Victory Day : Bangladesh's Triumph
News Desk, News Nation 360 : The 51 years of Bangladesh's birth resonates with a far deeper meaning for their generation. Although they emerged victorious on December 16, 1972--- the economic and cultural rise of Bangladesh in its short history is the actual triumph. A lot of Bangladeshis can personally relate to many events and have authentic accounts of what they were at the time of the preparation, the unfolding, and the cruelties inflicted by the enemy. Forty-six years ago, at zero hours on March 26 1971, the Pakistan Army launched one of the most heinous genocides in human history. During nine months of barbarity, three million Bangladeshis were killed, 400,000 women were raped, as a result of which more than 70,000 war babies were born. Bangabandhu was revered and identified as a statesman in India long before the world. "This is how India remembers this great statesman: a man of all seasons, and a man for all people" -- are the words written on a rare photo where Bangabandhu, wearing a shirt and lungi, a traditional men's wear of Bangalis, is seen taking the Indian soldiers to his residence for lunch. The Indian army helped in raising, organising, training and equipping Mukti Bahini. By the end of November 1971, Bangladesh forces were organised in three Infantry Brigades with requisite artillery, one hundred thousand guerrillas and seven sectors deployed along the Indo-Bangladesh border for facilitating guerrilla operations. With the formation of the joint command of Indian and Bangladeshi forces in November 1971, the noose around the Pakistan occupation army was tightened. With the tumultuous journey, and contrary to its impact on politics and dissent, Bangladesh's economy proved a remarkable story of success foretelling the emergence of Bangladesh as an inspiring case. On the economy, the prediction is about the future being the "Asian Century", and Bangladesh, along with India, has to play a pivotal role in it. This was followed by two successive military-sponsored regimes for 16 years. These two regimes gave birth to two political parties – the BNP and JP – that have had their impact on their political evolution. The military interlude was followed by 30 years of democracy, triggered by the fall of the autocratic regime of Gen. Ershad. The 51 years of Bangladesh's victory provides the perfect occasion to think anew. The challenge now is to make the coming years more meaningful and equitable.
Report : Anustup Kundu