National, Front Page

Liberty achieved thru bloody ordeal

Published : 25 Mar 2024 10:13 PM

The War of Independence in 1971, the most glorious and precious as well as the most tragic happening to the people of Bangladesh, started in the wee hours of March 26 when the Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman declared the independence of Bangladesh through the then EPR (East Pakistan Rifles) wireless at 00-30 hours from his historic Road-32 residence at Dhanmondi in Dhaka. 

The Pakistani military occupation forces all of a sudden started diabolical killing, arson and atrocities on the sleeping and innocent Bangalees on the black night of 25th March, 1971. Although in the face of the Pakistani forces’ brutality they were stunned but started resisting the invading forces almost empty handed with whatever they had after the declaration of the independence of Bangladesh by Bangabandhu at the wee hours of March 26.      

Today is the 54th Independence as well as the National Day of Bangladesh. The nation is set to celebrate the great Independence Day in a befitting manner.

Bangladesh emerged as an independent and sovereign country on December 16 in 1971 with the surrender of the Pakistani occupation forces, who killed three million innocent civilians, perpetrated atrocities on two lakh Bangalee women and burnt down lakhs of houses across the country during the nine-month bloody war.

Every year, the March 26 brings the most tragic reminiscence of the history's blackest episode that heralded a nine-month bloody ordeal from the night of March 25, 1971, achieving the long-cherished independence on December 16 the same year at the cost of a sea of blood.

In the wake of the military crackdown, Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, who became the undisputed leader of the then Pakistan following the massive victory of his party, Awami League, in the 1970 general elections, declared the independence of Bangladesh in the wee hours on March 26.

The great leader also called upon the people to build up strong resistance against the Pakistani barbaric occupation forces.

The Pakistani military junta, in a bid to stop the legitimate movement of the Bangalees, arrested Bangabandhu on that night following his declaration of independence. 

Later, Bangabandhu was taken to the then West Pakistan where he had to spend nine months in a dark condemned cell.  

Bangabandhu wrote down the declaration of independence soon after the Pakistani army cracked down on the fateful night of March 25, 1971. 

The declaration of independence was soon put on air by wireless. The declaration was first broadcast by Awami League leader MA Hannan from Kalurghat Radio Station in the port city of Chittagong on March 26, 1971. 

The Pakistani military junta in their monstrous outburst unleashed a bloody holocaust breaking the silence of the night following March 25 in 1971 when they mercilessly killed hundreds of innocent sleeping Bangalees, including teachers, students, police, soldiers, pedestrians and rickshaw-pullers, in Dhaka.

The nation soon launched the War of Liberation at the call of Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman in the early hours of March 26. 

President Mohammed Shahabuddin and Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on the eve of the Independence Day conveyed their separate messages on Monday.

The day's programmes will begin by heralding gun salutes early in the morning as a mark of profound respect to the heroic struggle of this nation, which suffered a protracted subjugation under foreign rules from time to time till achieving their coveted Independence in 1971.

The national flag will be hoisted atop all government, semi-government, autonomous and private buildings with the rises of sun while all streets and important city intersections will be decorated with national and multi-coloured miniature flags and festoons. 

Important buildings and establishments as well as city streets and 

islands will be illuminated with colourful lights.  

The National Martyrs' Memorial at Savar will be the main venue of the day's celebration.  

President Mohammed Shahabuddin and Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina will place wreaths early in the morning as a mark of profound respect to the memories of the martyrs. 

People from all walks of life, including families of Bir Shreshthas, war wounded freedom fighters, members of the diplomatic corps, leaders of different political parties, social, cultural and professional bodies, will also lay wreaths at the national memorial in the morning of the day.

The day is public holiday in Bangladesh.

National dailies brought out special supplements while Bangladesh Betar, Bangladesh Television, private radio stations and television channels have been airing month-long special programmes on the Liberation War and highlighting the significance of the day.

Bangladesh Shilpakala Academy, Bangla Academy, National Museum, Liberation War Museum, Bangladesh Shishu Academy and other social and cultural organisations will arrange discussions, cultural programmes and sports competition while painting competition for children, essay and debate competitions will be organised.

Liberation War based documentaries and movies will be screened at cinema halls across the country.

Reception will be accorded to the freedom fighters and the members of martyred freedom fighters at city, zilla and upazila levels while Bangladesh Postal Office will publish commemorative postage stamps.

Special prayers will be offered at all mosques, temples, churches and other places of worship across the country seeking divine blessings for the eternal peace of the departed souls of Father of the Nation, four national leaders, martyrs of the War of Liberation and all other patriotic sons of the soil.

Improved meals will be served to the inmates of hospitals, jails, old homes and orphanage centres to mark the day. The country's all children's parks and museums will remain open for all.

The missions abroad will also celebrate the day through similar programmes.