March, the historical month of independence, begins tomorrow when the nation will be observing the 46th anniversary of independence on the 26th March paying the highest homage to the war heroes who made Bangladesh a sovereign state.
The nation engaged in the war of independence in this month under the leadership of Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman and earned a sovereign Bangladesh on December 16 in 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.
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 at Dhaka University for the first time on March 2 by the Dhaka University Students’ Union.
The ongoing 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 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, Inshallah!”, 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.
The people were overwhelmed and imbued with the spirit of Bangabandhu’s unparalleled speech of independence regarded only comparable to the Gettysburg Speech of the slain President of the United States, Abraham Lincoln.
Bangabandhu’s tantalizing speech literally had a mesmerizing and sparkling effect on the entire population in the eastern part of Pakistan 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 fought the war of liberation and ultimately liberated Bangladesh from the clutches of the Pakistani occupation forces on December 16, 1971 with the assistance of the allied Indian forces.