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17th April Historical Mujibnagar Day: Importance and contribution of Mujibnagar government in the history of our liberation war

17th April Historical Mujibnagar Day: Importance and contribution of Mujibnagar government in the history of our liberation war

Dr. Muhammad Mahtab Hossain Mazed

Today 17th April is historic Mujibnagar Day 2024. An unforgettable day in the history of freedom struggle and liberation war of Bangladesh.

During the liberation war, the first provisional government of independent Bangladesh was formally sworn in on April 17, 1971 at Amrakanan of Baidyanathtala village in Meherpur. Later this Baidyanathtala was named historical Mujibnagar.

The independent sovereign government of Bangladesh was formed on April 10 of the same year. On December 16, 1971, independent Bangladesh emerged on the world map through 9 months of armed struggle under the leadership of the Mujibnagar government. On this day, Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman's declaration of independence on March 26 was strongly supported and approved in the declaration of the establishment of Bangladesh as a People's Republic.

Sheikh Mujibur Rahman was declared the President of the Republic and Syed Nazrul Islam the Vice-President until the constitution was made. Besides, Tajuddin Ahmad was appointed as the Prime Minister of the Provisional Government, Captain M Mansoor Ali as the Minister of Finance, Industry and Commerce, Khandaker Mushtaq Ahmed as the Minister of Foreign Affairs and Law and AHM Kamruzzaman as the Minister of Home Affairs, Relief and Rehabilitation.

General Ataul Ghani Osmani was appointed the Commander-in-Chief of the Mukti Bahini of the Provisional Government and Major General Abdur Rab as the Chief of Staff. On the day of swearing in of the Mujibnagar government, 12 Ansar members gave a guard of honor to Acting President Syed Nazrul Islam. The next day, on April 11, the Prime Minister of Bangladesh, Tajuddin Ahmed, addressed the nation on the radio. His speech was aired multiple times.

In that speech, Tajuddin gave a detailed account of the nationwide resistance war. Besides, April 17 is the date of swearing-in of the cabinet. It is through Tajuddin's speech that the people of the country and abroad can know that a legitimate government has been formed to lead the liberation struggle of Bangladesh. In the course of this, the People's Republic of Bangladesh government was established by officially taking oath in Mujibnagar on the morning of 17th April.

After the 1970 general elections, the then ruling class of Pakistan refused to hand over power to elected representatives and illegally declared the National Assembly session closed indefinitely.

Later, on the night of March 25, 1971, the Pakistani army started an unjust and treacherous war against the unarmed Bengalis, and Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman officially announced the independence of Bangladesh on March 26.

In continuation of that, on April 10, the elected representatives of the absolute majority of the Awami League in the National Assembly elected in the free area of the border area of Meherpur met in a special session and formed the government of the People's Republic of Bangladesh.

On April 17, after the formalities of the Mujibnagar government ended, within two hours, the Pakistan Air Force bombed and attacked Meherpur. As a result, the Provisional Government was forced to take refuge in India and continue to operate from there. In the first meeting of the Council of Ministers on April 18, the offices of the ministers were distributed. Under the successful leadership of the Mujib Nagar government, Bangladesh gained independence on December 16, 1971 through a 9-month armed liberation war.

> Role of Mujibnagar Government in Liberation War: Mujibnagar Government played an important role in accelerating the victory of Bangladesh in the Great War of Liberation in 1971. It was the first government of independent Bangladesh. The role of Mujibnagar government in the liberation war is discussed below.

1. Declaration and Formalization of War of Liberation: On March 25, 1971, the Pakistani occupation forces began mass killings in East Pakistan. To prevent this genocide, the Bengali people spontaneously jumped into the war of resistance. Formalizing this war of resistance, the Mujibnagar government declared the independence of Bangladesh

2. Mukti Bahini Organization and Coordinating: The Mujibnagar government played an important role in making the Mukti Bahini a well organized force. On the orders of this government, Mukti Bahini was divided into different sectors and provided with training and weapons. As a result Mukti Bahini was able to conduct a successful war of resistance against the Pakistani forces.

3. Garnering International Support: The Mujibnagar government plays an important role in garnering the support of the international community. Under the leadership of this government, public opinion was formed and international pressure was created in favor of the independence of Bangladesh in different countries of the world. As a result, Bangladesh gained independence through India's victory in the India-Pakistan war in December 1971.

4. Maintaining relations with Indian government and army: The Mujibnagar government developed close relations with the Indian government and army. At the request of this Government, the Government of India provided training and arms to the Mukti Bahini. As a result Mukti Bahini was able to conduct a successful war of resistance against the Pakistani forces.

5. Declaration of Independence and Drafting of Constitution: Mujibnagar Government framed the Declaration of Independence and Constitution of Bangladesh. This declaration and the constitution make clear the aims and objectives of the freedom struggle of Bangladesh. It was essentially the first declaration of the formation of independent Bangladesh. And this constitution plays a pioneering role in making Bangladesh independent.

6. Communication with Foreign Diplomats: The Mujibnagar government tried to get their support for the independence of Bangladesh by contacting the diplomats of different countries of the world. As a result, different countries of the world recognized the independence of Bangladesh. And in this work, India directly helps the Mujibnagar government.

7. Taking decisions on various issues of the Liberation War: Mujibnagar government took important decisions on various issues of the Liberation War. For example, conducting the liberation war, setting up shelters, forming guerilla forces, dividing the entire country into 11 sectors, etc. These decisions played an important role in making the Liberation War a success.

8. Informing the people about the various aspects of the Liberation War: The Mujibnagar government launched various campaigns to inform the people about the various aspects of the Liberation War. As a result of this campaign, people were encouraged in the liberation war and participated in the war, regardless of party affiliation.

9. Acknowledging the courage and sacrifice of the participants in the liberation war: The Mujibnagar government honors the patriots for their bravery and sacrifice of the participants in the liberation war. As a result of this move, the fighting morale of the freedom fighters increased. And Bangladesh finally became independent after erasing the gloom of subjugation.

10. Making arrangements for the promotion and spread of the liberation war: The Mujibnagar government made arrangements for the promotion and spread of the liberation war. As a result of this system, the history and traditions of the liberation war are preserved. Various books containing the history of the liberation war were written. And so the present generation is getting to know the true history of the liberation war.

11. Planning for post liberation war situation: Mujibnagar government planned post liberation war situation. These included rehabilitation, international recognition and the formulation of an independent country's constitution. As a result of this plan, Bangladesh emerged as a well-organized and stable state after the liberation war.

12. Management of different media: Mujibnagar government continued to encourage freedom fighters through Swadhin Bangla Betar Kendra. They started broadcasting patriotic songs. Also, the Mujibnagar government used to motivate the freedom fighters through various newspapers.

Hence the establishment of the Mujibnagar government is a milestone in our national history which gave 'life and legitimacy' to the national liberation movement both domestically and internationally. The nation remembers with gratitude the great leaders who led the liberation war under his guidance while the father of the nation was imprisoned.

Author, columnist and political analyst Founder and Chairman,Jatiya Rogi Kallyan Society.

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