Mar 1, 1971 - Start of Mass Protest & Non-cooperation
Mar 7 - Bangabandhu Speech at Race Course
Mar 25 - Pakistan Army Crackdown & start of Genocide
Mar 26 - Bangabandhu declares Independence
Mar 26 - MA Hannan declares Independence for Bangabandhu
Mar 27-Major Ziaur Rahman declares independence on behalf of Bangabandhu
Apr 10-Constituent Assembly upholds Bangabandhu independence declaration.
Apr 17-First Govenment of Bangladesh takes oath in Mujibnagar, Bangladesh
Mar 26 -Dec 16: Liberation War to defeat & evict Pakistan Army
Pakistan Army murders Bangladesh's Intellectuals
Dec 16 -
Pakistan Army surrenders in Dhaka. Bangladesh is Liberated
Jan 10, 1972-Bangabandhu released & returns to Dhaka
M.A. Hannan’s Declaration, March 26, 1971
“Today Bangladesh is a sovereign and independent country. On Thursday night [March 25, 1971], West Pakistan armed forces suddenly attacked the police barracks at Razarbagh and the EPR headquarters at Pilkhana in Dhaka. Many innocent and unarmed have been killed in Dhaka city and other places of Bangladesh. Violent clashes between EPR and police on the one hand and the armed forces of Pakistan on the other are going on. The Bangalees are fighting the enemy with great courage for an independent Bangladesh. May Allah aid us in our fight for freedom. Joy Bangla,” Awami League leader MA Hannan declared on behalf of Bangabandhu.
Major Ziaur Rahman’s Declaration, March 27, 1971 (from Kalurghat radio station, Chittagong)
“This is Swadhin Bangla Betar Kendra. I, Major Ziaur Rahman on behalf of Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, hereby declare that the independent People’s Republic of Bangladesh has been established. I have taken command as the temporary Head of the Republic. I call upon all Bangalis to rise against the attack by the West Pakistani Army. We shall fight to the last to free our Motherland. By the grace of Allah, victory is ours.” – Major Ziaur Rahman
Mujibnagar Constituent Assembly Declaration of April 10, 1971
“We the elected representatives of the people of Bangladesh, as honour bound by the mandate given to us by the people of Bangladesh whose will is supreme duly constituted ourselves into a Constituent Assembly, and having held mutual consultations, and in order to ensure for the people of Bangladesh equality, human dignity and social justice, declare and constitute Bangladesh to be sovereign Peoples’ Republic and thereby confirm the declaration of independence already made by Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman.”
বাংলাদেশবাসীর উদ্দেশ্যেঃ বঙ্গবন্ধু শেখ মুজিবুর রহমানের নেতৃত্বে গঠিত বাংলাদেশ সরকারের পক্ষ থেকে প্রধানমন্ত্রী তাজউদ্দীন আহমদের বেতার ভাষণ
স্বাধীন বাংলাদেশের বীর ভাইবোনেরা,
বাংলাদেশের সাড়ে সাত কোটি মুক্তিপাগল গণ-মানুষের নেতা বঙ্গবন্ধু শেখ মুজিবুর রহমান ও তার সরকারের পক্ষ থেকে আমি আপনাদেরকে আমার সংগ্রামী অভিনন্দন জানাচ্ছি। আমরা শ্রদ্ধাভরে স্মরণ করছি তাদের যারা বাংলাদেশের স্বাধীনতা রক্ষা করতে গিয়ে তাদের মূল্যবান জীবন আহুতি দিয়েছেন। যতদিন বাংলার আকাশে চন্দ্র-সূর্য-গ্রহ-তারা রইবে, যতদিন বাংলার মাটিতে মানুষ থাকবে, ততদিন মাতৃভূমির স্বাধীনতা রক্ষার সংগ্রামের বীর শহীদদের অমর স্মৃতি বাঙালির মানসপটে চির অম্লান থাকবে।
২৫শে মার্চ মাঝরাতে ইয়াহিয়া খান তার রক্তলোলুপ সাঁজোয়া বাহিনীকে বাংলাদেশের নিরস্ত্র মানুষের ওপর লেলিয়ে দিয়ে যে নর-হত্যাযজ্ঞের শুরু করেন তা প্রতিরোধ করবার আহ্বান জানিয়ে আমাদের প্রিয় নেতা বঙ্গবন্ধু শেখ মুজিবুর রহমান বাংলাদেশের স্বাধীনতা ঘোষণা করেন। আপনারা সব কালের সব দেশের স্বাধীনতা সংগ্রামী মানুষের সাথে আজ একাত্ম। পশ্চিম-পাকিস্তানি হানাদার বাহিনীর বিরুদ্ধে যে প্রতিরোধ আপনারা গড়ে তুলেছেন তা এমন এক ইতিহাস সৃষ্টি করেছে যে, পৃথিবীর সমস্ত স্বাধীনতাকামী মানুষের কাছে আপনাদের এই অভূতপূর্ব সংগ্রাম সর্বকালের প্রেরণার উৎস হয়ে রইল। প্রত্যেকদিনের স্বাধীনতা সংগ্রামের দিনপঞ্জি আমাদের মুক্তি সংগ্রামের ইতিহাসকে সমৃদ্ধ করছে, বিশ্বের কাছে আমাদের গৌরব বৃদ্ধি করছে। ….
Mujibnagar Government’s Proclamation of Independence:
Proclamation of Independence and Liberation War History
1. Proclamation of Bangladesh Independence: Implications for International Law
On 10 April 1971, the Mujibnagar government (Bangladesh government-in-exile during 1971 liberation war) adopted the Proclamation of Bangladesh Independence. The people of Bangladesh wanted to become the master of their own destiny. Therefore, they expressed their collective oneness of mind through the Proclamation. Formally read out in the Constituent Assembly (the elected representatives duly constituted themselves into a Constituent Assembly) at Mujibnagar on 17 April 1971, the Proclamation endorsed Bangabandhu’s declaration of independence made on 26 March 1971 on the face of Pakistan government’s military crackdown. As such, the lawmakers gave a retrospective effect of the Proclamation from 26 March 1971.
The Proclamation established a de jure government of Bangladesh to take care of Bangladesh’s immediate needs. It attained a constitutional sanctity and introduced the new country to the world as “The People’s Republic of Bangladesh”.
2. April 10: Proclamation of Independence
A two-page document, the Proclamation of Independence, was adopted on the day at Mujibnagar, the then Baidyanath Tola, of Meherpur district.
Liberation War History
The vast majority of the coverage of women’s role in the 1971 war has centered on women as victims. However, even under such harrowing atmosphere and personal grievances, women fought in the war in so many different ways. They were active and willing participant in the fight for Bangladesh’s independence.
They collected and distributed clothes and other necessary items for the children in the refugee camps. They took part in activities of the Mujibnagar government-in-exile who had their headquarter in Kolkata. Others hid weapons in the well of their home and took these to local freedom fighters in nearby island on a boat during the night, steering the boat by themselves.
Swadhinata Juddho (Bangladesh Independence War) – also known as ‘Muktijuddho‘ (Bangladesh Liberation War) and ‘Sangram‘ (War) – commenced on the night of 25 March 1971 when the West Pakistani Army massacred civilian in ‘Operation Searchlight’ in the streets of Dhaka after peace talks failed between Prime Minister-elect Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, President Yahya Khan and opposition leader Zulfikar Ali Bhutto. A nine-month violent warfare followed between the West Pakistani army and its collaborators, the Razakars, against the Bangladesh liberation army made up of defecting regular troops and its guerrilla warriors, the Mukti Bahini.
Victory was finally achieved on 16 December 1971 with the help of the Indian Army – but at a heavy cost. An estimated 3 million people died, over 200,000 women and girls were raped, 10 million refugees fled to neighbouring India and around 1,000 Bengali intellectuals were murdered.
Many heroes rose from all field of life amongst the 75 million population. But the real hero were – and still are – the ordinary people who sacrificed their lives to create Bangladesh with their blood.
Road to Freedom: Liberation War Chronology
Timeline of major events during Swadhinata Juddho of 1971
7 December 1970 – Awami League wins landslide victory in National Assembly
3 January, 1971 – Sheikh Mujib & leaders meet at Ramna Race Course and vow to implement six-point programme and 11-point charter
27 January – Zulfikar Ali Bhutto arrives for 3-day talk with Sheikh Mujib
13 February – President Yahya Khan announces National Assembly will meet in Dhaka on 3 March 1971
15 February – Bhutto declares his party won’t join Assembly until Awami League’s six-point programme removed
28 February – Bhutto threatens to boycott
1 March – President Yahya Khan postpones Assembly meeting to 29 March 1971
2 March – Students hoist new Bangladesh flag for the first time at Dhaka University
3 March – Students declare “independence of Bangla Desh” at public meeting at Paltan Maidan, Dhaka
3-7 March – ‘Hartal’ (national strike) imposed on East Pakistan by Awami League
7 March – Sheikh Mujib’s historic “Ebarer sangram” speech at Race Course Ground (Suhrawardy Udyan), Dhaka
9 March – Maulana Bashani pleads for independence at Paltan Maydan, Dhaka
15 March – President Yahya arrives in Dhaka for resolution
19 March – East Bengal regiments refuse to fire on fellow Bengali protesters
21 March – Bhutto arrives in Dhaka for peace talks
23 March – Sheikh Mujib hoist Bangladesh flag outside his Dhanmondi home on Pakistan’s Independence Day
25/26 March – Muktijuddho (Bangladesh Liberation War) commences at midnight of 25 March with ‘Operation Searchlight’ genocide by Pakistan Army
26 March – Declaration of Independence by Sheikh Mujib via EPR transmitters & Swadhin Bangla Betar Kendra
26 March – Sheikh Mujib arrested and taken to jail in Rawalpindi, West Pakistan
27 March – Declaration of Independence by Major Ziaur Rahman on behalf of Bangabandhu via Swadhin Bangla Betar Kendra
27 March – India’s PM Indira Gandhi opens border to 10 million Bangladesh refugees
10-17 April – First Bangladesh government formed in Mujibnagar
17 July – Bangladesh Army formed & country divided into 11 military sectors and assigned colonels
16 August – ‘Operation Jackpot’ carried out by Mukti Bahini with training from Indian Army
on Pakistani naval ships; Bangladesh Navy formed
28 September – Bangladesh Biman Bahini (Air Force) formed
3 December – India officially joins war after pre-emptive attacks by Pakistan on western borders. ‘Mitro Bahini’ (allied forces) of India & Bangladesh formed
14 December – Massacre of Bengali intellectuals
16 December, 1971 – Victory Day. Pakistan surrenders, nine months war comes to an end. An estimated 3 million people died in Bangladesh.