Dhaka, Bangladesh
Struggle ongoing for emancipation

Struggle ongoing for emancipation

Independence Day today

News Report: It was a declared twin-struggle in 1971 for emancipation and independence: the latter was won while the former remained unfinished as many suffer economic woes while income disparity widens. Such is the view being expressed by many economists and politicians. As such, on another return of the Independence Day today, the nation reaffirms its pledge to complete the struggle for economic emancipation. For a stroke of bad luck for mankind at large this time around, however, the nation is marking the 49th anniversary of independence on March 26th from under a lockdown across the country and also the world over for a vicious viral pandemic. Euphoric mirth and partying befitting the occasion alongside paying ceremonial homage to the war heroes who made Bangladesh a sovereign state through a nine-month war of independence are all dropped in the view of the exigency. The war against the then occupation forces began this day in 1971 in the culmination of protracted struggles for self-rights. The 26th of March is a public holiday marking the independence anniversary---this time in a different and extremely trying time that warranted extending the closure up to April 4 with a nine-day general holiday. However, televised programmes are being held and newspapers published special supplements on the occasion. President M Abdul Hamid and Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina extended heartiest greetings to the countrymen and expatriate Bangladeshis and wished them wellbeing. The President urged all to work being imbued with the spirit of the liberation war to turn Bangladesh into 'Sonar Bangla' by completing the unfinished tasks of Bangabandhu in the 'Mujib Year'. "I extend my heartiest greetings to the countrymen and expatriate Bangladeshis on the occasion of the great Independence and National Day of Bangladesh," said the Prime Minister in her message. The anniversary of independence begins with a heartrending reminder of the genocide the Pakistani occupation forces had committed from March to mid-December 1971. This year, the historic occasion bears a special significance for the birth centenary of Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, celebrated on March 17th. An outstanding glory of the month of independence is the historical March 7th speech of Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujib, which has been recognised by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) as part of world's documentary heritage. Forty-nine years ago, the nation went to the war of independence under the political leadership of Bangabandhu and earned a sovereign Bangladesh on December 16, 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 freedoms that include the geographical sovereignty that was achieved and the aspired economic emancipation yet to be earned. The struggle for independence started escalating from the beginning of March in 1971 when the then Pakistani dictator had postponed the scheduled March 3 session of the National Assembly as part of their conspiracy against the peaceful and legitimate movement of the Bengalis. 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 on the Dhaka University campus on March 2nd by the Dhaka University Students' Union (DUCSU). The ongoing movement against the conspiracy of Pakistani rulers took a dramatic turn on March 7th, which eventually became a red-letter day in the history of people's long arduous freedom struggles. That day Bangabandhu - the architect of Bangladesh - delivered his epoch-making speech of independence at the Racecourse Maidan, now Suhrawardy Udyan, in Dhaka. "We had spilled blood…we are ready to shed more blood, the people of the country shall be freed, Insha Allah," Bangabandhu in an unequivocal term said in his 19-minute extempore speech before a million freedom-loving people. Two cardinal objectives formed the bottom line of the oration: emancipation and independence. "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 preparation 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. His rousing speech literally had a mesmerizing and sparkling effect on the entire population in the eastern part of Pakistan-- and they stood united under his farsighted leadership to bravely fight for liberating the motherland from the clutches of the Pakistani forces. When the people from all walks of life stood united for establishing their democratic rights, the occupation forces carried out the infamous 'Operation Searchlight' on sleeping people on the night of March 25th. History runs like this: 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. He was arrested and taken prisoner to West Pakistan. He returned to the independent motherland on January 10, 1972. The leader had launched a programme on economic freedom of the people but that ended with a political tragedy of his demise along with most family members and kinspersons. Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, his elder daughter, pledges people's economic emancipation through the development recipe her government purses. However, different economists and politicians are critical of the leaks of the dividend of development and a yawning income disparity stemming from a lack of distributive justice that, they say, can be achieved through fair redistribution of wealth. This school of thinkers feels the need for setting a consensus economic model that really and rightly delivers on the objective of people's economic emancipation. Some of them recommend following the fundamental state principles in an updated form that fits in the present-day national and global realities. (Inputs taken from agencies, media talks)

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