Monday, September 21, 2020 | ePaper

Victory How It Was Achieved

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Dr. Forqan Uddin Ahmed :
For centuries, this land of Bengal has been ruled and exploited by many kings and emperors. After the death of Nawab Alivardi Khan, his grandson Siraj-ud-Daula became Nawab. But the greed for gold and wealth caused the British to launch an all-out conspiracy to occupy the territory. They secretly bought Mir Jafar, the commander of Siraj-ud-daulah. The British conquered the battle of Palashi with the assistance of Mir Jafar. On July 3, 1757, Nawab Siraj-ud-Daula was assassinated and the sun of independence set for 200 years. The British continued their rule and exploitation. Later, the masses of India stood against the exploitation of English rule. In view of this, the British divided India based on two nation's theory on 14 and 15 August. The independence from the British did not bring happiness and peace of the Bangalis. About 55% population of East Pakistan became the second-class citizens. They have been subjected to extreme discrimination and exploitation in the political and economic fields. There was no place for the Bangalis in the army. Apart from the central government administration, the non-Bengali bureaucracy was dominated by the administration of the West Pakistan civil service. They first started a conspiracy to establish Urdu as the state language of East Pakistan. In order to establish Urdu they made a blue print to destroy the language and culture of Bengal. In fact, the state of Pakistan brings a new curse to the people of East Pakistan. Basically, the Bangalis were under pressure and subjugation from 1757 to 1971.
In 1954, the United Front won the landslide victory under the leadership of Shurawardi, AK Fazlul Haque and Maulana Vasani. At that time young leader, Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, also had a big role. The role that played by him in favor of Bangla and Bangalis in the Pakistan People's Assembly opened up the field for Bengali nationalism and the formation of a Bengali state. In order to prepare for the independence of Bengal, Sheikh Mujib built a nucleus in 1962 with four student leaders -- Sirajul Alam Khan, Sheikh Fazlul Huq Moni, Abdur Razzak and Kazi Aref Ahmed. They have various slogans in support of Sheikh Mujib.
In 1996, the 6-point became a potent weapon of independence of Bangladesh. He presented this 6-point in Lahore in West Pakistan (the main center of the political power of the then Pakistan). Ayub Khan became furious and got upset when he realized that it was a one-point settlement of Mujib. It was said that Mujib's four-point reply would be given by arms. They did it. Despite this dreadful stand of language by Ayub Khan, the non-cooperation struggle programme of Bangabandhu made the formation of a new functional state named Bangladesh.
The National Assembly session was supposed to start in Dhaka on March 3. On March 1, General Yahya Khan removed Vice-Admiral S.M Ahsan and appointed General Sahibzada Yakub Khan. On that day, the International Cricket Tournament was held at Dhaka Stadium between Pakistan and the World Eleven. Hearing the announcement of the suspension of the National Assembly session by Yahya on the radio broadcasting stage, thousands of spectators of the stadium raised the voice 'Joy Bangla' and set fire on the pad, bat, ball, and stump. The spectators chased the West Pakistani players and brought out a procession with the slogan 'Joy Bangla'. Immediately, courts and business offices were closed. Vehicles remained stand still. Schools, Colleges, Universities, businesses were instantly closed. The mill workers, officers, students, teachers, lawyers and judges all came down to the streets. On that day, millions of angry people chanted the slogan also turning Dhaka into a city of angry processions.
The whole Bangali nation by Bangabandhu turned around with the declaration of independence. A non-violent, democratic movement of 24 years turned into an armed struggle. They jumped into armed resistance against the atrocities of the entire Pakistanis. Indomitable morale and cheerful courage stunned the Pakistani army, equipped with sophisticated arms. Then the final victory of the War of Liberation was achieved through a long 9-months challenging battle. About 10 million people were forced to seek refuge in India. The brutality did not stop the Bangalis. On December 16, 1971, the Pakistani army commander-General A.K Niazi signed a document of surrender to the Allied forces consisting of the freedom fighters and the Indian army. That is how the sovereignty of Bangladesh came to being.
On the dark night of March 25, Pakistani military junta killed many civilians, students, teachers, intellectuals, policemen in Dhaka. Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, the beloved leader of the ruling Awami League chief, was arrested. He announced the Independence of Bangladesh in the first hour of March 26, before his arrest. The War of Liberation was started across the country. Freedom fighters force was formed comprising with by East Bengal Regiment, East Pakistan Rifles, East Pakistan Police, civil members and military personnel. In the War of Liberation, the Mukti Bahini disrupted Pakistani occupation forces throughout the country in a guerrilla manner. Bangladesh received economic, military and diplomatic assistance from India. In early December, when the birth of an independent Bangladesh was only a matter of time, Pakistan declared war against India to divert attention of global community. Thus, India became directly involved in the independence war of Bangladesh. The fall of the occupation forces of Pakistan was accelerated by the combined aggression of the Mukti Bahini and the Indian military. Pakistan formally surrendered with 93,000 troops at Dhaka's Racecourse Ground on December 16. The liberation war ended with the birth of an independent Bangladesh. 16th December is the glorious great Victory Day of Bengal.
The first declaration of independence given by Bangabandhu was announced from EPR wireless. Awami League leader Zahur Ahmed Chowdhury received the Declaration of Independence through the Chittagong Wireless Department. Chittagong District Awami League's then general secretary M. A. Hannan distributed its cyclostyle copies in the city.  It was aired on the same night with the microphone. Bangabandhu first declared independence, but it is said that, there some others who read it on behalf of him. There is a lot of evidence for this historical information, both domestic and foreign. For the 9 months of the year, the Pak army invaded Bangalis with tanks, cannons, mortars and rifles, with the help of their local accomplices and collaborators. Numerous houses were set on fire and killed millions of women, men and children. Razakar and Al-Badr captured thousands of Bengali women and handed over them to Pakistan's army.
Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujib has struggled for independence for the liberation of Bengal. He has been repeatedly thrown into prison and subjected to torture. Death followed him like a shadow. But he never sold his conscience, never bowed his head to the Pakistani dictators. Without the leadership of a prudent, fearless and powerful leader like Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, Bangalis would never have been able to achieve independence. Bangabandhu, Bangladesh and Independence are the same.
(Dr. Forqan Uddin Ahmed, writer, columnist & researcher)

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