First year of Bangladesh: Bangabandhu’s nation-building challenges | The Daily Star
12:00 AM, February 01, 2020 / LAST MODIFIED: 08:51 AM, February 01, 2020

First year of Bangladesh: Bangabandhu’s nation-building challenges

FEBRUARY 1, 1972


In a meeting with government officials, Bangabandhu urges them to dedicate themselves to the service of the people. He reminds them that they are not masters but servants of the people. Old bureaucratic, time-consuming methods will not just do anymore. He declares that it will be the policy of his government to ensure that the gains of independence go to toiling masses and freedom fighters. Stressing that freedom has been achieved through a revolution he says that revolutionary measures are needed to build up the war-ravaged country. Relief and rehabilitation have to be tackled on a war footing. A relentless war would have to be waged against poverty and illiteracy so that the expectations that have been raised among the people are fulfilled. Officials would do well to remember that the people have undergone a revolutionary transformation and would not tolerate high handedness and being exploited, Bangabandhu adds.

53 government officials removed

A government press note declares that those officials who received ‘honours’ during Bangladesh’s occupation by Pakistani Junta are removed with immediate effect. However, Bangabandhu has promised that those officials will have an opportunity to explain the circumstances in which they had to accept the ‘honours’.

Ministry of Housing and Public Works decides to remove all contractors who were listed or promoted between March 25 and December 16, 1971.

Bangabandhu consoles martyrs’ families

Wives of martyred DU teachers call on Bangabandhu at his government residence. He assures them of providing all kinds of support including regular allowance, job and free education for family members of the deceased professors.

US senators for recognition of Bangladesh

17 US senators have sponsored a resolution advocating the US government’s diplomatic recognition of Bangladesh. Senator Ernest Hollings, Democrat, the original co-sponsor of the resolution along with William Saxbe, Republican, told the Senate that the US should take the initiative in recognition rather than waiting for other Western nations to act.

Bangladeshi refugees return home

Indian Rehabilitation Ministry informs that 66,45,676 Bangladeshi refugees have so far gone back to their homes. All the evacuees, nearly 10 million, are expected to return home by next March.

Moscow-Dhaka regular flight begins

With the arrival of Soviet Aeroflot SU 547 at Dhaka in the afternoon, regular air link between Dhaka and Moscow is established.

Mass graves found in Comilla

Eight mass graves with severed parts of human skeletons sticking out are found near Comilla Cantonment. Torn leaves of a book, Bangla Sankalan, and a blue shirt with buttons on the tip of the collar over a grave suggests that some unlucky schoolboy was amongst those who were killed and buried there by the Pakistani occupation force.

Sources: February 2, 1972 issues of Dainik Bangla, The Daily Ittefaq and The Azad.

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