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10 March, 2019 10:39:03 AM

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A month of remembrance with sorrow and joy

This March is a month of remembrance and expectations for a better future
Abdul Gaffar choudhury
A month of remembrance with sorrow and joy

We are passing through a month which is very significant in the life of the people of Bangladesh. Of course, all other months have importance in our national life with important events but March is comparatively more significant.

The father of the nation, Sheikh Mujib, was born on17th March 1920. On 11th March 1948 the historic language movement started. On 3rd March 1971, after the proclamation of General Yahya, the-then President of Pakistan postponing the session of the newly elected parliament in Dhaka provoked the people of erstwhile East Pakistan to protest and start a non-violent, non-cooperation movement against the proclamation. Within a few days it turned into the war of independence. On 7th March 1971, Sheikh Mujib asked people to take arms unitedly to resist the aggression of Pakistani invaders and called this struggle the fight for freedom.
23rd March of the same year, Bangabandhu hoisted the national flag of Bangladesh and the whole Dhaka city could not see one Pakistani flag anywhere except the cantonment. The Pakistani flags were replaced by the flags of independence of Bangladesh. On 26th March of the same year, Bangabandhu was imprisoned after the formal declaration of the independence of the country. That same night Pakistani invaders started a genocide and killed the intellectuals of the country. The list will be long, otherwise I could mention the other important days in the month of March. The above mentioned are observed as national days. The observance of these days solidify the nation. It imbibes our national pride among people, which is absolutely necessary for a nation to keep their identity and existence.

This year we have already observed 7th March, the day Bangabandhu delivered his historical speech which is now accepted as a classic one only comparable to the Gettysburg speech of President Lincoln. We will observe 17th March, the father of nation's birthday only a few days later. The man revived Bengali nationhood and their nation state. In 2020 the country will observe his centennial birthday. There is already a mammoth preparation to observe this day by a proud nation. The nation which has survived many political devastations is now an economically developed and politically stabilised country. One Indian economist agreed that though Bangladesh is still in turmoil, its economic growth is faster than India.
Bangladesh is now also waiting to observe its 48th independence day on 26th March. On this day on one hand people are overwhelmingly joyous for achieving independence,  but they also shed tears for those intellectual martyrs who were brutally killed by Pakistani invaders and their local collaborators, on the other. Of course there is another day which is a very sad day for the nation. That day also intellectuals were killed brutally just before the defeat of the Pakistani army on 14th December. The observation of these days is an integral part of our nation. Other nations have similar days. Some of these days are unforgettable in our national life and some do not get long life as they serve temporary needs of the nation.
I still remember that during my childhood when India was undivided and Bengal as one of its provinces under British rule, we used to observe 3rd July as the Palashi day. In 1757 the last independent Nawab of Sube-Bangla, Siraj ud-daulah was betrayed and killed by his army with the collaboration of British invaders. Gradually the whole India was occupied by the British Raj. Afterwards an independence movement was started after Sepoy mutiny and to ignite national spirit among the Indians, especially the Bengalis 3rd July was observed as a symbol of independent movement. When the subcontinent achieved independence the observation of 3rd July gradually faded away.
In 1942, 9th August All-India Congress started their famous quit India movement to end the British rule in India. Afterwards they started observing 9th August as Independence Day. When they achieved real independence on 15th August, 9th August lost relevance in Indian national life and 15th August took its place. On 23rd April of 1940 the proposal for establishing Pakistan was adopted in the conference of All-India Muslim League in Lahore. Hence the day was being observed as Pakistan day, till 1947. Pakistan was established on 14th August 1947 and the latter day gained importance.
So it is clear that observance of some days in our national life is permanent for its abiding value while others fulfil the temporary necessity of the nation. In this regard if we consider the days observed in the month of March, they are of permanent national value. We are passing another March this year. We are looking anxiously towards our national life- what is going to happen this year after the General election of 30th December? The country was saved from the conspiracies of the undemocratic forces and the values and ideals of the war of independence are safe in the hands of the dependable Hasina government. But a parliament has been elected without a strong, democratic opposition. It is not good for a healthy democracy.
The country has survived many serious crises, but still the Rohingya problem remains a major issue for the country. In our nearest and greatest neighbour India a general election is looming. Probably Modi government will survive. But if there is a change Bangladesh may have to search for new ways and method to keep the strong relationship with Delhi. The Brexit problem has destabilised almost the entire Europe. Though Hasina government with skilled hand is tackling these problems but the effects of Brexit in future may be more complex. We got a new foreign minister in Abdul Momen. He is a diplomat with experience and ability. There is hope he will be able to handle the present problems with more expertise.
This March is a month of remembrance and expectations for a better future. The conspiracies against our democracy and state ideals are still going on. The unholy alliance of undemocratic forces are still hoping to take the advantage of big crises in Europe and America. They will be able to create instability in Bangladesh also. Our hope is that this month of March, like others in the past will arouse the fighting spirit among the people of Bangladesh and pave the way to a new future.

 London, Thursday 07 March, 2019

SHK

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Editor : M. Shamsur Rahman

Published by the Editor on behalf of Independent Publications Limited at Media Printers, 446/H, Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1215.
Editorial, News & Commercial Offices : Beximco Media Complex, 149-150 Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1208, Bangladesh. GPO Box No. 934, Dhaka-1000.

Editor : M. Shamsur Rahman
Published by the Editor on behalf of Independent Publications Limited at Media Printers, 446/H, Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1215.
Editorial, News & Commercial Offices : Beximco Media Complex, 149-150 Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1208, Bangladesh. GPO Box No. 934, Dhaka-1000.

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