Dhaka – “Since we have given blood, we will give more of it. But, inshalalla (God willing), we will free the people of this land!” Bangladesh’s independence architect Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman uttered at a mass rally in Dhaka weeks ahead of the liberation war began in 1971.
The historic month of independence begins today with memories of turbulences that Bangladesh came across in the upshot of a general election as the then Pakistani rulers started dilly-dallying over the election result.
A war of liberation began in this month, and the brave hearts came victorious after nine months at the cost of lives of 3 million people.
The historical month begins giving a heartbreaking reminder to the genocide that the Pakistani occupation forces carried out in this country from March to mid-December in 1971.
The nation will observe the 49th anniversary of independence by paying homage to the heroes who laid their lives for the cause of liberation, the war for which began on March 26, 1971.
The month also made the nation proud for the historical 7th March speech of Father of the Nation – the speech recognised by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) as part of the world’s documentary heritage.
Forty-nine years ago, the nation engaged in the war of independence in this month under the leadership of Bangabandhu and earned a sovereign Bangladesh on December 16 in 1971 after fighting 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.
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 Bangalee.
Amid 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.
The agitation against the conspiracy of Pakistani rulers took a dramatic turn on March 7, which eventually became a red-letter day in the history of freedom struggle.
On March 7 in 1971, Bangabandhu – the architect of Bangladesh – delivered his epoch-making speech of independence at the Race Course Maidan, now Suhrawardy Udyan in Dhaka.
“The struggle this time is for our emancipation, the struggle this time is for our independence,” he told the gathering of millions.