Free Bangladesh celebrates first Independence Day | The Daily Star
12:00 AM, March 26, 2020 / LAST MODIFIED: 02:07 PM, March 26, 2020

First year of Bangladesh Bangabandhu’s nation-building challenges

Free Bangladesh celebrates first Independence Day

MARCH 26, 1972

STEPS TOWARDS SOCIALISM

In a historic address to the nation broadcast and telecast today from his office, Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman declares his commitment towards establishing socialism in Bangladesh and presents his nationalisation scheme. The prime minister solemnly pledges to rebuild and reconstruct free Bangladesh and assures that fruits of independence will be reaped and enjoyed by 75 million people of Bangladesh and not merely by a handful of opportunists.

Explaining the salient features of his nationalisation plan, Bangabandhu names the following sectors of economy to be nationalised immediately: Banking (excluding branches of foreign banks), insurance (both life and general), jute manufacturing industry, sugar industry, major portion of coastal transport sector, all abandoned and absentee enterprises with fixed assets above Tk 15 lakh, Bangladesh Biman and Bangladesh Shipping Corporation. It is proposed to eventually nationalise the entire foreign trade.

Bangabandhu declares that the government is working on policy measures giving workers the scope of participation in the management of these enterprises. About the private sector, the prime minister says that they will be encouraged to stay and operate their enterprises efficiently and profitably within the framework of the government policy.

GREETINGS FROM WORLD LEADERS

The president and prime minister have received messages of good wishes on the occasion of the celebration of the first Independence Day anniversary of Bangladesh from Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, V. Podgorny, Chairman of the Presidium of the Supreme Council of the USSR, Sir Jaul Hasluck, Governor General of the Commonwealth of Australia, President VV Giri of India, Indian Prime Minister Indira Gandhi, General Ne Win, Chairman of the Revolutionary Council of Burma and other world leaders.

WOMEN WILL ENJOY EQUAL RIGHTS

Bangabandhu appeals to women of the country today to participate in the task of building a society free from exploitation. He says that women will enjoy equal rights and privileges in Bangladesh.

Speaking as the chief guest at a sports function at Azimpur Girls School, Bangabandhu regrets that in the past, half of the nation had been confined within the four walls of their houses owing to social prejudices. "Religion had been exploited for enslaving our mothers and sisters," he says. He hopes that in free Bangladesh men and women will work shoulder to shoulder in the coming years.

SUBDIVISIONS RAISED TO DISTRICT STATUS

Bangabandhu announces today the raising of all subdivisions of Bangladesh to the status of districts. At present, there are 19 districts and 51 subdivisions in Bangladesh.

SOURCES: March 27, 1972 issues of Dainik Bangla, The Daily Ittefaq, Azad, Morning News, The Bangladesh Observer and Purbodesh.

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