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Contributions of Mujibnagore government in Liberation War

Contributions of Mujibnagore government in Liberation War

Iqbal Hossain

The 17 April is the historical Mujibnagar day. The government which was formed on April 10 in 1971 by the elected representatives took oath on April 17. The journey of the government was started through taking ceremonially oath in a mango-grove at Baidyanathtola of the then Meherpur subdivision. Baidyanathtola became Mujibnagar from that day.

Before getting arrested, Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman soon after getting news of massacre from Pilkhana EPR camp and Rajarbagh police camp by the Pak army at the dead of night on March 25 in 1971 wrote an independence-proclamation and sent it to Chittagong through wireless. Bangabandhu said in his independence-proclamation, “My prayer to the Bangalee brothers-sisters and to the world that the Pakistani armies had attacked in the Razarbagh police camp and Pilkhana EPR camp at night and killed thousands of people. We are fighting against the raider Pakistani army. We need assistance and it may be from any place of the world.

In such situation I am giving proclamation of Bangladesh as an independence and sovereign state. You save your motherland with all strengths. Allah Help You”. That proclamation reached the people of the country through Betar and other media very soon.

The freedom-expecting people, blocking the Highways, Railways and River ways, made obstructions against the regular Pak-armies so that they could not enter the towns and villages. It is learnt that the Jashore cantonment was blocked for some days by the roaring people. As a result, the Pak-army could not enter the Jashore town and other places. Our East Bengal Regiment and police abreast attacked the Pak-bahini but they with their native arms could not stand for long duration against heavy arms’ attack by the occupational Pak-army. The army occupied almost all the districts and subdivisions within 15 to 20 days. Meanwhile, the front line leaders of the Awami league took shelter in India. According to the direction of Bangabandhu they, meeting with Mrs Indra Gandhi the then prime minister of India, took decision to form a government which would organize and direct different operations against Pakistan and above all run the country to show the world that Bangladesh was going right way to establish democracy.

Shadhin Bangladesh government was formed as follows mentioning Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman- the President, Sayeed Nazru Islam-Vice-president, Tajuddin Ahmmad-Prime Minister, Khandakar Mustaque Ahmad-Foreign Minister, Captain Munsoor Ali-Finance Minister, AHM Kamruzzaman-Home Minister, MAG Osmani-Chief of the Mukhi bahani. Sayeed Nazrul Islam brought up the responsibility of President in absence of Bangabandhu.

The government which was elected by 75 million people appeared in the world on April 17 in 1971. The formation of Bangladesh government was an important incident in the history of Bangladesh. A legal government of Bangladesh was immediately needed to fight a well-organized army like Pakistan. And foreign aids would not be available without a legal government. The struggle of 1971 was a mass-war and was directed by the parliament which was elected by the people in 1970. This was the first time in the history of the world that a parliament through an armed-war direction brought independence to a nation.

If the parliament members of the Awami League would not dare to create the government, the dream of Shadhin Bangla could be destroyed in the very beginning. In fact, then Bangladesh government acquired recognition legally and internationally on 17 April. The responsibility of all managements of liberation war was handed over to the cabinet of the government and Tajuddin Ahmmed was the Defence Minister in-charge. Bangladesh was divided into 11 sectors for the war management. One sector commander was appointed in every sector. They were—Major Ziaur Rahman and Major Rafiqul Islam-sector1, Chittagong, Hill Tract and Feni; Major Khaled Mosarraf and ATM Haider-sector-2, Comilla, Dhaka and some parts of Faridpur; Major Kazi Safiullah-sector-3, Comilla and some parts of Sylhet; Major Chittaranjan Dutta-sector-4, Sylhet sadar and Hobiganj; Major Mir Shawkat-sector-5, north Sylhet; Wing commander M.K Basher-sector-6, dinajpur and Rangpur; Colonel Nuruzzaman-7, Rajshahi, Pabna and Bagura; Major Osman Choudhury and M.A Manzur-sector-8, Jashore,Kushtia and some parts of Faridpur; Major M.A Jalil-sector-9, Khulna, Barisal and Patuakhali; Major Abu Taher and Squadron leader Hamidullah-sector-10 and 11, Maymanshing and Tangail. The chairman of every sector was a parliament member.

The secretariat was established for management of administration. The secretaries were: Ruhul Kuddus-principal secretary, Abdus Samad-defence secretary, Khandakar Asaduzzaman-finance secretary, Nurul Kader Khan-establishment secretary, Anuarul Haque Khan-information secretary, Toufique Imam-cabinet secretary, Mahabubul Alam Chachi-foreign secretary etc. In that way a full-fledged government which was formed on 17 April started its journey through driving out enemies from the country as well as social-work. Babgladesh government, being united with the government of India kept an outstanding contribution to manage about one crore people’s maintenance who took shelter in India. The government started monthly allowance for Bangalee’s beloved poet Kazi Nazrul Islam.

Most Bangalee diplomats those who were employed in different countries took to Bangladesh side breaking relation with Pakistan. The government of Bangladesh appointed them as the representatives or ambassadors of Bangladesh. They kept an unprecedented role to create world-mass-opinion in favour of Bangladesh. As a result, different countries of the world came forward to assist the liberation war of Bangladesh.

The Bangladesh government in association with the government of India gave military training to students, farmers, labours and many other professional people. The government in the end of the training used to send them inside Bangladesh for fighting. On the other hand the people of the world accepted the government and different countries stood beside Bangalees supporting their logical demand. The contribution of India and the then Soviet Union in our liberaton war is memorable. They made it easier for the Mujibnagar government to direct with sagacity.

Tajuddin Ahmmed holding Bangabandhu’s infallible message and strength in heart kept the mark of sagacity in every action in absence of Bangabandhu. So, the role of the Mujibnagar government will be written in golden letters of our liberation war.

The writer is a columnist and retired deputy director of Bangladesh Shilpakala Academy

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