DU students raise flag of Bangladesh | The Daily Star
12:00 AM, March 02, 2012 / LAST MODIFIED: 12:00 AM, March 02, 2012

March 1971

DU students raise flag of Bangladesh

March 2, 1971 dawned in East Pakistan with the population in a mood of outright rebellion.
And that despite the fact that on the preceding day, when General Yahya Khan announced the postponement of the national assembly session, governor of East Pakistan Vice Admiral S M Ahsan had been replaced by zonal martial law administrator Lt Gen Sahibzada Yaqub Khan.
Rumours were rife that Ahsan had differed with the rest of the junta over the decision to defer the national assembly session.
Yaqub Khan thus came to wear two hats, that of governor and zonal martial law administrator.
For his part, Awami League chief Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman announced a general strike to protest the president's action. He also announced a national mourning day for March 3 in memory of those Bangalees who had died at the hands of the army and other security forces.
At Dhaka University, militancy began to take a markedly intense form, with students openly calling for Bangladesh to declare independence. Leading student figures exerted pressure on Bangabandhu to declare independence for East Pakistan and thereby break all links with the rest of the country.
It was in such a mood that on the day, the students of Dhaka University, led by ASM Abdur Rab, Shahjahan Siraj, Nur-e-Alam Siddiqui and Abdul Kuddus Makhan of the Chhatra Sangram Parishad, raised the flag of what they perceived to be a free Bangladesh.
The event not only galvanized the student community as well as Bangalees across the spectrum in their urge for self-expression but also brought to the fore the rapidity with which politics in East Pakistan was turning towards radicalism.
The flag, with a green background topped by a red circle symbolising a rising sun, in the centre of which nestled Bangladesh's map, was conceived and designed by Shibnarayan Das.

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