The nation is celebrating the 47th Independence and National Day today (March 26) with a fresh vow to uphold the spirit of the Liberation War and to build a “Sonar Bangla” as dreamt by Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman.
On completion of the 46th anniversary of independence, the day this year carries special significance in the national life as forging national unity is badly needed at the moment to root out militancy from the country.
On this auspicious occasion, glowing tributes are being paid to the martyrs and veterans of the War of Liberation.
The National Memorial at Savar is the main venue of the celebration of the day where President Md Abdul Hamid and Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina placed wreaths in the early morning as a mark of profound respect to the memories of the martyrs.
Families of Bir Shreshthas, war wounded freedom fighters, members of the diplomatic corps, leaders of different political parties, social, cultural and professional bodies and people from all walks of life are also laying wreaths at the national memorial since the morning.
Every year, March 26 brings the most tragic reminiscence of the history’s blackest episode that heralded a nine-month bloody ordeal from the night following March 25, 1971 in achieving the long-cherished independence on December 16 the same year at the cost of a sea of blood.
In the wake of the military crackdown, Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, who became the undisputed leader of the then Pakistan following the massive victory of his party, Awami League, in the 1970 general elections, declared independence of Bangladesh through the then EPR (East Pakistan Rifles) wireless at 00-30 hours on March 26 (the night following March 25) in 1971 at his historic Road-32 residence at Dhanmondi in the capital.
The great leader also called upon the people to build up strong resistance against the Pakistani barbaric occupation forces. The Pakistani military junta, in a bid to stop the legitimate movement of the Bangalees, arrested Bangabandhu on that night following his declaration of independence.
Later, Bangabandhu was taken to the then West Pakistan where he had to spend long nine months in a dark condemned cell.
According to Banglapedia, Bangabandhu wrote down the declaration of independence soon after the Pakistani army cracked down on the fateful night of March 25, 1971. The declaration of independence was soon put on air by wireless.
The declaration was first broadcast by Awami League leader MA Hannan from Kalurghat Radio Station in port city Chittagong on March 26, 1971.
However, on March 27, 1971, the then Major Ziaur Rahman announced the proclamation of independence on behalf of great leader Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman from the same radio station.
The Pakistani military junta in their monstrous outburst unleashed a bloody holocaust breaking the silence of the night following March 25 in 1971 when they mercilessly killed hundreds of innocent sleeping Bangalees including teachers, students, police, soldiers, pedestrians and rickshaw-pullers.
The nation soon launched the War of Liberation at the call of Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman in the early hours of March 26.
Bangladesh emerged as an independent and sovereign country on December 16, 1971 with the surrender of the Pakistani occupation forces, who killed three million innocent Bangalees, perpetrated atrocities on 200,000 (two lakh) Bangalee women and burnt down lakhs of dwelling houses across the country during the nine-month war.