Ali Tauqeer Sheikh

Published : 29 Feb 2024 08:54 PM

The flaming March, the Month of Independence, begins today (Friday). When new leaves started to come out again and nature adorned the branches with new colorful flowers like Shimul, Polash and Krishnachura, the overall situation in the erstwhile East Pakistan became volatile amid the spontaneous protest of general masses since March 1 in 1971 as the then Pakistani rulers had postponed the scheduled March 3 session of National Assembly. 

The flaming March and the rise of Bangali people are closely related in hour history.  When March, the month of independence begins, it gives us a heart rending reminder to the genocide that the Pakistani occupation forces carried out in the country from March to mid-December in 1971. This month still touches the hearts and minds of all ages of people of the country.

The fierce and flaming March of 1971 was the month of non-cooperation revolution as well as the evolution of the Independent Bengali nation. The month of March in 1971 created the independent Bangladesh through the Great Liberation War.

The Liberation War ultimately achieved independence under the great leader and Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman through the movement, struggle and dream of the Bangalis. Suspension of the scheduled parliament session by the Pakistani junta, as part of a heinous conspiracy, instantly turned the country’s million freedom-loving people revolutionary since the beginning of March in 1971 with impulsive protest of the common people.

Sheikh Mujib rejected cancellation of the scheduled parliament session and called for strike on March 2 in Dhaka and on March 3 throughout the country. Lakhs of people thronged the capital city, divisional cities and towns spontaneously. 

People demonstrated their protest and demanded immediate handover of power to Awami League, the party which secured a great majority in the 1970 general election. It was part of a spontaneous protest that turned Dhaka and other cities into places of fierce movement and demonstrations. 

This month still touches the

 hearts and minds of all ages 

of people of the country

A total general strike was observed in the country paralysing the civic lives and business activities. The month of March is very significant in the country’s history as Bangabandhu declared the country’s independence in the small hours of 26 March in 1971.  

Fifty two years ago, the nation engaged in the war of independence in this month of March under the leadership of Sheikh Mujib and earned a sovereign Bangladesh on 16 December in 1971 after fighting for about nine months against the Pakistani occupation forces. 

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. Amid deteriorating political situation, 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 Central Students’ Union (DUCSU) leaders. 

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 Bangali. 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. Bangabandhu in his historic March 7 speech, said “We had spilled bloods...we are ready to shed more bloods, the people of the country shall be freed, Insha Allah”. 

Bangabandhu went on saying “The struggle this time is for our emancipation; the struggle this time is for our independence.” 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 the Bangalis on the night of March 25. 

As soon as the Pakistani occupation forces started genocide, Bangabandhu declared independence of the motherland instructing the people to put up strong resistance and fight against them till the liberation is achieved. Our country has gone ahead successfully overcoming all barriers over the years. On the eve of the Month of Independence, all must take a fresh oath to make the country a prosperous and developed one.