The Independence Day is observed on the 26th March every year and is observed as a national holiday in Bangladesh. It is for the country’s declaration of independence from Pakistan. The Pakistan Army brutally committed genocide on the unarmed innocent Bengalis on the night of March 25, 1971, in the name of “Operation Searchlight” to dominate their struggle for freedom.
Declaration of Independence
On the 26th of March, Bangladesh’s independence from Pakistan was declared by Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman and a nine-month civil war was started against the Pakistani Army. Awami League was the main political voice of the people of the Bengali population and the undebated leader of the Bengalis had effectively announced the nation’s independence at the historic March 7 rally at the Race Course grounds when he thundered: “This time the struggle is for our freedom. This time the struggle is for our independence.”
Bangladesh was recognized as an independent state on 16th December 1971. All the people of Bangladesh eagerly wait for this day. Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, who is known as the Father of the Nation, swore in as the first President of the country. The main streets are decorated with national flags. The current constitution was adopted on 4th November 1972.
History of Bangladesh Independence Day
In 1947, after the departure of the British Empire, the region of Bengal was divided along religious lines. As a result, the western part went to newly created Indian state while the Eastern region joined the Pakistan province and Muslim eastern part of Bengal became the East Bengal (East Pakistan). Pakistan’s history from 1947 to 1971 was marked by political instability and economic difficulties. In 1952, the Bengali Language Movement became the first sign of resistance between the two regions of Pakistan following economic and cultural issues. The movement reached its climax when police killed student demonstrators on that day.
In the 1970 general elections, the Bangla-based Awami League, led by Sheikh Mujibur Rahman won the Parliamentary elections and but they were hindered from taking office. On 25 March 1970, Pakistani army were used to put down the growing unrest. This led to the Independence of Bangladesh being declared by Sheikh Mujibur Rahman on 26 March 1971.
Independence Day is commonly associated with parades, speeches by political leaders, concerts, fairs, ceremonies, activities in schools and colleges and various other public and private events celebrating the history and traditions of Bangladesh. TV and radio are broadcast special programs and patriotic songs in the honor of the day.
Generally, a 31-gun salute is held in the morning. The main streets are decorated with national flags. Different political parties and socioeconomic organizations undertake programs to mark the day in an apt manner by paying homage at Jatiyo Smriti Soudho, the national memorial situated in Dhaka.
25 March 1971, the Independence Day is marked by memorial ceremonies to remember those who lost their lives in the war for independence.