Independence Day (Bangladesh)

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Independence Day
Flag of Bangladesh (1971).svg
The first flag of the independent Bangladesh, which was subsequently replaced by the current version.
Official name Independence Day of Bangladesh
Observed by  Bangladesh
Type National holiday
Celebrations Flag hoisting, parades, award ceremonies, singing patriotic songs and the national anthem, speeches by the President and Prime Minister, entertainment and cultural programs.
Date March 26
Next time 26 March 2018 (2018-03-26)
Frequency Annual
Jatiyo Sriti Shoudho at Savar, a tribute to the martyrs of the Bangladesh Independence War

The Independence Day of Bangladesh (Bengali: স্বাধীনতা দিবস Shadhinôta Dibôs), also referred to as 26 March, is a national holiday. It commemorates the country's declaration of independence from Pakistan in the late hours of 25 March 1971.[1]

History

After the Pakistani general election, 1970, Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, then head of the largest political party of Pakistan, the Awami League, had won with a clear majority, the Pakistan military government headed by Yahya Khan was not willing to hand over power.[2] Negotiations began, but Sheikh Mujib's reputation was such that the ruling Punjabi leadership never trusted him, let alone by the Pakistan established, no matter Mujib's efforts. When all indications gradually surfaced crystal clear, promises given were not followed through, the whole nation of Bangla speaking Muslims and Hindus of East Pakistan dived into the spirit and vibe of a real struggle. On 7th March 1971 Sheikh Mujib gave his now famous speech in Ramna Race course where he called for a non-cooperation movement.[3]

Pakistan Urdu and Punjabi speaking personnel rounded up Bangla speaking armed forces officers, NCOs, and enlisted personnel. Forced disappearances went rampant. On the evening of 25 March in an interview with David Frost, Sheikh Mujib still called out openly for negotiation and a united Pakistan. That night the Pakistan Army spilled out to the streets killing and started Operation Searchlight.[4] It was official, they were not ready for a peaceful transfer of political power to the Awami League led by Sheikh Mujibur Rahman.

During the early hours of 26 March 1971 the independence of Bangladesh was declared by Sheikh Mujibur Rahman and the guerilla struggle officially began.[3] The people of then independence declared Bangladesh took part in this war to be a separate nation independent from Pakistan. Independence for Bangladesh was gained through a nine-month guerilla war against the Pakistan Army, and their collaborators including paramilitary Razakars which resulted in the death of about 3 million people in the Bangladesh Liberation war and Bangladesh Genocide.[5] The Mukti Bahini, later with military support from USSR and India, defeated the Pakistan Army ending the war on 16 December of that year.

Celebrations

Celebration with Bangladeshi Flag.

Independence Day is commonly associated with parades, political speeches, fairs, concerts, ceremonies and various other public and private events celebrating the history and traditions of Bangladesh. TV and radio stations broadcast special programs and patriotic songs in honor of the Independence Day. Generally, a thirty-one gun salute is conducted in the morning.[6] The main streets are decorated with national flags. Different political parties and socioeconomic organizations undertake programs to mark the day in a befitting manner, including paying respects at Jatiyo Smriti Soudho, the national memorial, at Savar near Dhaka.[6]

Google displayed a doodle commemorating the Independence Day of Bangladesh on 26 March 2017 on their bd domain.[7] The same year celebrations were organised in Tripura, India by Bangladesh deputy high commissioner stationed there.[8]

Independence Award

The Independence Day Award, which is bestowed upon Bangladesh citizens or organizations on the eve of the Independence Day, is the highest state award given by the Government of Bangladesh.[9][10] This annual award, instituted in 1977, is given for substantial contribution in Independence War, the Language Movement, education, literature, journalism, public service, science-technology, medical science, social science, music, games and sports, fine arts, rural development, and other fields.[11]

See also

References

  1. ^ "Bangladesh profile - Timeline". BBC News. Retrieved 27 March 2015. 
  2. ^ "Bangladesh Awami League - Banglapedia". en.banglapedia.org. Retrieved 2017-04-16. 
  3. ^ a b "Declaration of Independence - Banglapedia". en.banglapedia.org. Retrieved 2017-04-16. 
  4. ^ "The emergence of Bangladesh". The Daily Star. 2017-03-21. Retrieved 2017-04-16. 
  5. ^ "Bangladesh remembers martyrs on 46th Independence Day". Canindia News. Retrieved 2017-04-16. 
  6. ^ a b "Bangladesh Air Force, 15 individuals win Independence Award 2017". bdnews24.com. Retrieved 2017-04-16. 
  7. ^ "Google Doodle celebrates Bangladesh’s Independence Day | Dhaka Tribune". Dhaka Tribune. 2017-03-26. Retrieved 2017-04-16. 
  8. ^ "Bangladesh's Independence Day observed in Tripura". The Daily Star. 2017-04-01. Retrieved 2017-04-16. 
  9. ^ "Bangladesh Air Force, 15 individuals win Independence Award 2017". bdnews24.com. Retrieved 2017-04-16. 
  10. ^ "Air Force, 15 personalities get Independence Award | Dhaka Tribune". Dhaka Tribune. 2017-03-23. Retrieved 2017-04-16. 
  11. ^ "National Awards - Banglapedia". en.banglapedia.org. Retrieved 2017-04-16. 
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