March 26 is a red letter day for the nation as the Father of the nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman officially and formally declared the independence of Bangladesh on this day in 1971 as the Pakistan occupation army cracked down on the unarmed and sleeping people of the then East Pakistan on March 25 midnight with fighter jet, cannon, tanks and other war machines. Actually the Pakistan Army started war against its own people and it was a war against the whole nation.
The Pakistani junta unleashed wanton killing which ultimately took the shape of genocide in the then East Pakistan, instead of inviting Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujib to take oath as the Prime Minister of Pakistan. The Bangabandhu was supposed to be invited by the president to take oath as the Prime Minister of Pakistan as the head of the Awami League which won landslide victory in the 1970 general election. The people’s verdict was turned down by the Pakistani Military junta. They did not allow parliament to sit the same way they had snatched people’s verdict in 1954. The dictatorship was established in Pakistan by its father of the nation Mohammad Ali Jinnah, who made himself the governor general of Pakistan instead of establishing democratic culture.
The nation celebrates the Independence and National Day today in a befitting manner. Every year march 26 brings the most tragic reminiscence of the history’s blackest episode of genocide and heralded the bloody ordeal from the night of March 25, 1971, achieving the independence on December 16 at the cost of a sea of blood.
It should be noted that freedom and equal rights, the real essence of independence, were not established in Pakistan as Jinnah became the Governor General of Pakistan following in the footsteps of the dictatorial British rule in India.
Moreover, he put the final nail in the coffin of Pakistan, when he announced that Urdu and Urdu alone shall be the only state language of Pakistan by ignoring Bengali language, the mother tongue of the majority of people of then Pakistan.
After that audacious announcement, the people of the then East Pakistan could understand that there had been no option left for them but to go ahead with the movement for their self-determination. After a long struggle, they were fortunate enough to get Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman as the uncompromising leader. The march for the cause of independent Bangladesh was getting momentum and at one stage military dictator Ayub Khan was ousted from power in the face of mass movement.
With the declaration of independence in the first hour of the 26th March by Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujib, who was mandated by the people in the election held on December 7 in 1970, the Liberation War started. With his clarion call to liberate the country, the whole nation, the young people in particular, joined the War of Liberation. India came forward for the salvation of Bangladesh. It provided Bangladesh with arms and ammunition, food and shelter. Moreover, they fought a battle under India-Bangladesh joint command. After a nine- month war, Pakistani occupation army suffered a humiliating defeat and was compelled to make an ignoble surrender which led to the independence of Bangladesh.
Bangladesh has celebrated the golden jubilee of independence in 2021 under the leadership of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, the capable daughter of the father of the nation. The celebration and the diplomatic engagement will help Bangladesh achieve more benefit and create greater cooperation with the international community.
The enemies of Bangladesh who had been engaged in helping the Pakistani army to commit genocide here during the war of liberation in 1971 were defeated in the war of liberation in 1971 but still they are active in anti-liberation activities from day one of its victory. Bangladesh was facing a tremendous obstacles created by the defeated forces. They killed Father of the Nation Bangabandhu, who had been the main source of inspiration for the nation. And a black chapter for the country began. Repeated military governments have pushed the nation on the verge of ruin.
After a long struggle, Sheikh Hasina, the daughter of Bangabandhu, came to power and started the nation building work initiated by the Father of the Nation. The country after 50 years, under Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, is on a development highway. During the last decade Bangladesh has made a tremendous economic progress and the people have started believing that Sheikh Hasina, the daughter of the Bangabandhu, can do something and she will for the greater good of the country and its people as well.