1385Published on March 2, 2023
The seed Bangabandhu sowed with the historic six-point demand in 1966 came to fruition with the 1970 general election, Prime Minister’s ICT Adviser Sajeeb Wazed Joy wrote yesterday in a post on his verified Facebook profile.
“Awami League gained a landslide majority bagging 167 seats out of 313 in the national cabinet of Pakistan. Sheikh Mujibur Rahman became the leader of united Pakistan,” he wrote.
“But Pakistani military junta and defeated politicians did not hand over the power to the Bengali majority, rather they started making excuses from the very beginning of 1971. Even the autocratic General Yahya canceled the national cabinet assembly, supposed to be held on March 3. This made the Bengali people furious immediately after the announcement on March 1,” the post reads.
“Bangabandhu called upon the nation for a peaceful non-cooperation movement against the Pakistani force. But the military junta shot hundreds of people dead on the streets during the movement. Then Bangabandhu took to hard lines.”
In line with Bangabandhu’s instruction, people enforced a general strike on March 2 and 3, the post says, adding that Bangabandhu held a mass rally in Paltan on March 3 where the manifesto of independence was read out.
“The manifesto stipulated matters regarding the national flag, national anthem, geographical boundary of Bangladesh, basic principles of the state and overall outline of the state,” Sajeeb Wazed wrote.
The strike and protests continued till March 6 and many freedom seekers died from the bullets of the Pakistani forces in major cities, the post reads.
Bangabandhu delivered his final directives on independence in the historic March 7 speech at a rally in Suhrawardy Udyan. He asked people to shut down all offices, courts, educational institutions for an indefinite period, which made Pakistan’s rule ineffective. “Volunteer groups from Awami League marched throughout the cities to avoid any chaos,” the post goes on.
Seeing the situation going out of control, Pakistani autocratic ruler Yahya Khan announced his Dhaka visit on March 9. And the remarks of Bangabandhu, in an interview, was: “... We are not willing to compromise.”
On March 13, Sangram Committee was formed in every locality of the country, leading to uncertainty of the Pakistani administration.
Bangabandhu, in a statement on March 14, said: “We will continue our revolt until we achieve freedom. The spirit of freeing Bangladesh cannot be put off.”
Yahya Khan arrived in Dhaka on March 15. Talks, with the intention of buying time to reinforce their military forces and arms, started on the following day on March 16. When things were visible, Bangabandhu asked people to observe ‘Revolt Day’ on Pakistan’s national day on March 23. He also hoisted the flag of Bangladesh on that day at his Dhanmondi residence. The mass boycotting of Pakistani products also started across the country, Sajeeb Wazed wrote.
Soon after news broke that Yahya Khan left Dhaka on March 25, Bangabandhu started receiving messages from party leaders and activists from all over the country. Pakistani forces began their brutality, mass killings and genocide over the peaceful Bengali people on that dark night. Bangabandhu declared the country’s independence in the wee hours of March 26, the post reads.