9 months ago

Independence Day thoughts

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Few nations have the experience of their day of independence like that of Bangladesh. The traumas of panic and genocidal killings distinguished its night of 25th March, 1971. On March 26, the nation emerged as an independent nation, dumping away all the vestiges of Pakistan into the past. The Bengalee nation had to pass through nine long months in the occupied Bangladesh before it became free of the enemies and emerged as completely liberated. It had to fight a 9-month Liberation War with the Pakistani occupation forces before its emergence as the free People's Republic of Bangladesh.

On March 26, 1971, Dhaka was a city --- stunned and terror-stricken. It was under an indefinite curfew. However, the curfew began to be relaxed in the following days. Dhaka, finally, emerged as an occupied city coiled under a reign of terror. So did the whole country. On the 52nd anniversary of the nation, it can boast of scores of achievements ---the latest one being in the process of LDC graduation. In the last five decades, Bangladesh has attained a lot of its humble goals. Ranging from food self-sufficiency and poverty alleviation to cut in illiteracy and increase in life expectancy at birth to less dependence on foreign aid and in other sectors, the country shows signs of standing on its own feet. The country has long ditched the infamous phrase attached to it in the early 1970s, i.e. it was a 'basket case'. It continued to fight the economic woes and faced natural calamities like periodic floods. In a decade, it found a firm footing socially and economically.   The scenario has changed radically with the start of the 21st century. In the mid-21st century Bangladesh came to be known as a perfect developing country on way to be recognised as a middle-income one.    Had it not for the Covid-19 disruptions in 2020-`21, the elevation of the country's economy would have been speedier. International trade activities of the country appear to be agog with the arrival of new-generation tradesmen.

All these activities are the fruits of the emergence of Bangladesh as an independent sovereign nation. The country also had to face domestic adversities like others, thanks to the fallout of the Ukraine war. Being a trade partner of many developed countries, a few indirectly involved in the war, Bangladesh was not in a position to remain aloof from the global economic imbroglio. The flare-up of the Ukraine war has inordinately delayed the full-throttle start of the process of the country's LDC graduation. Despite being located in a strategic position, Bangladesh couldn't have raised its ante hadn't it been an independent country. It has also to be kept in mind that due to the country's 1971 birth amid the Cold War, Bangladesh was not strange to global politicking in the later years.

The 1971 Independence War of Bangladesh has a long history. The first sparks of it could be seen in the 1952 Language Movement. Thanks to the Bengalees' indomitable spirit behind the demand that Bangla be declared a state language of Pakistan, they could muster the courage to call for autonomy --- and then independence. In the turbulent days of 1971, the dominant theme of all mass upsurges centred round the lone key-words --- Bengalee nationalism and independence. The person who worked as the indisputable source of leadership and inspiration was Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman. The Independence Day in every country is, invariably, a day of celebration. It's because the day commemorates a formerly subjugated nation's first taste of freedom. In the case of Bangladesh the day is soaked in blood and tears, and the cries of heroic martyrdom.

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