End the Controversy of Declaration of Independence

Hiren Pandit: Prime Minister and Awami League President Sheikh Hasina said that this country did not become independent by blowing the whistle on any Major. The country became independent because of the strong leadership of the father of the nation. The Prime Minister is addressing the discussion organized on the occasion of Independence Day and National Day. Sheikh Hasina criticized the speech of the BNP leaders and said, “If everyone fled to India, who fought the war?” Zia was born in India, grew up in Pakistan, and was posted in East Pakistan. This country did not become independent by blowing the whistle of any Major.

BNP has nothing to claim about reading Bangabandhu’s Declaration of Independence. Ziaur Rahman was a salaried employee of the Awami League government. He grabbed power by undermining people’s rights. After the killing of Bangabandhu and his family on August 15, the turn of history distortion began in the country. Ziaur Rahman grabbed power by undermining the rights of all people. The development of the country is not possible with the power grabbers. BNP leader Dr. Abdul Moyeen Khan’s father was the Food Secretary at that time, Sheikh Hasina also said that due to his wrong information, a famine occurred in the country. She also said that many countries supported the liberation war but some countries opposed it.

Bangabandhu made all the plans for the socio-economic development of war-torn Bangladesh within a short time after independence. Independence was possible because of his strong leadership. She pointed out that the anti-independence forces are still trying to distort history. She said these things at the discussion meeting of the Awami League on the occasion of the Great Independence Day. BNP leaders do not find democracy. Talking too much. BNP says that the Awami League leaders fled on the night of March 25. So, who brought the victory, and who formed the government? She said we got India’s support in the liberation war. We got the hostility of big countries again. After the Awami League came to power, those who cooperated have been honored.

If we do a little research or try to know a little about the liberation war and observe the domestic and foreign newspapers, research papers, and books written by Pakistani generals, no one but Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman is prominently named as the leader of the liberation war of Bangladesh. Pakistanis also have words of praise in their books about Maulana Bhasani, but none of their books about Sheikh Mujib have a word of praise, let alone condemnation. Pakistanis still blame Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujib for breaking Pakistan. Is the name of General Ziaur Rahman mentioned in the writings of any of the Pakistanis of that time?

The same information is also known from many researchers and the organizers and participants of the liberation war who actively participated in the liberation war. Bangabandhu’s name is repeatedly mentioned as the architect of the freedom of the Bengali nation, as the father of the Bengali nation, in the news or analysis about the liberation war and freedom published in the foreign media. The national leaders including Tajuddin Ahmad have given all the interviews during the liberation war, they admitted in one sentence that they were fighting the liberation war under the sole leadership of Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman and no one else.

It is said that Sheikh Mujib, imprisoned in Pakistan’s jail, single-handedly led the liberation war of a nation in his absence, which is mentioned in every research paper about the liberation war. On review, it can be seen that almost every Pakistani has a bad idea about Bangladesh and Bengalis and blames Sheikh Mujibur Rahman for the breakup of Pakistan. Ziaur Rahman’s name was nowhere to be found in any of their discussions. Yet those who unsuccessfully attempt to pit Zia against Bangabandhu as the herald of independence are nothing more than the manipulation of the people. Because the issue of Bangabandhu’s declaration of independence is so clear in history, it is a kind of foolishness and silliness to debate it.

During Bangabandhu’s lifetime, no one dared to hold such an event, and even Major Zia never even commented, much less claimed, that the declaration was controversial. But after the death of Ziaur Rahman, a plan and an attempt to establish Major Zia as the proclaimer of independence can be noticed. Because BNP emerged as a political party in 1979, this party became a platform for defeating anti-independence parties and individuals. At one point, an attempt was made to make them stand as a herald to atone for this ‘anti-freedom’ sin. Zia was chosen for this because he participated in the liberation war.

Moreover, he was the military man who ‘read’ Bangladesh’s independence declaration on behalf of Bangabandhu from Swadhin Bangla Betar Kendra. This demand for BNP became stronger after coming to power in 1991. They denied the inevitable results of the movement and the continuity of history and tried to create an untrue history to establish their interests and benefits by showing the radio announcement of Ziaur Rahman in favor of Bangabandhu.

But the Declaration of Independence is not a contest where a major blows a whistle and everyone runs after Hamilon. The followers of Ziaur Rahman did not understand this matter, nor did they ever want to understand it. A nation’s freedom struggle is not a one-day affair. It’s a long process not even a major’s radio announcement.

Since 1947, Bangabandhu has been the main attraction of the Bengali nation. The history of liberation of the Bengali nation has revolved around him. Young Sheikh Mujib gradually became the liberator of the Bengali nation. Formed the Chhatra League in 1948 with new political thinking. In 1949, he was elected joint secretary of the newly formed East Pakistan Awami Muslim League. His political activism started by participating in the Dari movement to make Bengali the national language. Then he became the undisputed leader of Bengali through the Great Language Movement of 1952, the formation of the United Front in 1954, the anti-military movement in 1958, the education movement of 1962, and the historic six-point movement of 1966.

Because of his visionary leadership, Bangabandhu realized that war against the Pakistanis was inevitable for us as early as March 1971. So, he ordered the people of Bangladesh to join the liberation war on March 7, 1971. He said, “This time’s struggle is our liberation struggle, this time’s struggle is freedom’s struggle”. In this speech, the image of killing-oppression-torture by Pakistanis towards Bengali became embodied. To face the enemy, he instructed the Bengali nation, “Be prepared with whatever you have.” Inspired by this hypnotic speech of the father of the nation, the Bengali nation started preparing for the armed liberation war. This world-shaking thunderous speech of only 19 minutes on March 7 was a reflection of the thousand-year passion of Bengalis, the message of thousand-year dreams, the reflection of thousand-year aspirations, which was the determination to liberate Bengalis.

Bangabandhu pronounced in a strong voice, “When we have given blood, we will give more blood, we will free the people of this country, God willing.” Many people say Bangabandhu was absent in our liberation war. They never judge, the liberation war of Bangladesh was a war to drive out foreign invaders-enemies from within an independent country led by an elected representative of the people. After independence on March 26, 1971, it took us 9 months to drive out those enemies. December 16 is our victory day because we were able to drive them away.

Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman the leader of Bangladesh declared independence on March 26, that declaration is the foundation of the declaration of independence of Bangladesh, that is, based on the declaration of independence on March 26, the full declaration of independence or the mother cell of the constitution of Bangladesh was declared on April 10 and the independent government of Bangladesh was formed. The complete constitution of Bangladesh was written based on this declaration. Therefore, the war that took place in Bangladesh for 9 months in 1971 was a war to free our independent country from the invading forces. All people fought this war for an independent country that came through the 1970 elections.

The country called independent Bangladesh was born on March 26, 1971. When the Pakistani army arrested Bangabandhu, they arrested the elected head of an independent country. Bangabandhu proved that neither he nor his party were separatists. In other words, Bangabandhu, through his public arrest, single-handedly achieved most of the rest of the country’s victories after independence. Arrested leader Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman fought almost alone in the world. As with any liberation war, freedom struggle is through the self-sacrifice of the people of the country, so the freedom-seeking people of the whole world stand beside it as fellow fighters.

The imprisoned independent president Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman justified the freedom-seeking people of the whole world to stand for Bangladesh that day. The imprisoned Bangabandhu defeated Yahya that day in people’s diplomacy. In other words, the Pakistani authorities lost to Bangabandhu’s diplomacy in the war of expelling the invaders using systematic politics and forming the government. Bangabandhu won, transformed from Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman to Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman.

Many people mistakenly say that Bangabandhu was absent in the liberation war. Apart from that one cannot declare independence of a country at will. Have jurisdiction or right to declare independence. Whoever declares, must have the support of his country and the international world. People will not support it if they call for independence. As the leader of the winning party in the 1970s elections, only Bangabandhu had the right to declare independence.

It became possible because he inspired and prepared the countrymen step by step for independence. So, the country did not become independent just because someone came and declared independence. The course of history and Bangabandhu were so inextricably linked that it was not possible for anyone but Sheikh Mujib to declare independence.

The BNP took the opportunity to spread confusion by replacing the powerful political figure Bangabandhu with someone like Ziaur Rahman as the herald of independence by capitalizing on the announcement broadcast from Chattogram’s ‘Swadhin Bangla Betar Kendra’. How was that announcement possible? It was not military men, but radio station workers who first thought of broadcasting the Declaration of Independence to stimulate the people.

Bangabandhu has already announced in his March 7 speech, But Betar workers chose Ziaur Rahman to spread Bangabandhu’s ‘call for freedom’ to the masses. Belal Mohammad, the then-official of Chattogram Radio Center, said that Ziaur Rahman was called and they read the Declaration of Independence. When the Chattogram radio station was briefly captured by the rebels, M A Hannan, the local Awami League leader, read out the declaration of independence to Bangladesh on March 26 and on the evening of March 27, the rebel leader of 8 EB, Major Ziaur Rahman, read the Declaration of Independence to Bangladesh.

No one can call or proclaim independence and Major Ziaur Rahman. It is a long process. can declare independence, a leader who has been fighting for the liberation of a nation since the beginning of his long political career. People also jump into battle with everything at the call of a leader who has earned their love and trust by giving everything in his life. Before March 27, 1971, Ziaur Rahman was shunned by the public, even politicians in the country did not know him. How do you know? Ziaur Rahman was a major in the then-Pakistan Army. Reports published in the world press in late 1971 made it clear that the declaration of Bangladesh’s independence was widely publicized around the world based on the announcement broadcast by Swadhin Bangla Betar Kendra on March 26.

There is no doubt that Sheikh Mujibur Rahman’s genuine message about the midnight attack on the EPR and police barracks in Dhaka received wide coverage in the world press. General Zia was given no credit in the world press for declaring independence. While Ziaur Rahman was alive, he never said that he was the proclaimer of independence or Ziaur Rahman’s close colleague late Lt. Colonel Akbar Hossain, late Lt. Colonel Mir Shawkat Ali and the surviving Colonel Ali Ahmad (Bir Bikram) never claimed during Zia’s lifetime that Ziaur Rahman was the proclaimer of independence. In an interview with Bichitra magazine in 1973, Zia declared in favor of Bangabandhu and praised Bangabandhu highly.
Even after Bangabandhu’s death, Zia referred to Bangabandhu as the Father of the Nation at various places.

At various times, BNP leaders did not stop calling Ziaur Rahman the proclaimer of independence, they also called Zia the first president of Bangladesh and questioned Bangabandhu’s leadership in the liberation war. It is clearly understood that even today BNP and their like-minded parties are playing the game of political interest on this decisive and sensitive issue of the nation. It may be noted that despite many requests, Bangabandhu refused to leave house No. 32 in Dhanmondi on 25th March.

He assured them, “If I go to a safe place, the Pakistani forces will carry out mass killings without finding me, the people may also misunderstand me.” Then Bangabandhu officially sent the message of the declaration of independence to the Chattogram Radio Center after midnight through EPR’s wireless. Bangabandhu was arrested by Pakistani forces at around 3 pm and taken to an unknown location. On the other hand, the next day, March 26, at 2:30 PM, the Awami League leader of Chattogram MA Hannan read the declaration of independence from Chattogram Radio Center. The next day i.e. March 27 at 7:30 in the evening, Major Ziaur Rahman read the Declaration of Independence on behalf of Bangabandhu from Kalurghat radio station.

The writer is an essayist, researcher and a columnist

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