10th day of April, 1971: The Proclamation Of Independence

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Published on April 4, 2022
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On this day of April 10th 1971, the first government of Bangladesh was formed. It was formed on the basis of Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman's declaration of independence on March 26 and election verdict of 1970 and was sworn in on April 16, 1971.

Bangabandhu was made the President, with the Commander-in-Chief of the War of Liberation declared and in his absence Vice President Syed Nazrul Islam acted as the Acting President.

Apart from being the Prime Minister, Tajuddin Ahmed also served as the Minister for Defense, Information, Broadcasting and Communication, Economic Affairs, Planning, Education, Local Government, Health, Labor, Social Welfare, Establishment and other matters which were not assigned to anyone.

Capt. M Mansur Ali took over as Minister of Finance, Industries and Commerce and AHM Kamruzzaman took over as Minister of Home Affairs, Supply, Relief and Rehabilitation and Minister of Agriculture.

On 10 April 1971, Professor M Yusuf Ali officially read out the Declaration of the Independent and Sovereign People's Republic of Bangladesh. The historic 'Declaration of Independence of Bangladesh' issued by the Provisional Government of the People's Republic of Bangladesh or the Mujibnagar government was effective as an interim constitution governing the Mujibnagar government as long as the war of independence of Bangladesh was going on.

Before being arrested by the Pakistanis on March 25, 1971, Bangabandhu had given different directions to the then leaders of the Awami League. The reason for having multiple plans is that even if one plan fails, the other can be put to use. According to the instructions of Bangabandhu, Tajuddin Ahmed first reached the border of West Bengal on 30 March via Faridpur-Kushtia to reach a safe place by evading the Pakistanis. From there he crossed the border with Barrister Amirul Islam and entered India with the help of Meherpur Sub-Divisional Administrator Tawfiq-e-Elahi Chowdhury. From the moment of entry into India until the meeting with the Prime Minister of India Indira Gandhi on 3 April, the Indian Border Security Force accorded due respect to the representative of the Awami League, elected by the majority of the people and declared independence.

Because the four national leaders, especially Tajuddin, were able to achieve that through their strong position as the representative of independent Bangladesh from the very beginning. Before sitting in a meeting with Indira Gandhi on 3 April, Tajuddin realized that an administrative structure was the most important factor in carrying on the war in the absence of Bangabandhu. Therefore, in accordance with the mandate of the 1970 elections, Bangabandhu, as President and himself as a representative of the Awami League, negotiated with Indira Gandhi for recognition and assistance to the Government of Bangladesh. Since Bangabandhu had maintained good relations for a long time with the Indian leadership by planning ahead in the event of final independence, this meeting of Indira Gandhi with Tajuddin as a representative of the leadership of Bangladesh which declared independence was fruitful. Although not immediately recognized due to various international accounts, India assured the new government of Bangladesh of all possible assistance, starting from the shelter-training-weapons of the Liberation Army. Shelters and all kinds of assistance were also promised for the fleeing refugees.

In the history of the world, only two states have been born through the Declaration of Independence - United States of America and Bangladesh. The Declaration of Independence, the official recognition of our independence confirms that we Bengalis fought in our war for liberation with valor.


THE PROCLAMATION OF INDEPENDENCE

Mujibnagar, Bangladesh 
Dated 10th day of April, 1971

Whereas free elections were held in Bangladesh from 7th December, 1970 to 17th January, 1971, to elect representatives for the purpose of framing a constitution,

AND

Whereas at these elections the people of Bangladesh elected 167 out of 169 representatives belonging to the Awami League,

AND

Whereas General Yahya Khan summoned the elected representatives of the people to meet on the 3rd March, 1971, for the purpose of framing a Constitution,

AND

Whereas the Assembly so summoned was arbitrarily and illegally postponed for an indefinite period,

AND

Whereas instead of fulfilling their promise and while still conferring with the representatives of the people of Bangladesh, Pakistan authorities declared an unjust and treacherous war,

AND

Whereas in the facts and circumstances of such treacherous conduct Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, the undisputed leader o f the 75 million people of Bangladesh, in due fulfillment of the legitimate right of self- determination of the people of Bangladesh, duly made a declaration of independence at Dacca on March 26, 1971, and urged the people of Bangladesh to defend the honour and integrity of Bangladesh,

AND

Whereas in the conduct of a ruthless and savage war the Pakistani authorities committed and are still continuously committing numerous acts of genocide and unprecedented tortures, amongst others on the civilian and unarmed people of Bangladesh,

AND

Where’s the government by levying an unjust war and committing genocide and by other repressive measures made it impossible for the elected representatives of the people of Bangladesh to meet and frame a Constitution, and give to themselves a Government,

AND

Whereas the people of Bangladesh by their heroism, bravery and revolutionary fervor have established effective control over the territories of Bangladesh,

We the elected representatives of the people of Bangladesh. as honour bound by the mandate given to us by the people of Bangladesh whose will is supreme duly constituted ourselves into a Constituent Assembly, and

having held mutual consultations, and

in order to ensure for the people of Bangladesh equality, human dignity and social justice declare and

constitute Bangladesh to be sovereign Peoples’ Republic amid thereby confirm the declaration of independence already made by Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, and

do hereby affirm and resolve that till such time as a Constitution is rained, Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman shall be the President of the Republic and that Syed Nazrul Islam shall be the Vice-President of the Republic, and

that the President shall be the Supreme Commander of all the Armed Forces of the Republic,

shall exercise all the Executive and Legislative powers or the Republic including the power Co grant pardon.

shall have the power to appoint a Prime Minister and such other Ministers as he considers necessary,

shall have the power to levy taxes and expend monies,

shall have the power to summon and adjourn the Constituent Assembly, and

do all other things that may be necessary to give to the People of Bangladesh an orderly and just Government,

We the elected representatives of the People of Bangladesh do further resolve that in the even of there being no President or the President being unable to enter upon his office or being unable to exercise his powers and ditties due to any reason whatsoever, the Vice-President shall have and exercise all the powers, duties and responsibilities herein conferred on the president,

We further resolve that we undertake to observe and give effect to all

duties and obligations that devolve upon us as a member of the family of nations and under the Charter of United Nations.

We further resolve that this proclamation of independence shall be denied to have come into effect from 26th day of March, 1971.

We further resolve that in order to give effect to this instrument we appoint Prof. Yusuf All our duly Constituted Potentiary and to give to the President and the Vice-President oaths of office.