Freedom is a birthright to man. It is a part and parcel of a nation’s prosperity and development. Freedom is not a natural gift, but it is to be achieved. It is to be gained in the midst or in exchange for struggle, bloodshed, and life. Bangladesh achieved her independence after a long nine months of armed struggle, sacrificing a lot of lives and huge- heroic bloodshed and valiant. After oppressing the freedom-seeking of this land the Pakistani attacking force surrendered to the people. With this surrender of the Pakistani forces, it came to an end of two and a half decades of exploitation and deprivation of the Pakistanis. The nation got free from persecution and oppression. 16th December is the victory day of Bangladesh, the day of the emergence of Bangladesh as an independent sovereign state in this world.
In fact, the glorious moment of independence of Bangladesh did not come just in a day. Behind this lies the history of sweaty struggles of the nation. And if anyone would be thought as the great commander of these struggles the name of the greatest Bengali of thousand years the Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman would always be there. Bangabandhu means Bangladesh. Bangabandhu means freedom. Bangabandhu means our new entity. His existence belongs to every inch of the 55 thousand square miles of the land. Bengalis gave their blood in the British colonial age. Struggled against oppression, exploitation, and deprivation. In the struggles and movements of about 200 years, this Bengali nation has sacrificed the most blood. In 1947, the Bengali nation’s efforts were there in establishing a state called Pakistan. Bengalis were the main architect behind the making of Pakistan. But it took only a few years to get out of the disillusion. The oppression and exploitation, for which they had driven the British away, the same came to their lives in Pakistan in a few years. That begun the struggles of a new era. Pakistanis considered the people of this land their underlings. Bengalis were being relived in terms of economically and politically and in every aspect. They even refused to accept the electoral results. The turning points of history against them came in the form of 52’s Language movement, 66’s Historical 6-point demand movement, and 69’s mass revolt, etc. The final blow was the result of the election of the 1970s. A new chapter began. On the glorious day of 7th March, Bangabandhu declared in his thunderous proclamation, “Struggle of this time, is the struggle for freedom, this struggle is our struggle for independence”. This proclamation brought new enthusiasm to the nation, brought craziness for the desire for freedom. The Pak-Army fell upon the innocent Bengalese on the dead night of March 25 in 1971 and killed them in a great number. Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujib was arrested and sentenced to jail in Pakistan. They dug a grave to bury him there. The struggle widened all over the country. People took part in the struggle unitedly or not knowing why. The young section of people went to India— the neighboring country. They got training on the short course. They became Freedom Fighters. The Indian Govt. out of kindness or neighboring feeling made the Freedom Fighters well-equipped and sent them back to Bangladesh so that they could fight a fierce fight against the Pak-Army. The fight continued for nine months at a stretch. The Pak-Army not only shot innocent people to death but also deflowered the chastity or virginity of women and young girls. People became shelterless, homeless having lost their near and dear ones. Yet they did not lag for fear of them. The freedom fighters fought against the brutal Pak-Army at random. When the situation became grave and adverse, they surrendered themselves to the freedom fighters signing on a bond. Then on the 16th December 1971, Bangladesh came into being. We had a new independent national flag and a permanent room on the world map as a free and sovereign country. We now observe the 16th of December as Victory Day, this year it is the 50th Victory day of Bangladesh.
The sun of independence that was set at the Palashi’s mango orchard in 1957, has again risen upon this 16th December in 1971. The glorious moment of victory was initiated on this day. 91 thousand 549 Pakistani soldiers surrendered in the broad daylight. The Chief of Eastern regional wing of Pakistan Army Lt. General Amir Abdullah Khan Niazi signed the surrender document to the supreme commander to the Eastern regional wing of the Allied forces Lt. General Jagjit Sigh Aurora at the historic Racecourse Ground (well known as Suhrawardi Uddyan today). Not through negotiations, not through somebody’s kind favor, a victory through the struggle sacrificing sea of blood, which defeated the Pakistan forces and were bound to surrender with heads all down. The world beholds the birth of a new independent state. And the glorious leader who guided and leads the nation to this victory is perpetually unfading and luminous, the greatest Bengali in thousand years, the Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman. Delight comes in many ways in life. But being able to observe the victory through the sacrifice of a million’s bloodshed earning the freedom of motherland from the oppression of alien forces has no comparison at all! The glorious and victorious sun has risen to this land of 55 thousand square miles on this day. The freedom-crazy Bengalis snatched this sun smashing the oppression and subservience. The sun that glows with the bloodstains of the sacrifices is the color of victory. This color of blood and victory along with the greenery of Bengal makes our National Flag. That sun of that victory day had visions of the future, for which 3 million people sacrificed their lives. After a long 9 months of suffering, a new country was born, an independent and sovereign Bangladesh.
Dr. Fakhrul Islam Babu
China Bangladesh Friendship Center Limited-CBFCL