedication for the freedom of the country and the people.
The struggle for independence started escalating from the beginning of March in 1971 when the then Pakistani dictator postponed the scheduled March 3 session of the National Assembly as part of their conspiracy against the peaceful and legitimate movement of the Bangali people.
Amid the deteriorating political situation and increasing demand for freedom of the country from Pakistan’s misrule, the first version of Bangladesh’s national flag was hoisted on Dhaka University campus premises for the first time on March 2 by the Dhaka University Students’ Union (DUCSU).
The movement against the conspiracy of Pakistani rulers took a dramatic turn on March 7, which eventually became a red-letter day in the history of the long arduous freedom struggle of the Bangali population.
On March 7 in 1971, Bangabandhu – the architect of independent Bangladesh – delivered his epoch-making speech of independence at the Race Course Maidan, now Suhrawardy Udyan in Dhaka.
“We have spilled blood…we are ready to shed more blood, the people of the country shall be freed, Insha Allah,” Bangabandhu in unequivocal terms said in his 19-minute extempore speech before a million freedom-loving people.
He went on to add: “The struggle this time is for our emancipation, the struggle this time is for our independence.”
Bangabandhu also made a fervent call to the roaring people from all walks of life to make preparations for armed struggle against the tyranny, exploitation, and deprivation by the Pakistani military junta with whatever they possessed and transforming every house into a fortress.
Bangabandhu’s tantalizing speech literally had a mesmerizing and sparkling effect on the entire population of this soil and they became united under his capable and farsighted leadership to bravely fight for liberating the motherland from the clutches of the Pakistani forces.
When the people from all walks of life became united for establishing their democratic rights, Pakistani occupation forces carried out the defamed “Operation Searchlight’” on sleeping Bangali masses on the night of March 25.
As soon as the Pakistani occupation forces started genocide, Bangabandhu declared the independence of the motherland, instructing the people to put up strong resistance and fight against them till liberation is achieved.
At the instruction of Bangabandhu, the brave nation had fought successfully the nine-month war and liberated Bangladesh on December 16 in 1971.