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In memory of 7th March Our Independence Day is only on 7th March

In memory of 7th March Our Independence Day is only on 7th March

- Khaled Mahmood

Passing forty three years of fantastic and diligent youth Bangladesh is crossing the transition period of early hours of victory. Standing at the early hours of the 43rd anniversary of the declaration of Independence and Liberation war by the father of the nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman of a deeply desired and long cherished Bangladesh we have to think afresh as a disappointed and unfortunate nation-did we expect this kind of victory of a country earned at the cost of sacrifice of a stream of blood by thirty lac martyrs and at the cost of chastity of 2 lac mothers and sisters? None of the dreams of democracy, human rights, rule of law, exploitation- deprivation free Bangladesh that overflowed in the core of hearts of seven and a half crore people is not noticed to be implemented in the soil of Bangladesh. Democracy, human rights and fundamental rights of the people seem to be arrested in the plots of the mean wishes of an unwanted circle of a so-called special group. The seed or the background of the liberation war of 1971 was rooted deep into the history of the country. Walking along the history we crossed a long path of struggle and at a special moment we had to jump into the blood-eroding liberation war.

As a Bengali nation our national language is Bangla and in the then East Pakistan (now Bangladesh) the majority of the people were Muslims by religion. Other than the Muslims here lived and still live people of many religions. An abode of good brotherliness comprising of Hindus, Muslims, Buddhists, Christians including the tribal minority ethnic groups was this erstwhile East Bengal (now Bangladesh). On the basis of a so-called two-nation theory a bizarre country named Pakistan was created inside India comprising of Muslim populated province of East Bengal (later East Pakistan) and four other provinces of West Pakistan. These two provinces of Pakistan were separated by about twelve hundred miles of geographical distance. On the 14th August, 1947 Pakistan was born formally. From the side of population the then East Pakistan had greater portion of total population (56%). The language of West Pakistanis was generally Urdu. To establish Urdu as the state language of East Pakistan and that of all of Pakistan the then Governor General Mohammad Ali Jinnah in the convocation meeting of Dhaka University at Karzon Hall declared that “Urdu and Urdu shall be the state language of Pakistan”. Against this remark the protesting students and the people of the then East Pakistan burst into protests and agitation.  As a consequence of this event on 21st February, 1952 by bullets of Pakistani rulers Salam, Barkat, Rafiq and Jabbar were martyred at the courtyard and around Dhaka Medical College. To commemorate their memory there grew up Martyrs Monument (Shahid Minar) close to the Dhaka Medical College as a symbol of protest and honor.

As a first step of depriving of their demand for self rule the West Pakistani rulers attempted to snatch away their mother tongue by bullet and oppression. But the Bengali people waged a massive movement against the Pakistani rulers.  Basically from this language movement day the germinated seed of our liberation and independence started gradually to develop.

One thing should be kept in mind in this connection that a nationalism based on religion in a different region cannot be a real standard of national entity. Rise of a nation requires a common language, yardstick and a pre-condition of its existence, entity and national identity. Walking along the blood-bathed 21st February of 1952 the role of the representatives of the Bengalees in the United Front government in 1954 by our national leaders like A. K. Fazlul Haque, Mowlana Abdul Hamid Khan Bhasani, Huseyn Shaheed Suhrawardy and Bangabandhu was memorable. Their role in those moments of exigencies encouraged and vibrated us forming our potential national entity and existence in different struggle. The presentation of 6 point demands for liberation of Bangladesh by young leader of the Bengalees in 1966 in Lahore and subsequently 11 points demand in 1969 by the students created a new awakening in the Bengalee people. In the face of the movement initiated under the leadership of Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, the then military ruler Ayub Khan retreated after he had surrendered the power to Yahia Khan who became the new military ruler. Meantime mass glorified leader Sheikh Mujibur Rahman happened to be known as the future savior of the Bengalee nation. The indebted nation adorned their leader with the appellation of Bangabandhu. In the general election of 1970 declared by Yahia Khan in the full three hundred seats of Pakistan National Assembly Awami League led by Sheikh Mujib bagged 167 seats out of total 169 seats in the then East Pakistan. In the entire Pakistan National Assembly the majority seat holder of Awami League of Sheikh Mujibur Rahman lawfully was to form the government. But on the pretext of transfer of power and in the name of discussion-consultations and round table conference the military junta ruler Yahia Khan and Pakistan People’s Party leader Julfiqar Ali Bhutto started making different lame excuses. Terming as the future Prime Minister General Yahia called Sheikh Mujibur Rahman for being prepared to assume the position of Prime Minister of Pakistan. Prefixed date for round table meeting of Sheikh Mujib with Yahia in Dhaka was cancelled on account of unavoidable circumstances. Following this event the emancipator of the Bengalee Sheikh Mujib warned Pakistani ruler Yahia and Bhutto against severe consequences of their actions. As a part of its preparation in a gathering of ten lac people at Race Course ground, present Suhrawardy Uddan (Garden) the leader of the nation Sheikh Mujib delivered a historic speech through which he gave the Bengalees directives for earning independence and liberation. The heart of this speech was the sentence: “The struggle this time is the struggle for liberation, the struggle this time is the struggle for independence.” This historic speech of Sheikh Mujib is a flawless document of the struggle of the Bengalees for independence and liberation. Until now nowhere in the world in the history of emancipation and independence seekers a significant and important speech like that of the one of Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman has been delivered and presented. Till today this speech is the best one in the history of independence and liberation seekers. I understand that it has special importance and necessity for the freedom seeking people of any country in the days to come that the historians would assess it with significance.

 

The sprouted seed of our independence and its original lying-in chamber is not a lone incident or a fairy tale. The glorious role of long days of the Bengalee people, sacrifice, the firm efficient leadership of the father of the nation Bangabangdhu Sheikh Mujib, his unforgettable contribution and self sacrifice- all are the hard realities of national history. To evaluate the contribution and sacrifice of Sheikh Mujib higher research is necessary at national and international levels. The terrific oppression of Pakistani rulers on personal Mujib and above all, 18 years of jail life are all included in our history. Sheikh Mujib himself is a history and Bangladesh is a radiant reality of this history. As Bangladesh cannot be thought without Sheikh Mujib so also Sheikh Mujib cannot be thought of without Bangladesh. Sheikh Mujib and Bangladesh are complementary to each other. Through the historic declaration of 7th March the Bengalees started getting preparation for liberation and independence one by one under the leadership of Sheikh Mujib.

Crossing through the river of blood at the cost of thirty lacs of people and with the chastity of two lac mothers and sisters and above all at the cost of massive sacrifice and forgiveness the independence of Bangladesh was achieved on the 16th December. Through the surrender of about 91,549 Pakistani occupation army the ultimate victory took its final shape.

The war of liberation or independence was not the expression of a lone or a sporadic event. The inherent seed of independence gradually started germinating moving along the gradual dormant complaints and protest, movement on the street and thousands of sacrifice and forbearance. The pre-indications of germination of this seed were the historical realities of proud eulogy of our struggle and sacrifice.

The war of independence of Bangladesh is a history of nine months. About one crore people of this land took refuge in India. The great people of India and its government provided courage and inspiration and extended co-operation that helped our liberation war to be orderly placed in a planned way. From the historical point of view I think if India had not come forward in our favor in a plain land country like that of us we would not be able to earn our independence even in nine years not to speak of nine months only. But it is unfortunate for us that a particular quarter and few mean political parties and their leadership due to heinous political interest are in their efforts in silly manner in every step to disown the all-out co-operation of the people and the then government of India. An anti-liberation war circle ghost of Pakistani military junta and many descendents and present /former generation of them demonstrate anti Indian mentality and indecent vaunting about independence and liberation war severely undermining and hitting the history of proud achievement of panegyric.

 

The liberation war nay the war of independence took place on the directions and with the leadership of the unrivalled Awami League leader and father of the nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman. In this struggle for liberation and war of independence every Bengalee man, woman and child, mother and sister, brother, father and son participated comprehensively. Except the opposition and destructive affairs of a few Muslim League leaders and Jamaat-E-Islami and its created killer Razakar, Al-Badar and Al-Shams the desire and enthusiasm of the whole nation were engraved with the parallel equation of achieving ultimate freedom and independence. Those who were engaged in mass killing, persecution of women through the Pakistani junta are hated and reprimanded nationally and internationally. Another unfortunate side of our war of liberation is that many of us are wrongfully explaining the proper history and background of our war taking recourse to hypocrisy. This wrong explanation vilifies our national entity and existence.

 

In the process of our struggle for freedom the round table conference summoned by Yahia Khan on 23rd March, 1971 was postponed on unavoidable reason. Prior to that historic speech delivered by Bangabandhu on 7th March whereby the fundamental instructions and directives that he gave to the nation is a preserved authentic document. If the speech of 7th March would be examined in the light of any advance research, it would be revealed that nothing was incomplete or unfinished. As an ordinary researcher of history my irrefutable argument is that the independence day of free Bangladesh is not the 26th March but the 7th of March. This is the reality and this is the truth. Nothing remains incomplete or insufficient in the speech of 7th March that may necessitate to consider the fragile arrangement accepting the 26th March as the formal declaration of independence day of Bangladesh. Even if Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman did not or could not formally declare the independence second time on the 26th March, in that case it would have to be assumed that he gave first and final strategic direct declaration of our freedom and war of independence on the 7th March, 1971. After the declaration of 7th March there was no need of a second declaration for the war of independence and liberation war. There exists not a single speech of a leader like that of one that could be possible to deliver in favor of a freedom loving people in the world till today. Of course, the second declaration by Bangabandhu on the 26th March was the practical manifestation of independence and universal emotion. This is not the first or the original declaration. Now this is the time for the government, the politicians, constitutional experts, thinkers and researchers to ponder over the matter for urgent consideration. It is highly necessary now to re-install the 7th March as the day of independence in place of 26th March. Any exception to this would render our national independence day to be an accused one before the court of an ultimate mistake. It would disfigure the history of our struggle for liberation and war of independence.

The argument presented by me may be for addition and change of constitution placed before the high court for reference of this sensitive issue for settlement.

Even after Awami League led by                                                Bangabandhu secured the single majority seats in all Pakistan National Assembly due to conspiracy of Pakistan military junta of Yahia and PPP leader Julfiqar Ali Bhutto the state power was not transferred to Awami League and for that matter to Sheikh Mujib. This was also a hated intrigue and conspiracy in the history.

However, subsequently the leader of the nation Sheikh Mujib did not call for a direct armed struggle by the unready Bengalees against the Pakistani military junta rather he provided the nation far reaching well planned epoch-making decision to jump into their liberation and war of independence through his 7th March speech. If on that day he would call for a direct armed struggle, the Pakistani military junta would have killed lacs of unarmed Bengalees indiscriminately. The emotional and directional speech Sheikh Mujib delivered on the 7th March to determine the independence was a proper planned strategy of the war of liberation. Passing through contexts of many tragic events the written declaration of independence that Bangabandhu gave second time through wireless after 12  P.M. at night of 25th March reads as follows:

“Pakistan army has suddenly attacked EPR outpost at Pilkhana, Police lines at Rajarbagh and is killing city dwellers. A fight goes on in the streets of Dhaka and Chittagong. I call nations of the world for help. Our freedom fighters are fighting against the enemies with heroism to liberate the country. In the name of Almighty Allah, my prayer and order is that you continue war up to the last drop of blood to free the country. You ask for help to the Police, EPR, Bengal Regiment and Ansars. There shall be no compromise. We must have the victory. Please drive out the last enemy from our holy motherland. Please reach this news to the Awami League leaders, workers and other patriotic and freedom loving people. May Allah help you. Joy Bangla.”

Sheikh Mujibur Rahman

25th March, 1971

26/03/1971

Time: 2:10 PM

On behalf of Bangabandhu

 

Abdul Hannan

The government of the Sovereign State of Bangladesh

Following is the text of the message broadcast on behalf of Sheikh Mujibur Rahman on March 28,

1971 by Major Ziaur Rahman. At 7:30 PM on the previous day he had declared independence in a similar message broadcast also from Kalurghat Radio Station.

“On behalf of our Great Leader, the Supreme Commander of Bangladesh Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, we hereby proclaim the independence of Bangladesh.”

 

“And that the Government headed by Sheikh Mujibur Rahman has already been formed. It is further proclaimed that Sheikh Mujibur Rahman is the sole leader of the elected representatives of seventy five million people of Bangladesh and government headed by him is the only legitimate government of the people of Independent Sovereign State of Bangladesh which is legally and constitutionally formed and is worthy of being recognized by all the governments of the world.”

“I therefore, appeal on behalf of our Great Leader Sheikh Mujibur Rahman to the governments of all the democratic countries of the world specially the Big Powers and the neighboring countries to recognize the legal government of Bangladesh and take effective steps to immediately stop the awful genocide that has been carried on by the army of occupation from Pakistan.”

“The guiding principles of the new state will be first neutrality, second peace and third friendship to all and enemity to none. May Allah help us. Joy Bangla.”

Major Ziaur Rahman

27th March, 1971

 

Subsequently on the direction of Bangabandhu at different levels of the country Bengali people, army personnel, member of BDR, Police and Ansar started to build strongholds against the Pakistani military junta. After the arrest of Bangabandhu the Pakistani army started sudden attack on the different important spots and installations including Dhaka University, BDR camp at Pilkhana, Rajarbagh police camp. Through this attack they started a destructive episode on the thousands of our unarmed innocent people. Many people, students, policemen, BDR and Ansar members were killed. Stronghold of residences were being created from one place to another all over the then East Pakistan against inhuman and hellish attack of Pakistani army. Bengalee children, the young and the old farmers, laborers, ordinary people, army and paramilitary personnel, police, wherever individually they were, built blockades and faced the war against the Pakistani army. On the next day on 26th March in the morning Mr. M. A. Hannan, Awami League General Secretary of Chittagong City Corporation read out to the people of Bangladesh the second version of the declaration of independence on behalf of Bangabandhu via a transmitter of Radio Station at Kalurghat. On the 27th March on request of Awami League leaders the then Captain Rafiqul Islam and Captain Oli Ahmed brought back the then Major Ziaur Rahman who was on his way to Swat Ship to unload the arms and ammunitions of Pakistani army.

Major Ziaur Rahman was then escorted to the Kalurghat radio station and asked to announce the declaration of our independence. At first Major Zia deceitfully read out the declaration of Bangabandhu directly on his own behalf. Subsequently it was amended and was read out the declaration of independence made by Bangabandhu through the transmitter at radio station covering a radius of 15 miles. Basically Mr. M. A. Hannan and Major Zia were the readers of the second time declaration of independence and war of liberation.

During Liberation war out of the total 11 sectors Ziaur Rahman was in charge of a sector with the liberation army known as ‘Z Force’. The controversial role of Major Zia during liberation war was published in different newspapers and periodicals in many countries including India. In Pakistan period Ziaur Rahman was appointed in important posts of the Detective wings of Pakistan Army.   As a diehard supporter of ISI Pakistani Detective wing Ziaur Rahman’s acquaintance was all known. Although Ziaur Rahman participated in the war of liberation  of Bangladesh against his will he opposed our liberation war indirectly as a spy of ISI of Pakistan Army Detective Wing. He transmitted various confidential information of our war of liberation to the Pakistan military with high profile tactics that might help weaken the morale of the Bengalee people through the massacre and women torture leading the war of liberation and independence astray. These events happened in practice. The Commander-in-Chief of our war of liberation General M. A. G. Osmany understanding all these conspiracies and secret plots warned Ziaur Rahman several times. Even he was contemplating to discharge Ziaur Rahman from his responsibilities. It is heard that with such anti-liberation war activities of Ziaur Rahman, Khandaker Mostaque Ahmed, war time foreign minister of Mujibnagar government was involved. Ziaur Rahman and Khandaker Mostaque including other conspirators were in a plan to arrange a ceasefire and thus tactically make a confederation state with Pakistan. On the influence of other important persons of Mujibnagar government including Ministers, high profile personalities, freedom fighters, civil and military sector commanders and many others that intrigue of Ziaur Rahman and Khandaker Mostaque Ahmed ended in failure. These conspirators did not stop there. They were plotting the future plan how the father of the nation of independent Bangladesh with his important Mujibnagar Ministers could be killed along with all their family members. After liberation of 16th December when Bangabandhu formed the independent Bangladesh government as Prime Minister, General M. A. G. Osmany and other war actors and politicians informed of the intrigues of Major Zia and Khandaker Mostaque during liberation war in order that he did not appoint them in any important position in the state. But the father of the nation Bangabandhu having a heart of great soul with liberal, simple and candid attitude did not pay any heed to all those contentions rather he appointed Ziaur Rahman as Deputy Chief of the Army Staff and Khandaker Mostaque as the irregation Minister. But his naive and liberal attitude ultimately resulted into a curse of his life. Promoted General Zia and Mostaque were practicing intrigues inside the armed forces and civil administration to make Bangabandhu unpopular. In its succession with a blueprint of ISI of Pakistan and the foreign minister of a big country conspiracy was being hatched to create critical economic situation and severe food crisis of 1974 and thus murder of Bangabandhu with his family and his cabinet colleagues for overthrowing the government. Bangabandhu was killed with his family in the early hours of black night of 15th August by a few black sheep of the Army devoid of patriotism for the country including Col. Faruque, Rashid, Shahriyar, Dalim, Pasha and other plotters. Afterwards on November 3 four national leaders were brutally murdered in the Dhaka Central Jail rendering our final victory of  16th December meaningless. The participating Colonels and Majors of this killing mission openly declared through statement and speeches that the plan for killing of Bangabandhu with his family and the overthrow of his government was earlier known to Ziaur Rahman. Consenting to their proposal he told “go ahead”. Zia did never make any objection to the accusation made against him. This proves clearly that Ziaur Rahman was one of the conspirators of the murder plan of Bangabandhu.

When Ziaur Rahman, a conspirator sector commander was in the war field, Begum Khaleda Zia stayed in the cantonment in sound health. It is said that many of the Pakistani Generals were engaged in the duty of providing full security to her. Begum Zia led a luxurious life in the cantonment.

Mass of smoke of controversies has been produced on the issue of the declaration of independence and war of liberation. A particular quarter with the evil intension of decomposition of national history and diversion of nation’s view point has been making efforts of falsehood to vitiate the history. An intriguer circle lodged Ziaur Rahman in the state power after the tragic events of 15th August and 3th November, 1975. After assuming the state power Ziaur Rahman made Justice A.S.M. Sayem as the Chief Martial Law Administrator and himself became Deputy Chief Martial Law Administrator. After a few days removing Sayem himself took the charge of Chief Martial Law Administrator. Ziaur Rahman arranged a mock referendum on the 30th May, 1977, that means whether the people desired him to be the President of the country. The interesting matter was that he had no contestant in the election. That means he wanted to demonstrate his popularity and legality at a time through this vote. Polling of votes was completed on the scheduled date. The government claimed that 88% of the voters cast their votes in this election. But the matter was unbelievable. Because in the general election of 1970 when there was a mass upsurge of the Bengalee people and the popularity of Awami League was sky high, even then proportionally less number of voters took part in the voting process. However, after election of “Yes” or “No” vote 99% votes entered into the “Yes” ballot box. “No” box claimed only 1% of votes. Afterwards in the so-called farse President election of 3rd June, 1978 he defeated his rival candidate General M.A.G. Osmany, Chief Commander of the war of independence by a big margin. Hereafter in February, 1979 he arranged a mock general election in the country wherein candidates of his party constituted by him BNP were declared to have won 207 out of 300 seats in the parliament. That means Bangladesh Nationalist Party got 207 out of 300 seats in the parliament. The major opposition party was given 39 seats. Through this false election formalities a parliamentary government under an all powerful President, he fortified his position and power. In that so-called parliament the anti-liberation agent of ’71 war Shah Azizur Rahman was made Prime Minister while the Indemnity ordinance introduced by killer Khandaker Mostaque was enacted as law in the parliament. That means due to the passing of the indemnity law no trial of the killers of 15th August and 3rd November could be possible. In this way designs and plans of the defeated military junta of Pakistan were being materialized one after one by turns. With the passing of this black law, President Ziaur Rahman himself signed in his own murder certificate. Walking along that document his colleagues killed Ziaur Rahman in the darkness of night on the 30th May, 1981 in the Chittagong Circuit House.

After the assumption of power Ziaur Rahman reinstated anti-liberation Razakars, Al-Badars and Al-Shams in the politics of Bangladesh as a part of his far-reaching heinous plan. Violating the 72 constitutional provisions he reinstated the banned religion based political party Jamaat-E-Islami and Muslim League in the politics of Bangladesh. He is the person who initiated the religious fundamentalism in Bangladesh politics by being encircled and instigated by them. The key factor of struggle for freedom and war of independence was father of the nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman. Nobody other than Sheikh Mujib in anyway had the moral and legal right of declaring the war of liberation. Because Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujib was the majority party leader in the whole of Pakistan acknowledged and elected by the people. So on reasonable grounds, from legal point of view he was to be the Prime Minister of Pakistan and the party under his leadership Awami League had to form the government in that country.

As because the nation advanced to the ultimate struggle for independence from self-rule struggle so the words and decisions taken by him were to be final and single one. No one might have the authority of declaring war of liberation and independence. On the call of no other person than Bangabandhu, this nation did jump in the war of independence in 1971.

On the order and call of Bangabandhu only the nation turned the self-rule movement into the shape of independence. Walking along this path the blood shedding liberation war that took place was waged in the name of Bangabandhu and the war of liberation and independence was directed. The war of independence of Bangladesh was not a resultant of a separate army revolt or of a military credit of any warrior. The independence and war of liberation was considered to be an explosion of war by a people and this war was led by the leadership of a particular and fixed political party. The key actor of that party i.e., Awami League was Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman.

Standing at the 43rd anniversary of independence day 7th March, 2014, I make a clarion call to all that let us stir the beats of our self realization as a nation of 16 crores people. Let us present the exact history of our nation before the new generation afresh. In that case only our victory and achievement of independence would be meaningful and successful.