Government Policy

Lberation war memorials in the major cities of Bangladesh

Retired U.S. Air Force Colonel Walter Hitchcock once said, “freedom is not free.” Indeed, it is not free, and freedom is the best achievement for Bangladesh. After a nine months long great liberation war, we achieved our independence. During those nine months, the Pakistani aggressors killed three million innocent people in Bangladesh.

Memorials and sculptures have been erected in different parts of the country to keep alive the memory of those martyrs who gave their lives in the liberation war. Here we will discuss the liberation war memorials in the major cities of Bangladesh.

Dhaka

Dhaka has many liberation war memorials; however, the National Martyr’s Memorial is the most significant one. It is located in Savar, which is 25 kilometers away from Dhaka. The monument was designed by Syed Mainul Hossain, and it was dedicated to all three million martyrs. National Martyr’s Memorial’s unique design consists of seven triangular-shaped structures; each signifies the seven historical moments that formed independent Bangladesh. The moments are 1952’s Language Movement, 1954’s legislative election victory United Front, the Constitution Movement in 1956, 1962’s Education Movement, 1966’s 6-point movement, 1969’s Mass Uprising, and finally 1971’s Liberation war. This iconic design has 150 feet spanning height, and it is our national symbol.

Chattogram

Chattogram is said to be the birthplace of the independence movement. But even in the five decades of independence, the memorial of the liberation war was not built in Chattogram metropolis. However, a Shaheed Minar named ‘Sobedhon Nilmini’ was built in 1969 in front of the Nandan Kanan Muslim Institute Hall in Chittagong to tribute the language martyrs. But this Shaheed Minar has been used to pay homage to all national days. Apart from this, there are two monuments in Patiya and Raozan Upazilas of Chittagong. Although the Bangladesh government has made the announcement to build a liberation war memorial in Chattogram, it has not seen any ray of hope yet.

Liberation war memorials in the major cities of Bangladesh

Sylhet

Banshtala Memorial in Sylhet is not just a memorial; it contains the graves of 14 freedom fighters who were martyred in the liberation war. It is surrounded by the Meghalaya mountains, which are located in Banshtala village of Doarabazar Upazila of Sunamganj district. Those who were martyred in the liberation war in and around the Banshtala are buried here. Banshtala Memorial was built to keep the liberation war memory alive of those. The memorial was built by Captain Helal Uddin at the cost of around Tk. 10 lakh.

Khulna

Khulna has Shiromani memorial, which is a significant part of Bangladesh’s liberation war. Although Bangladesh got its victory in 1971, Khulna earned its victory on 16 December. The final battle that took place in this place is called the Shiromani Tank War. As a result, the memorial witnessed a glorious history of the Liberation War of Bangladesh. The Shiromani Tank war was so momentous that the tactics of this war were taught in the Defense Colleges of the armies of 35 countries, including India and Poland. Later, A memorial has been erected here.

Barishal

Barishal has got its new liberation war memorial named ‘Smriti 71,” which was inaugurated on 8 December 2020. Designed by the University of Asia Pacific’s architecture department, ‘Smrity 71’ has been constructed to sanctuary the Pakistan Army’s torture camps, bunkers, killing-fields, and surrounding areas in Barisal city. However, there are many small memorials in different parts of the Barishal; from now on but the newest one will get all the attention.

Liberation war memorials in the major cities of Bangladesh

Rajshahi

The Bangladesh government has recently constructed a Memorial plaque on Bablabon’s mass grave site in Rajshahi. However, this is not the only memorial Rajshahi got. There is another famous memorial located in central Rajshahi called ‘Smriti Amlan,’ which was inaugurated in 1991.

Smriti Amlan has three pillars in total, and each pillar has 24 steps which signify the evolution of the independence movement from 1947 to 1971. The pillars have 30 holes which resemble the 3 million martyrs of Bangladesh’s liberation war. Besides, the base is covered with blue and white stone, which indicates the painful longing of two lakh tortured women. The red sphere at the top of the monument symbolizes the rising red sun of our liberation war.

Rangpur

The Rangpur city’s townhall is known as the torture camp of the Pakistani military. However, there is no significant liberation war monument in rangpur. A memorial will be built in the Town Hall massacre site. Townhall was the prime place for the Pakistani military to torture innocent Bangladeshis during the 1971 liberation war. That is why this place has been chosen to build the liberation war memorial. But the construction work will take a few more years to finish.

Liberation war memorials in the major cities of Bangladesh

Mymensingh

Martyr’s Memorial Pillar was erected near the Bangladesh-China Friendship Bridge at Shambhuganj to remember the martyrs of the war of liberation in Mymensingh, which was built by the Mymensingh district administration. A rifle is visible at the center of this monument, which contains a blooming Shapla on top of the bayonet. It has one central pillar, which is 50 feet long and resembles the shape of a torch. There are four walls around the monument, which portray abstract images of the language movement in 1952, the education movement in 1966, the mass uprising of 1969, and the liberation war in 1971.

Apart from this, Mymensingh also has another memorial, ‘Bijoy 71’, at the Mymensingh Agricultural University.

Conclusion

Bangladesh’s government has recently taken an initiative to build liberation war memorials in the important parts of the country. The construction work has already started in many places, and very few of them are done already. The newly constructed memorials will definitely signify our value as a nation. But we should not forget the old monuments too.

Source: United News of Bangladesh