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  • Bangladeshi people march through the streets with a large national flag during a rally to mark the country's 48th Victory Day in Dhaka.

    Bangladeshi people march through the streets with a large national flag during a rally to mark the country's 48th Victory Day in Dhaka. | Photo: EFE

Published 16 December 2018
Opinion

Victory Day is a commemoration of all who laid down their lives for the war of liberation for Bangladesh.

Bangladesh celebrated its 48th Bijoy Dibosh (Victory Day) Sunday to mark its victory against Pakistan’s army.

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As the whole country geared up for celebrations, the President and Prime Minister of the South Asian country sent messages to the people.

“There is no alternative to working together, irrespective of political party or philosophy if we want to offer our people the advantages of the freedom earned by the sacrifice of millions of martyrs,” President Abdul Hamid said in his message to the nation marking the occasion.

“I urge the people of the country to contribute more from what they have to propel the country towards prosperity and realizing the spirit of the Liberation War.”

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina said, “Let us all pledge to engage ourselves in the welfare of the nation; let this be our oath on Victory Day in 2018.”

Bangladeshi people march through the streets during a rally to mark the country's 48th Victory Day in Dhaka on Dec. 16, 2018. | Photo: EFE
 

“Today, Bangladesh has become a global role model for development. It is one of the five countries in the world showing economic advancement and we have done 90 percent of it with our own funds,” she added.

“The people have been receiving the advantage of this development at the grassroots level in the 10 years the Awami League government has been in power. Bangladesh is moving forward and it will continue to do so. The next generation will have a prosperous Bangladesh.”

Previously known as East Pakistan, Bangladesh won independence in 1971 after a nine-month war aided by India in which official records say 3 million people were killed and thousands of women raped.

Bangladeshi school children commemorating the Victory Day in Dhaka on Dec. 16, 2018. | Photo: EFE

The basis of the Bangladeshi Liberation war was linguistic nationalism. After India and Pakistan’s partition, Bangladesh became the territory of the latter. Pakistan wanted to impose Urdu as the official language which the Bengali speaking people of East Pakistan resisted.

The resistance was brutally suppressed by Pakistan’s army leading to a war for independence under the leadership of Sheikh Mujibur Rahman who later became the first Prime Minister of Bangladesh. Pakistan sought military help from the United States who sent their navy as aid. However, then-Prime Minister of India Indira Gandhi chose to intervene in the war using diplomacy to stop the U.S. fleet. Under her orders, Indian soldiers helped Bangladesh win the Liberation War.

Victory Day is a commemoration of all who laid down their lives for the war.

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