Liberation War and New Generation

Hiren Pandit: The new generation should know that the freedom fighters despised their lives and sacrificed their lives to liberate the motherland and uphold the victory flag of independent Bangladesh. The achievements of our liberation war should be presented to them. During the war of liberation, the Pakistani occupation forces took all the necessary measures to wipe out a nation forever. As a result, they killed the sun children of this country, including workers, teachers, intellectuals, and journalists. It is everyone’s responsibility and duty to present the proper history of how the Bengali nation defeated them to the new generation, especially the young generation.
But to what extent are we doing that? The question has come before us. The war of liberation is the war to free the Bengali nation from the chains of exploitation. The spirit of the liberation war is the cherished dream of our Bengali nation, the dream of the soul of a nation. This dream has stirred our hearts and inspired our dream to establish a sovereign state. It helped me realize the dream, accelerated this dream, and quickened a new hope. The spirit that united the Bengali nation to develop a democratic and non-exploitative society. We need to do more to spread this consciousness among the new generation. The consciousness of the new generation should be sharpened.
Those who have not seen the liberation war but have heard it in the form of stories from an elder person in their family, from a teacher, from a leader, from a freedom fighter, or from a book. We do not know how accurate that hearing or reading is or how widespread it is. Educational institutions can take the initiative. How successful are we to highlight the history of the liberation war? A distortion of history can give a nation nothing but destruction and confusion. Bringing the fact that the country became independent under the leadership of Bangabandhu to the new generation, especially the young generation. Which will inspire the new generation to practice patriotism. The accurate history of the liberation war will be a source of inspiration for the new generation, and we should start working now to sharpen this consciousness.
Sheikh Hasina’s dream is to take the country forward in the spirit of the liberation war and to give the country’s people a taste of development. The main goal was to write the history of the liberation war, to place Bangabandhu’s existence in the history of the liberation war, and to place him in a proper place of dignity. The excellent freedom struggle of Bangladesh promised to fulfill the fundamental rights of the countrymen, such as food, clothing, shelter, medical care, and education. Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina is walking on the path of development, progress, and prosperity, facing various domestic and foreign challenges. She is relentlessly trying to build a progressive, democratic and non-communal Bangladesh free from hunger and poverty.
The government is working to implement four foundations to make an intelligent Bangladesh successful. These are Smart Citizens, Smart Economy, Smart Government, and Smart Society. Apart from this, the plan of how the delta will be in the year 2100 has been undertaken. All work in Smart Bangladesh will be done through technology, and every citizen will be proficient. Smart Bangladesh of 2041 will be a cost-effective, sustainable, intellectual, knowledge-based, and innovative Bangladesh. The proudest thing in the life of the Bengali nation was the liberation war of 1971. It is a matter of pride for anyone who can contribute even a little to participate in the nation’s national liberation struggle. Our pride is that the people of this country participated directly and actively in the liberation war. The people of this country participated in the liberation war with the dream of establishing a liberal, democratic, egalitarian society and state free from exploitation and deprivation.

Since 1947, Sheikh Mujib was 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. He formed the Chhatra League in 1948 with new political thinking. 1949 he was elected joint secretary of the newly formed East Pakistan Awami Muslim League. Political activity started by participating in the movement to demand Bengali as the national language. Then, he became the undisputed leader of Bengalis through the Great Language Movement of 1952, the formation of the United Front in 1954, the anti-military movement of 1958, the education movement of 1962, and the historic six-point-based movement of 1966. In the 1970 elections, Bengalis strongly supported the clause. But instead of handing over power to the Awami League, the Pakistani ruling group started politics of conspiracy.
Due to his visionary leadership, he realized that war against the Pakistanis was inevitable 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-persecution-torture by Pakistanis towards Bengalis is embodied. He instructed the Bengali nation to face the enemy, ‘Be ready with whatever you have.’ Inspired by this hypnotic speech, the Bengali nation prepared for an armed liberation war. Bangabandhu delivered the speech in a highly symbolic style. On the one hand, the freedom fighters asked people to prepare for a long struggle, while on the other hand, they pointed their thumbs at the Pakistani rulers.
He was not a learned politician; he was a world-class diplomat. In his March 7 speech, he revealed everything like a diplomat. He said the past 23 years is a history of deprivation. He talked about Bengali deprivation in Pakistan, including the language movement, the 1954 elections, the 1958 military rule, the six points of 1966, the 1969 popular uprising, and the 1970 elections; on the other hand, he also gave war tactics and an organized unscripted speech. Bangabandhu, the leader of Bangladesh, declared independence on March 26; that declaration is the basis of the declaration of independence of Bangladesh; based on this declaration, the full declaration of independence, or the mother cell of the constitution, was declared on April 10, and the independent government of Bangladesh was formed.
The complete constitution of Bangladesh was written based on this declaration. Bangabandhu declared independence on March 26 as the elected leader of the people of Bangladesh after the genocide and war were imposed on Bangladesh during the 1970 elections. That is what all the public representatives accepted as a valid declaration on behalf of the people of Bangladesh through the Declaration of Independence. Bangabandhu formed the government for the declared independent country. Bangabandhu was appointed the head of that government, i.e., President, and Syed Nazrul Islam as Vice President. The legitimate government then gets all legislative and fiscal rights over the country per the Declaration.
There are only two obstacles in this path. Firstly, several places inside the country were occupied by the Pakistani army, and secondly, Bangladesh needed formal recognition by other countries. Two things were essential for this formal recognition. First of all, those who formed this state have to prove that they are not separatists. Second, is the state being run by elected representatives? For a democratic state to recognize another democratic new state, the first thing to do is to see who is claiming to have formed a new state and whether they are separatist or not. If they are not proven to be separatists, they meet most of the conditions for recognition. If Bangabandhu had escaped the war to drive out these Pakistani invaders of Bangladesh or had gone underground and tried to fight the battle like a revolutionary, the military rulers of Pakistan would have had ample opportunity to prove him as a separatist.
But even after the country was attacked, Bangabandhu declared independence sitting in his residence. He urged the country’s people to resist the invaders and sought recognition for the new state from the world. The act of seeking this declaration and recognition was public and as an elected leader. So, when the Pakistani army arrested Bangabandhu, they arrested the elected head of government of an independent country. Neither he nor his party are separatists. In other words, through his public arrest, Bangabandhu single-handedly achieved most of the country’s victories after declaring independence. He proved to the world that he and his party were not separatists; they were fighting to liberate the invaders from their land.
In 9 months of 1971, he won most of the battles from the jail of Pakistan; he also transformed himself in prison like the Agartala case. His shape became more massive—the democratic world questioned whether the Pakistani military authorities had the right to arrest this elected leader. The US President took Pakistan’s side but was repeatedly blocked in the Senate for taking a stand on Pakistan’s side. Everyone says only Bangabandhu has the right to decide about his country. Not Pakistani military authorities. Therefore, Bangabandhu was everywhere in the freedom fighters’ rifles, mines, and grenades through the voice of thunder. Similarly, the arrested leader, Bangabandhu, fought almost alone internationally.
As with any liberation war, freedom struggle is through the self-sacrifice of the country’s people, so the freedom-seeking people of the whole world stand beside it as fellow fighters. Bangabandhu justified the freedom-seeking people worldwide to stand for Bangladesh that day. Bangabandhu defeated Yahya that day in diplomacy. The Pakistani authorities lost to Bangabandhu’s diplomacy in the battle to drive out the invaders by armed means, forming the government through systematic politics. Bangabandhu won, transformed from Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman to Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman. Many sun children of Bengal may have dreamed of breaking the shackles of the Bengali nation. But that dream was transformed into reality by the great hero of history, Bangabandhu, the father of the country. So, it can be said that Bangladesh and Bangabandhu are the same, complementary.
One cannot be imagined without the other. Bangabandhu returned home on January 10, 1972. Bangabandhu reached home at 6 in the evening from the crowd of millions at the race course. After a long journey, long ceremonies, public meetings, and an exchange of emotions, Bangabandhu ignored all the fatigue and emotions and started running the country without a moment’s delay. On that day, he held two meetings with the cabinet, and many important decisions were taken, including drafting the constitution. After fifty years of victory, Bangladesh stands tall in the world. Bangabandhu planted the seeds of digital Bangladesh. He made Bangladesh a member of the International Telecommunication Union in 1973. On June 14, 1975, he inaugurated the V-satellite center at Betbunia.
See the development of the saplings born from these planted seeds in 1996 when the leader Sheikh Hasina assumed the duties of the Prime Minister for the first time. We always promise to build the country in the spirit of the liberation war, and we talk about realizing Bangabandhu’s dream. Still, the new generation has to understand what nation-building is in the spirit of the liberation war. Bangabandhu’s dream was to build a country free from corruption. They are building a non-discrimination society in a non-communal spirit. Ensuring food, clothing, shelter, education, and medical care for all. The spirit of the liberation war, the spirit of the freedom fighters, should be taught in the hearts of these young children. With their hands, this country will become a corruption-free, violence-free, discrimination-free Bangabandhu’s Golden Bengal.
Hiren Pandit is an essayist, researcher and columnist.

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