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Independence Day Celebrations
March 26, 2022 @ 6:00 pm - 10:00 pm EDT
The Independence Day of Bangladesh is celebrated every year on March 26. It is the national holiday of Bangladesh that commemorates the country’s independence from Pakistan in 1971. On the morning of March 26, 1971, Sheikh Mujibur Rahman declared Bangladesh’s independence from Pakistan, which were known at the time as East Pakistan and West Pakistan, respectively. The day is characterized by parades, speeches, fairs, and ceremonial events to commemorate that historic day in 1971.
HISTORY OF INDEPENDENCE DAY OF BANGLADESH
During the Partition of India on August 14, 1947, Pakistan gained independence from Britain and became separated from India. After this, the area now known as Bangladesh was referred to as East Bengal but later called East Pakistan.
However, in 1970, the country was led by President Yahya Khan, from the minority West Pakistan region. After the general elections, Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, who was from East Pakistan (Bangladesh), won the elections. The government refused to hand over power to Rahman.
This led to a demand for independence by the people of East Pakistan. The East Pakistan government began arresting army personnel who were from East Pakistan, leading to forced disappearances. On the night of March 25, 1971, the Pakistan Army declared “Operation Searchlight,” a military operation that was essentially Bengali genocide, leading to approximately 3,000,000 Bengalis being killed indiscriminately.
Finally, on the morning of March 26, Sheikh Mujibur Rahman declared the independence of East Pakistan from West Pakistan. Unfortunately, the story didn’t end there. For nine months following that day, a liberation war raged between both regions, leading to many people dying. The war, which became known as the “Bangladesh War of Independence,” finally came to an end on December 16, 1971. Pakistan finally surrendered.
In Bangladesh, independence celebrations are characterized by parades, speeches, fairs, and ceremonial events designed to commemorate the country’s liberation. On the morning of the day, a thirty-one gun salute is shot.