The fiery March, month of independence, began today giving a heartbreaking reminder to the genocide that the Pakistani occupation forces carried out in the country from March to mid-December in 1971.
The month of March is very significant in the country’s history as Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman declared the country’s independence in the early hours of March 26 in 1971.
The nation will observe the golden jubilee of independence this year by paying glowing tributes to the liberation war martyrs whose supreme
sacrifices made Bangladesh a sovereign state through the nine-month Liberation War that began on March 26, 1971.
The month also made the nation proud for the historic 7th March speech of Bangabandhu, which has been recognised by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) as part of the world’s documentary heritage.
Architect of independent Bangladesh Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman was born on March 17, 1920 at Tungipara in Gopalganj.
Earlier, the government has announced Mujib Barsho for yearlong celebration of the birth centenary of Bangabandhu from March 17, 2020 to March 26, 2021.
Later, the government decided to extend the Mujib Barsho till December 16, 2021 as outbreak of coronavirus pandemic forced to cancel many programmes during the previously announced timeframe.
This year the nation is going to celebrate the golden jubilee of independence when the country got the final recommendation for Bangladesh’s transition to a developing country — from least-developed country status on February 27 last.
Five decades ago, the nation engaged in the war of independence in this month of March under the leadership of Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman and earned a sovereign Bangladesh on December 16, 1971 after fighting against the Pakistani occupation forces for around nine months.
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.
A cricket match between BCCP (Board of Control for Cricket in Pakistan) and International XI, in progress at Dhaka stadium, drew to a premature close as spectators took to the streets to protest the postponement of the session of the National Assembly.
After hearing the news of the suspension of the session, Dhaka city erupted in anger and hundreds of people rushed from their shops and offices screaming and shouting in a spontaneous display of anger.
Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman termed this decision as ‘unfortunate’, and in protest he called hartal in Dhaka on 2 March and in the whole of East Pakistan on 3 March, according to Banglapedia.
Bangabandhu gave a clarion call for non-cooperation movement against the dilly-dally attitude of the military junta to transfer power on the basis of election. People at large started non-cooperation movement under the leadership of Awami League in order to establish their rights. This movement spread over the whole of East Pakistan.
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 by the Dhaka University Students’ Union (DUCSU).
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 Bangalee.
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.
“We had spilled bloods…we are ready to shed more bloods, the people of the country shall be freed, Insha Allah,” Bangabandhu in unequivocal term said in his 19-minute extempore speech before a million freedom-loving people.
He went on to add, “The struggle this time is for our emancipation, the struggle this time is for our independence.”
Bangabandhu also made a fervent call to the roaring people from all walks of life to take preparations for armed struggle against the tyranny, exploitation, subjugation and deprivation by Pakistani military junta with whatever they possessed and transforming every house into a fortress.
Bangabandhu’s tantalizing speech literally had a mesmerizing and sparkling effect on the entire population of this soil and they became united under his capable and farsighted leadership to bravely fight for liberating the motherland from the clutches of the Pakistani forces.
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 sleeping Bangalee 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.
At the instruction of Bangabandhu, the brave nation had fought successfully the nine-month war and liberated Bangladesh on December 16 in 1971.
Source: Bangladesh Sangbad Sangstha (BSS)