Minister for Information and Broadcasting Dr Hasan Mahmud, speaking as the chief guest at the Bangladesh High Commission, London’s commemorative event on the 51st Anniversary of historic Mujibnagar Day, has called for creating greater awareness and documentation on the role of the Mujibnagar Government during our glorious War of Liberation, amongst the new generation of Bangladeshi expatriates.
To ensure that history is not distorted to the younger generations, specially on the undisputed leadership of Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman during the protracted freedom struggle and the independence of Bangladesh, as well as the historical role played by the four national leaders, and the Mujibnagar government in liberating Bangladesh, the minister said that the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting will produce documentaries in English on our liberation war based on national and international empirical evidences.
In that context, the minister suggested publishing booklets in English by the London High Commission on the War of Liberation, including the significance of the historic Mujibnagar Day for distribution to the new generation of British-Bangladeshis.
“To honour the sacrifices made by the heroes of our liberation war and realise the Golden Bengal vision of Bangabandhu, his daughter Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina is making relentless stride to transform Bangladesh into a prosperous, self-reliant and self-respecting nation,” the minister said.
Speaking on the occasion as the Guest of Honour, valiant freedom fighter and a veteran of the Mujibnagar Government Dr Tawfiq-e-Elahi Chowdhury, Bir Bikrom, reminded the nation that the Mujibnagar Government was neither a temporary nor an interim government, but the first constitutional government of the independent and sovereign People’s Republic of Bangladesh as declared in the ‘Proclamation of Independence’ adopted on 10 April 1971.
Dr Tawfiq-e-Elahi Chowdhury, also the Power, Energy and Mineral Resources Affairs Adviser to the Prime Minister, encouraged the young generation to better study the ‘Proclamation of Independence’ of Bangladesh, which was the mini-constitution and the guide for conducting the 1971 liberation war and the wartime government.
In her welcome remarks, High Commissioner for Bangladesh to the UK Saida Muna Tasneem paid deep homage to Father of the Nation Bangabandhu and the four national leaders who sworn in the first government of independent Bangladesh on behalf of Bangabandhu, making him the president, naming the place after the Father of the Nation as Mujibnagar, campaigning internationally for the release of Bangabandhu from imprisonment and skillfully conducting the War of Liberation to ultimate victory.
In this regard, the High Commissioner also paid propound gratitude to valiant freedom fighters, martyrs and victims of the 1971 War of Liberation and the foreign governments who supported the Mujibnagar Government and visited Bengali refugee camps in India during the War of Liberation, including former Prime Minister of India Indira Gandhi and leading British politicians such as Michael Barnes, MP, Bruce Douglas-Mann, MP, Toby Jessel, MP, Arthur Bottomley, MP, Reginal Prentice, MP, James Ramsden, MP and Peter Shore, MP.
The High Commissioner on behalf of London High Commission reaffirmed her oath on the historic Mujibnagar Day as a public servant of the republic created on 10 April 1971 in supporting Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina’s vision and aspiration for a democratic, progressive, secular and prosperous Bangladesh.
Speaking as a special guest, valiant freedom fighter Lt. Col. (Retd.) Kazi Sajjad Ali Zaheer, Bir Pratik and Padama Sri said the Mujibnagar Government not only adopted the ‘Proclamation of Independence’ and conducted the War of Liberation to an ultimate victory, but it also took a historic step in documenting the 1971 genocide in Bangladesh, which can be used in the campaign for international recognition of 1971 Bangali genocide.
The war veteran also paid tribute to millions of common people specially to women who sacrificed their lives and honour while supporting and serving the freedom fighters.
Speaking on the occasion, eminent cultural and theater personality Ramendu Majumder called for proper documentation of the role played by the Swadhin Bangla Betar Kendra during the War of Liberation, and called for revival of a strong Bengali cultural movement in today’s Bangladesh.
Veteran freedom fighter and war correspondent of ‘Joy Bangla’ weekly and the ‘Swadhin Bangla Beter Kendra’ Haroon Habib paid special tribute to all the national and international media specially to India’s leading newspapers and radios such as Doordarshan, Askahbani and Anandabazar Patrika, and The Times and Washington Post who covered the 1971 war and atrocities in Bangladesh by the Pakistani invading forces.
Reflecting on the national and international legal aspects of the Mujibnagar Government, former Professor of Law at the University of Dhaka Dr Salim Mahmud said that the ‘Proclamation of Independence’ and the oath-taking of the Mujibnagar Government were the legal instruments of the Declaration of Independence made by Bangabandhu on 26 March 1971 which is annexed to the Bangladesh 1972 constitution in schedule six.
Member of the Student Action Committee of the Overseas Freedom Movement of Bangladesh War of Liberation in the UK and overseas Freedom Fighter Sultan Mahmud Sharif and expatriate British-Bangladeshi community personality Syed Sajidur Rahman Faruk also spoke on the occasion.
A short documentary on the oath-taking of the Mujibnagar Government was shown at the virtual event, participated by a large number of expatriate Bangladeshis living in the UK and Ireland.