Heroic Muktijuddhas (Freedom Fighters of Bangladesh Liberation War)

Bangla'r joy - heroics of Bangladeshi Freedom Fighters accelerate victory

The Swadhniata Juddho ended owing to the heroic fight of the Bangladesh Freedom Fighters. Their guerrilla warfare, the strong unity amongst the Bengali countrymen, the active help of the Indo-Bangladesh allied force, and the support of people all over the world resulted in victory of the Bengalis and successful completion of the Liberation War.

Even Indian Lt. Gen. Jacob, who drafted the Instrument of Surrender, paid tributes to freedom fighters and said the victory of the Liberation War had been won by them, not otherwise.

I've always said it was your [Bengali] liberation war. It was your war of independence, not otherwise.

Last of all, I want to tell you something. The freedom fighters and the East Bengal Regiment, who with their limited resources fought a mighty regular army, earned the liberation of Bangladesh and it was their love for the country that made them victorious.

We helped them, we were brothers in arms. But it was their fight, they fought it. They fought with passion and they achieved what they fought for. I give my heartiest blessings and share the pride for them. They are the gems your country should be proud of.

Lt Gen Jacob on gallant Bengali freedom fighters, who were the architect of independence

In the evening of Bijoy Dibosh, a cheerful rendering of 'aaj srishti shukher ullaashe' was heard courtesy of the newly reopened and rejuvenated Dhaka Radio. The forever inspirational poem was apt to capture the joy of creation of a new nation and the painful happiness of a return home. And then a song, sombre in tone and patriotic in cadence, wafted along. Abdul Jabbar's voice, which along with so many others kept the spirit of triumph alive in the months preceding the end of the war, swept into every Bengali home. He sang 'hajar bochhor pore abar eshechhi phire... Bangla'r buuke achhi darhiye' (After 1,000 years we return once again to the bosom of Bangla). Akhtar Hossain wrote "Shwadhin shwadhin dikey dikey aaj" on that very same day and Ajit Roy composed the tune. After recording, the song went on air that very day.

We could hear the blank fires all around the city and everyone was extremely excited upon hearing the news. There was celebration everywhere. Naturally our plan was totally changed. We prepared to sing songs of victory.

We had nothing but tea all day. But our excitement and joy dispelled hunger. There is nothing to compare to the feeling of attaining independence.

Singer Ajit Roy recalls how he went out to have a cup of tea and heard the news of victory on the way

In a few days, the Mujibnagar government would be coming home from exile. Within weeks, 'Bangabandhu' Sheikh Mujibur Rahman - the 'Jathir Jonok' (Father of the Nation) - would be back in the Bengali's midst. There would be a constitution within a year, with the first general election of the new nation to follow shortly thereafter.

Forty winters ago, as the earth prepared for yet another day to give way to a new night of starry luminescence, the People's Republic of Bangladesh took birth over the ashes of what had effectively been, till midnight of March 25 of the year, the eastern province of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan. It was 16 December 1971.

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What to write in poem, While by blood we have written the name - Bangladesh.

An excerpt from a poet

The psychological impact of nine months of hostility on Pakistani troops is not often appreciated. Once Indian forces attacked Pakistani forces, the Mukti Bahini not only fought along side Indian troops, but also ensured that supplies to Pakistani troops were disrupted. Heli-lifting, para dropping or largescale crossings by ferries of troops could not have been attempted if the population was hostile and local support from Mukti Bahini was not available. When the forces of Major General Nagra entered Dhaka, they were escorted by Tiger Siddiqui. The enormous support of Mukti Bahini ensured that despite the difficult geomorphology of Bangladesh, it was liberated in two weeks.

India needs to acknowledge the immense role played by Mukti Bahini, in the most spectacular victory and as a nation should express its gratitude to Freedom Fighters. Mukti Bahini veterans should be honoured at India’s victory day celebrations. As the citizens of the two countries shed their blood to achieve this spectacular victory, they also need to celebrate it together.

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Quick formation of new Bangladesh administration

Bengali officials who chose to remain in Bangladesh through the fighting quickly took over administrating new areas as soon as it become liberated. India also became the first country to recognise the independence of Bangladesh on 6 December 1971. They were closely followed by their ally, the Soviet Union among others.

Actually, India's recognition came earlier than planned. One reason was to circumvent a charge reportedly budding in the U.N. that India had joined the battle to annex the province to India. Since New Delhi does not want to be accused of having exchanged West Pakistani colonialism for Indian colonialism, it is expected to lean over backward to let the Bangladesh government do things its way.

TIME Magazine

The unconditional surrender of the Paksitani forces in Bangladesh on 16 December 1971, unilateral declaration of ceasefire by India on all fronts on the next day and public pronouncement by Indira Gandhi that India had no territorial ambition, also helped to dissipate the growing tension between USA and Soviet. By mid-January 1972, both the Super Powers had withdrawn their forces from battle stations.

How stable is the new nation? Economically, Bangladesh has nowhere to go but up.

TIME Magazine

As Pakistan's eastern wing, it contributed between 50% and 70% of that country's foreign exchange earnings but received only a small percentage in return. The main danger to Bangladesh's economy during that period lied in the fact that it was mainly dependent on jute and burlap, and synthetic substitutes were gradually replacing both. But other industries developed since Bangladesh now kept hold of all its foreign exchange. It also gained an opportunity to open up trade with India's West Bengal, and instead of competing with India, frame joint marketing policies with New Delhi.

Man's history is waiting in patience for the triumph of the insulted man

Rabindranath Tagore, Nobel Prize-winning Bengali poet

Triumph he had, but at a terrible price. With the subcontinent at war, and the newborn land still wracked by bone-shattering poverty, the joy in Bangladesh was tempered by sorrow.

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