preceding the war
League's unprecedented victory in the National
Assembly election on 7 December 1970 came
as a massive blow for the ruling military
junta of West Pakistan. It was the first
National Assembly election in 23 years,
after the formation of Pakistan in 1947.
The result was upsetting for the Pakistani
rulers as it was beyond their calculation.
Out of 300 National Assembly seats Awami
League won 167. Even Awami League gained
sweeping victory in the Provincial Assembly
election of December 17 as well, winning
all but 2 of the 162 seats. Bangabandhu
Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, being the lawful
claimant, was in the potential position
to form a government. Consequently the people
from all corners desired transfer of power
to the elected representatives of East Pakistan.
But it was unlikely to happen as the military
rulers planned otherwise.
days after the election result, clouds started
to darken the sky. Political scene became
intense as Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto firmly opposed
Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujib's six-point demand
declared in 1966. Bhutto's thoughts were
shared by the West Pakistani military generals.
Six-point demand, which alluded to the autonomy
of East Pakistan, immediately became very
popular among the mass people. This announcement
displeased the West Pakistani rulers at
that time. They viewed it as a sign of defiance.
generals feared that Awami League now being
in a powerful position after the election
result might try to execute the six-point
demand. Amidst this intense situation, President
Yahya Khan visited Dhaka on 11 January 1971.
He even addressed Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujib
as the 'would be Prime Minister" of
Pakistan. Negotiations took place and Yahya
stipulated on the cutback of demand for
autonomy. Mujib boldly refused any concession
on the issue. Yahya went back to Pakistan.
Ali Bhutto visited Dhaka on 27 January 1971.
More negotiations took place. However, Bhutto-Mujib
talks failed to resolve the situation. On
12 February President Yahya announced that
the National Assembly is to be held on March
3rd in Dhaka.
afterwards substantiated the fact that the
negotiation and the subsequent announcement
were merely a formality. But On 13th February
1971, just after Yahya's announcement of
the National Assembly date, Bhutto stunned
everyone at the political scene. He announced
that his party would not go to Dhaka to
join the Assembly. Political leaders of
Pakistan criticised Bhutto for this statement.
Elected representatives of West Pakistan
including Wali Khan, G. M. Syad and Maolana
Mufti later arrived in Dhaka even after
Bhutto's announcement. They called on Mujib
and expressed their support for the democratic
Pakistanis and defiant Bangalees
Bhutto threatened to launch a general strike
throughout Pakistan if the Assembly was
held in scheduled time. By now the people
of East Pakistan was convinced that the
Pakistani rulers would not let a Bengali
rule the country. West Pakistan's positive
response to Bhutto's threat was yet another
proof of this presumption. On 1st March
Yahya postponed the assembly. The declaration
ignited the fire. Eventually tension escalated.
People burst out on the streets with protest
rallies. Continuous slogans condemning Pakistani
rulers echoed in the streets of Dhaka. They
chanted 'Padma, Meghna, Jamuna, tomar
2nd March, Hartal was observed by the entire
nation. Red and green flag with yellow map
of Bangladesh in centre flapped in the air
on this day. Students of Dhaka University
hoist it up at Bot tola, in front of the
Kala Bhavan. They burned Pakistani flag.
Army killed two young demonstrators; thousands
continued marching the streets of Dhaka
and other cities, raising militant slogans,
'Bir bangali austro dhoro Bangladesh
swadhin koro'. A curfew was imposed.
Troops armed with latest weapons moved around
the city to enforce it. Agitated demonstrators
defied the curfew and clashed with the troops,
losing six persons. More hartals followed.
Six-point demand was gradually turning into
a one-point demand among the mass. Freedom
became the one and only obsession for the
Non-cooperation movement was called on March
3rd. Complete shut down of the entire nation
was the response. No one went to the office
from this day. Schools were closed. Black
flag fluttered on the rooftop of every building.
Cultural organisations such as Udichi Shilpi
Goshthi, Betar-Television Shilpi Shangshad,
Mohila Parishad, arranged street drama,
gono shangit, and meetings, conveying the
message of freedom to the general people.
Lawyers of High court, employees of deferent
private organisations, civil servants, joined
participated in the protests in their very
own way. Gradually they came forward with
a remarkable idea of protest. On 4th March,
the name 'Radio Pakistan' was altered to
'Dhaka Betar Kendro'.
6th March, Yahya in another futile effort
tried to convince the raging people with
an announcement that the assembly will be
held on 25 March. The announcement was followed
by the appointment of infamous Tikka Khan
as the Governor of East Pakistan. The people
of Bangladesh will not be deceived any more.
They deemed this announcement as another
mischievous scheme of the wicked Pakistanis.
of deferent media joined forces with the
protesting people. It gave a new dimension
to people's dream. On this day the cultural
activists of Betar and TV declined to join
7: History was made
The historical event that strengthened the
courage of the entire nation was Bangabandhu
Sheikh Mujib's speech at Race Course Maidan.
It was March 7, people waited eagerly for
the meeting. Freedom beckoned and they were
already prepared to fight for it. All they
needed was a boost from their leader. The
meeting was due in the afternoon. No one
waited till then. People started to gather
from early noon with flags and bamboo sticks
in their hand. Several hundred thousand
attended the meeting. Those who did not
live in Dhaka waited for the relay transmission
of the speech on the radio. On this day
Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujib elevated the inner
strength of the people present in the meeting
with his raged words. "Ebarer shangram
muktir shangram, ebarer shangram shadhinotar
shongram", he proclaimed before
the mass people.
Martial Law authority postponed relay transmission
of this historical speech. This act enraged
the employees of the radio. They protested
by shutting down all the transmissions.
Postponement of the relay transmission did
not stop the progress of denunciation. The
massage was conveyed to the entire nation.
for armed struggle
Non-cooperation was now in full fledge.
From 8th March, people started collecting
arms and ammunition from the stores all
over the country. Chatra Union started military
training at the Dhaka University campus
with dummy rifles. Cinema halls all around
the country stopped screening Urdu cinemas
from this day. Starting from Chatra League,
deferent organisations obliterated the word
Pakistan from their names. Rejection of
the Pakistani rule continued.
flames of freedom touched the expatriate
Bangalis as well. They could no longer ignore
the force. Expatriate Bangalis organised
a protest rally in London, U.K., demanding
independence for East Pakistan. More than
ten thousand attended the rally.
Every day of March in 1971 was extraordinary
and left its
mark in the history book. On March 9, Maolana
Bhashani shunned the Pakistani junta in
his Paltan speech. He proclaimed, "Relationship
with Pakistan is over". Official oath
taking of Tikka Khan was scheduled on this
day. Chief Justice of the High court B.
A. Siddiki was in charge of swearing him
in. He bravely refused to carry on with
the task. This was considered as one of
the most striking event of that time.
In the meanwhile
foreign delegates present in Bangladesh
during that time anticipated more intensity
in the situation. The then Secretary General
of United Nations, U Thant asked the local
UN employees to leave Bangladesh, then East
Pakistan. Just after that, Japanese and
the West German governments also announced
that they would be sending chartered planes
to evacuate their citizens.
10, Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman issued
a statement declaring that "the
responsibility of the United Nations does
not end with the evacuation of their employees
from a troubled area. The threat that we
are facing today is of genocide. It is a
threat which is in violation of the UN charter
that protects the basic human rights of
seven and a half crore people of this country".
On 11 March
teachers of Engineers University with the
supervision of Dr. Nurul Ula built a secret
radio station. 12 March cultural activist
announced that from now on Shapla will be
our national flower. On this day, Charushilpi
Shangram Parishad was formed with artist
Kaium Chowdhury and Murtoza Bashir in the
On 12 March,
Bangali officials in the Civil Service of
Pakistan (CSP) and of the East Pakistan
Civil Service (EPCS) announced their complete
support to the non-cooperation movement.
In a unique gesture, they announced that
they would contribute a day's salary to
the Awami League Relief Fund.
14, Intellectuals started rejecting titles
given to them by the Pakistani government.
This act of uprising started with Shilpacharjya
Jainul Abedin rejecting his Helal Imtiaz
title. Many others followed this courageous
non-cooperation movement Yahya once again
visited Dhaka. He arrived on 15th March
and from 16th he joined in another series
of meeting with Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujib.
Key demand made by Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujib
was that 'military be sent back to the barrack,
transfer of power to the elected representative
and the killers of Bangalis in the shootouts
be put on trial'. Second meeting on 17 March
was held for a very short period of time.
On this day it became quite evident that
the negotiation is about to fail. It was
apprehended that the meeting was a final
bid to buy more time for troop movement
and preparation for a severe onslaught.
Yahya planned a huge military assault with
his advisors while the meeting went on.
With the help of Pakistan International
Airlines (PIA) and National Shipping Corporation
(NSC), Yahya continued shifting troops and
armaments to East Pakistan.
was one of the most haunting days for the
Bangalees. On this day the Pakistani generals
sketched the plan to eliminate all defying
forces in East Pakistan. Gen. Khadim Raja
and Maj. Gen. Rao Farman Ali made a draft
of the basic operational plan, which was
named 'Operation Searchlight'. A brutal
offensive was speculated. People were getting
ready as well with whatever weapons they
had. It was on this day retired air force
recruits declared that they were ready to
fight guerrilla warfare like Vietnam. Mahila
Parishad started giving special training
to women from this day.
the massive offensive, fragmented war started.
On March 19, Punjabi officers at Joydevpur
killed several Bangali officers, which enraged
fellow officers in the force. A section
of Bangali officers started fighting with
Panjabi officers. General people of the
locality joined with them. To prevent demonstration
a 29-hour curfew was declared. When the
curfew ended people instantly returned to
the streets and continued with their protests.
All around Bangladesh this incident was
denounced amidst public meetings and rallies.
is a black day in Bangladeshi history. It
was the last day of negotiation. On this
day the army command approved the 18th March
draft of 'Operation Searchlight' prepared
by Rao Farman Ali and Khadim Raja with slight
modifications. Bhutto unexpectedly arrived
in Dhaka after declining to do so for several
times. The mass people immediately condemned
Bhutto's arrival. On the same day, members
of Gonobahini trained by Chatra Union paraded
the streets of Dhaka with dummy rifles,
creating an excitement among the mass people.
This further heightened the Bangali spirit.
23 was the anniversary of the Pakistan Day.
On this day in 1940, Sher-e-Bangla A. K.
Fazlul Haque presented the Lahore Resolution.
In 1956 the constitution of Pakistan was
written on this day. March 23 already left
its mark in the history and it again created
a new one. In an amazing development, the
Awami League declared this day a 'Resistance
Day'. Pakistani flags were burnt, Quaid-e-Azam
Mohammad Ali Jinnah's portraits were torn
down and his effigy was burnt. Bangabandhu
Sheikh Mujib himself hoists the flag of
Bangladesh in his residence at Dhanmondi
32. The Radio Pakistan stationed in Dhaka
started to refer itself as Radio Dhaka.
The Radio and Television played Rabindranath's
'Amar sonar Bangla' as the new national
anthem. The Bengali youths chanted 'Joi
Bangla' slogans vehemently. The day became
more exciting when British High Commission
and Soviet consulate hoisted new Bangladeshi
of the ultimate event was drawing near.
Preparation for the final evil doing was
going on. Pakistani military was transporting
large amount of armaments via Chittagong
port, as air space over India was restricted
for Pakistani aircrafts. On 24 March port
workers refused to unload arms and ammunition
from M. V. Sowat. This incident turned violent.
In an unruly firing the military killed
several port workers. People of Chittagong
created barricade. They will not let them
shift the weapons.
the brutal attack on innocents
By 25 March 1971, Pakistan was prepared
to crush the defying Bangalis forever. During
the day there were rumours among the people
about a possible strike. Dead at night Yahya
with his advisors secretly ran away to Pakistan
by a special flight giving full command
to the armed forces. Silence of the night
was violated with the sounds of Mortar shells,
firing Rifles and heavy tanks. The rampaged
killing under the command of Tikka Khan
started from the Rajarbag Police line, Pilkhana
EPR barracks and Dhaka University halls.
All night long gruesome killing of innocent
people continued. The cruel Pakistani army
set fire to houses, raped and killed female
students of Rokeya Hall DU. Screams of terrified
people were heard from distant areas. Tracer
shells reflected in dark sky of the night.
Number of death was innumerable. On this
night they arrested Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujib
and later flew him to Karachi. This genocide
shocked the humanity. The world later came
to know of this ghastly episode and was
of East Bengal Regiment, EPR and Police
along with the people put up resistance
to the Pakistani killers. Chittagong became
a strong centre of resistance. The radio
of Independent Bengal operated from the
26th to 30th March from this port city.
On 27th March Major Zia made a valiant call
to his countryman. He said,
Major Zia of Bengal Liberation Army. This
is Major Zia, the leader of Bengal Liberation
Army, speaking on the support of Bangabandhu
Sheikh Mujibur Rahman's liberation movement…
Under circumstances however I hereby declare
myself as a Provisional Head of the Swadhin
Bangla Liberation Government under guidance
of Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman. At
this moment we have to fight united. By
the grace of God, we will capture all Punjabi
traitor in a matter of one or two days and
free Bangladesh of all these menaces. Joi
of Bangalees, the struggle had been going
on for a long…long time. They wanted
to free themselves from the atrocity of
the Pakistani evils right from the beginning.
The genocide of March 25 night was the ultimate
blast-off of the armed resistance and this
announcement was the final boost. The most
ferocious weapons that the people of Bangladesh
had was courage, which was manifested during
the 9 months of Liberation War.
Sources: Hajar Bochorer
Bangladesh by Dr. Mohammad Hannan, Ekatturer
Dinguli by Jahanara Imam, Bangladesher Taarikh
by Habibur Rahman. Some information were
also taken from www.dhaka-bd.com/index.
of honour at Mujibnagar
Ahmed, Bir Bikram
April of 1971 dawned on us brightly with
a touch of serenity and sublime humidity
left by the preceding night's squally gusts
of wind which left many giant trees uprooted,
branches broken and baby mangoes strewn
all over. Hundreds of giant mango trees,
some half a century old, all planted in
a geometric fashion, wore a serene and fresh
look washed by rain water. The garden and
the surrounding area were damp, and droplets
of water remained embedded on tree leaves
and grasstops like glowing emerald.
dew and raindrops mingled with glittering
sun rays permeating the leaves of tree tops.
The buzz of cool morning breeze resounding
with the rustle of fallen leaves created
an air of heavenly bliss all around. The
azure blue hot summer sky laden with floating
nimbuses allowed the midmorning sunshine
to play with the floating raindrops suspended
in the air creating specs of rainbows bemused
around was busy trying to put up a makeshift
stage. Wooden "charpies" were
taken out from some poor men's bedroom to
make a raised platform. Someone brought
in a mike while yet another fetched a few
chairs and spread sheets from the neighbouring
church. Some bamboo pieces were cut down
from the jungle and ropes were to be had
from a home nearby. A group of boys from
the neighbourhood under the guidance of
Shabuddin Sentu was practising national
anthem in a chorus. Even a harmonium, a
few tablas and a table were procured. Participants
included Asad, Stephen Pinto Biswas and
Monsur Molla. ASM Rab joined them at the
last moment. Persons were being organised
for recital from the holy books. Eventually,
however, only Quranic verses were recited
during the ceremony.
large contingent of civis clad soldiers
from the Indian side could be seen standing
behind tree trunks purportedly guarding
the place from any enemy attack. The Indian
border outpost could be seen nearby. The
place we gathered at was hardly far from
the Indian border.
flag was tied to an indigenously crafted
flagpole made out of a cut piece of bamboo
fixed in front of the stage. The platform
was set up under a huge mango tree with
its foliage spread over as an all pervading
big umbrella and the budding mangoes hanging
like lollypops between the thick green leaves
made the greener by the previous night's
freshening episode of rain and wind.
on the morning of 15th April, however, a
scheduled installation ceremony of the government-in-exile
at Chuadanga had to be postponed with a
decision promptly taken to shift the venue
to a safer place: Baiddanathtala was selected.
This was perhaps aired to the BSF by the
Indians, because some BSF people started
to clean the designated venue of shrubs
and foliages to set up a stage and in their
efforts they quietly sought help from some
local youths, viz, Emdad, Shelly, Jelly,
Shari, Karam Ali, Munshi Shakhawat Hossain
and some Chowkidars and Dafadars. These
people maintained considerable secrecy about
the matter during the next few hours.
at Meherpur, we had heard rumours on the
evening before that something momentous
was going to happen in Baiddanathtala the
following morning. We also heard, while
in Chuadanga, that a government was formed
in-exile after a lot of deliberations in
Agartala by the MPAs and MNAs elect who
had managed to reach the safety of the Indian
side of the border. This was announced by
Tazuddin Ahmed over Akashbani Calcutta on
the 10th April night. And, our headquarters
in Chuadanga was also considered safe to
install a government on 15th April. But
as our wholesale withdrawal started even
beyond Chuadanga by that fateful day it
was put off for a safer and convenient date
and place. On the morning of 17th, my friend
Towfique, then SDO Meherpur, informed me
that the postponed ceremony was to take
place at Baiddanathtala that very morning.
And, we had to rush.
place was considered safe because it was
an enclave which could not be attacked from
the air without crossing Indian airspace.
For greater safety, Indian commandoes were
put on guard, thinly beyond normal perception
in civilian clothes. It was tactical to
keep off any possible curiosity about it
on the part of foreign journalists. Bangladesh
leaders and the authority in India both
wanted to make sure that the show appeared
to be fully organised by and under the control
of the Bangladesh government in exile.
and I set out early in the morning for Baiddanathtala.
As there was a very weak old rotten wooden
bridge over the river Bhairab between the
villages Dariapur and Monakhali, we had
to put reinforcement on the fledgling planks
to drive our jeeps through. And, to cross
the narrow channels, we had to resort to
innovative driving aided by push and pull
by local people all the time chanting Joy
Bangla. The village roads basically
had herring bond redtops broken all over
with intermittent mud and slush and were
slippery and difficult to negotiate.
same road still exists but gone are the
difficulties. Instead, we have today a black
top metalled road.
by about 10 in the morning, we managed to
reach our destination. It was a big mango
groove surrounded by green paddy fields,
small hutments, mud houses and many mango
gardens all around. There was a church in
the vicinity. We halted at the border outpost
manned by some EPR men who, as you know,
had joined our ranks on the fateful night
of 25th March and were guarding the border
on our behalf. By the time we arrived at
the place it was humming with people converging
from different directions. Many young people
with firearms could be seen loitering. Within
a short time the entire garden was abuzz
with "Joy Bangla" chants.
then, Joy Bangla had become our
war cry. It gave us rhythm and inspiration
in our moments of danger as well as glory.
It became a part of our independence war
saga. People embraced death shouting it.
People wrote this mantra with blood
while in captivity; this was a magical slogan
which united the Bengalee nation like a
rock behind Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujib.
about 11am we heard the honking of motor
cars coming along the kutcha road running
almost parallal to the border. Quite a few
ambassadors carrying a large number
of journalists and our leaders-in-exile
suddenly appeared. The whole place dramatically
took a festive look with clicks and flashes
of camera. As soon as he alighted from a
car one journalist started counting the
number of steps taken to trek from the nearest
point of the border to the stage. I saw
this with interest and when he had finished
I asked him what he was doing. He said that
he was measuring the distance of Indian
border from the place where the provisional
Government of Bangladesh was going to take
oath. It was hardly 300 steps, he said.
the VIPs were ushered into the EPR outpost.
While organisers of the event under the
able guidance of the mighty SDO Towfique
was proceeding smoothly, journalists were
mingling with people and collecting latest
information about the current military and
political situation obtaining in the country.
Among those who came with the entourage
were Syed Nazrul, Tazuddin Ahmed, Monsur
Ali, Quamruzzaman, Yusuf Ali, Abdul Mannan,
Barrister Amirul Islam, Abdur Razzak, Tofail
Ahmed, Abdul Quddus Makhan, ASM Rab, Noor-e-Alam
Siddiqy, MAG Osmani, Noorul Quader Khan.
Nearly a hundred journalists from all over
the world came, including quite a few from
the major Indian newspapers. There were
Aminul Huq Badsha, and many others whom,
I did not know at that time. Some local
MNAs and MPAs elect including Dr Ashabul
Huq and AL party stalwarts of the surrounding
areas arrived with their many supporters
chanting different slogans. People from
all walks of life converged to have a look
at the leaders and the ceremony unfolding.
Many important persons also missed the occasion
as the information was kept secret for reasons
was busy talking to some journalists and
the commandoes guarding the place. A jeepload
of soldiers who had fallen back with me
all the way from Jhenidah had accompanied
me. They were gossiping under the cool shadow
of the mango trees. It was about half an
hour after the arrival of the guests when
Towfique came running, a little disturbed,
and exclaimed, "Osman Bhai has not
arrived yet. Time is running out. The guests
are in a hurry. Can you suggest what should
I do?" Elaborating, he said, "Osman
Bhai was asked to come prepared to organise
guard of honour for the President after
the oath-taking. He has not shown up."
I told him, "Don't worry, I can do
it." "Sure you can," Towfique
nodded. I said, "Yes, of course. I
myself visited many ceremonial guards of
honour in the police academy as a training
requirement. Besides, as Sub-divisional
Police Officer I had to inspect guard every
week. So, I know the drill and you need
not worry. You prepare the guests, I prepare
my boys. Go!"
was relieved of a great burden, it appeared.
I went to a side and called my soldiers.
I also asked them to call others who could
be found in uniform and fall in line for
a parade. Not many were found in uniform.
Those who wore uniforms were not shipshape.
Most of them have been sporting the same
outfit for weeks with nothing to change.
Some had tattered apparels and creaky boots.
Some had bayonets fixed, others did not
have any. It was a motely formation, if
you like, with or without helmets, camouflage
or no camouflage; "kisti topies"
worn by some, others with police blue berets
and myself wearing a green beret, one presented
to me by Maj Osman on the day I was turned
from a police officer into a Muktibahini
captain to command troops in the battle
fact, there was nothing uniform,
except, of course, the 303 rifles and the
firm determination and patriotism to destroy
the Pak army wherever and however found.
Hardly a dozen people drawn from as many
as four different sources viz. Police, Ansar,
EPR and civilian youth were on hand. I commanded
them to stand in two rows with myself in
front and carried out several chores of
rehearsal. We practised shouldier
arms and present arms several times.
I had a .38 calibre revolver in my holster
hung on the left side of my belt. I tried
to command with a loud voice. It took about
ten minutes to get ready.
the meantime leaders were being introduced
to the crowd, nay to the world press, as
members of the cabinet. Bangabandhu Sheikh
Mujib was named President of the People's
Republic of Bangladesh and Nazrul Islam
the Vice President. Tazuddin Ahmed was declared
Prime Minister with Monsur Ali as Finance
Minister and Quamruzzaman as Minister for
Relief and Rehab. MAG Osmany was introduced
as Commander of the three services. Chief
Whip Yusuf Ali administered the oath of
office. In the absence of President who
was in custody of the enemy, Syed Nazrul
Islam, the Vice-president was made Acting
President. Once the cabinet was announced,
oath of office administered, and the green
flag of Bangladesh with the red disc in
the centre hallowed by the golden map of
Bangladesh was raised with the rendering
of Amar Sonar Bangla, Ami Tomai Bhalobashi,
the entire gathering raised Joy Bangla,
Joy Bangabandhu slogans in unison.
The whole garden appeared to me to be trembling
soon as the flag hoisting and rendition
of the national anthem synchronised, I raised
my voice to the extreme and commanded PRESENT
ARMS in honour of MY FLAG heralding our
identity to the world. When the flag reached
the top of the pole it was tied, and Syed
Nazrul Islam, the Acting President of The
People's Republic of Bangladesh, appeared
at the centre of the dais with MAG Osmany
one step behind him on his right, clad in
khaki and Tajuddin watching from the ground
near the left end of the dais. In front
of them and around the dais was the delirious
crowd while my troops and I were facing
them. Between the raising of the flag and
the tying seconds I had commanded my troops
back to attention with "order arms"
and readied them for PRESIDENT SALUTE. Syed
Nazrul Islam's face was as determined as
ours and the crowd was vibrant and wild
with excitement. In a moment there was pin
drop silence as the Acting President stood
in front of us beaming with the pride of
conviction. I felt my breath rising as I
once again raised my voice to the extreme
pitch and commanded shoulder arms and with
a thud the rifles went up to the soldiers
and were placed slanted at 45 degrees. My
voice was already breaking but I could care
a fig. With all the strength left in me
I shouted PRESENT ARMS. With double thuds
the rifles behind me went up and stood erect
and still in front of every soldier. The
band of rifles stood unwavering like up-jutting
minarets ready to pierce through the webs
of Pakistani brutality and murder.
the thick green canopy of mango forest and
beyond, the bright blue summer sky sparkling
sun rays were pouring like gold dusts, while
I raised my right hand in SALUTE and so
did the PRESIDENT in response. Everybody
around came to virtual attention at that
moment. A gust of wind suddenly appeared
and the flag started fluttering and flying
on the flagpole like a live entity. My heart
was vibrating like the flag itself and I
felt the wind touching the flag was carrying
the message of the nation's birth as far
as it would go. With it another burst of
Joy Bangla Joy Bangabandhu, Padma Meghna
Jamuna Tomar Amar Thikana, and yet
another and then another, in thousands of
voices multiplied umpteenth time sent the
message of the bloody and yet proud naming
of a nation across the world like never
it came reeling in my mind the voice of
thunder, the voice that said in no uncertain
terms on the 7th of March, Ami jodi
tomader hukum debar na o pari tahole jar
ja achhe tai nie rukhe darao. rakto jakhon
diechi, aro rakto debo, kintu a desh ke
mukto kore charbo Insha Allah. ……e
barer sangram muktir sangram, e barer sangram
shadhinatar sangram, Joy Bangla.
a flash came a cool breeze wheezing and
blowing and murmuring between the leaves
and branches in the canopy overhead spreading
a blissful exuberance all around. The magic
sound of Joy Bangla travelled with
thunderous applause from the countless number
of people standing in the crowd. With the
clicks and flashes of camera and flash lights
came the lazily blowing summer wind caressing
softly on my cheeks, forehead and face like
the fondling touch of my mother's warm love.
For a split second it lingered on me like
unending bliss and my heart was lost in
the thought of my mother and father and
my siblings with whom I had lost contact
since the eventful night of 25th March.
a few seconds I commanded again shoulder
arms and with it I brought down my hand
from the saluting position -- to attention.
Syed Nazrul Islam brought down his hand
as well, and my boys behind me put their
arms back on their shoulders. Next, I went
forward a few steps and stood in front of
the Acting President and informed him that
the guard was ready for inspection. So he
came down and I chaperoned him in a parade
form to the soldiers standing with arms
on their shoulders. I started with him on
my side in slow motion like any trained
army formation would do, in a miniature
form. He moved from one end to the other,
in front of the soldiers, and thus the inspection
was over; and I was accompanying him to
the dais. I stopped short of stairs reaching
the dais and took position in front instead.
I came to attention, and so did he at the
centre of the dais. Now, I asked for his
permission to let the contingent break up
to which he consented and so I ordered the
was a historic event of great import to
the furtherance of our war effort. Personally,
it was a monumental occasion of my life.
The author is a valiant freedom fighter.