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National Flag Hoisting Day: Journey to Independence

National Flag Hoisting Day: Journey to Independence

S D Subrata

March is our freedom month. .In this month, under the hypnotic leadership of the Father of the Nation, Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, the fearless students ignored the exploitation, oppression and bloodshed of the Pakistani ruling group and jumped into the war for our national flag and freedom on the world map. On March 2, 1971, the first national flag was hoisted at Kala Bhavan of Dhaka University.

This flag symbolizes our spirit of freedom. On March 2, the people responded to the initiative of the Daksu leaders against the exploitation, injustice, torture and injustice of the Pakistani ruling group. In fact, it was through the hoisting of the flag on that day that the Bengali students were enlivened by the fiery mantra of the freedom struggle and started their journey towards independence. The hoisting of the flag shows that there is no alternative to an independent Bangladesh.

The hoisting of this flag communicated to the world beyond our territory the beginning of a revolution for the rights and freedom of an exploited and deprived country. After 9 long months of many sacrifices and blood, independent sovereign Bangladesh was born. 9 months of freedom struggle this flag is considered as our national flag and under the brave and patriotic leadership of Bangabandhu we achieved independent motherland Bangladesh. After the absolute victory of the Awami League in the 1970 elections, the ruling class of Pakistan was alarmed. They definitely thought that the implementation of the six points would be done this time. Since the majority is Awami League. President Yahya Khan came to Dhaka on January 12, 1971. He had two rounds of discussion with Bangabandhu.

Latest news on The Daily Star Bangla Google News ChannelBangabandhu said, 'The discussions are satisfactory, and the President has agreed to convene a session of the National Assembly in Dhaka very soon.' Yahya Khan's statement was similar. He said, "Sheikh Mujib's talk with him, the discussion he raised are logical and correct.But, Yahya Khan returned to Pakistan and went to Zulfikar Ali Bhutto's residence in Larkana and held a secret meeting with Pakistan Army generals. Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto came to Dhaka along with other party leaders at the end of January 1971. After the meeting with Bangabandhu and Awami leaders in Dhaka, Bangabandhu spoke about the creation of a six-point system of governance in the meeting of the National Assembly by February 15. But, Bhutto then called for more talks.

Bhutto wants the National Assembly session to be held by the end of January. President Yahya Khan convened a session of the National Assembly on March 3. On February 15, Bhutto opposed joining the session unless the Awami League compromised or changed their 6-point agenda. Discussions followed between Yahya and Bhutto. After that discussion, Bhutto said that he would not be able to attend the session if his conditions were not met.

Bangabandhu correctly understood the real story. Pakistanis are trying hard to spoil the results of the elections. So Bangabandhu also had to take a tough decision. On the other hand, Yahya Khan and Bhutto drew another table together. Yahya adjourned the session of the National Assembly for an indefinite period on March 1 at 1:05 PM. As soon as the session of the National Assembly was adjourned, people took to the streets and protested without Bangabandhu's order. At that time, the members of the Parliamentary Party of Bangabandhu Awami League were in Hotel Purvani for drafting the constitution based on 6 points. In the meantime, the protest march is in front of Purvani. Bangabandhu advised to strengthen the peaceful movement. It was also announced that the strike will continue from March 2 to March 3 till 2 pm.

On March 2, 1971, the first national flag with a red circle on green ground was hoisted at Kala Bhaban of Dhaka University. The day is observed as National Flag Hoisting Day. March of 1971 was a turbulent and tumultuous month. On the one hand, the Pakistani military junta's handover of power to the Awami League, which won the election, and on the other hand, Bangabandhu's call for resistance-struggle across the country. A new dimension was added to the student-crowd struggle against the Pakistani military junta on March 2. On this day in 1971, the then VP of Dhaka University ASM Abdur Rab hoisted the national flag for the first time in a student rally organized at Battala of Dhaka University. Since independence, the day has been celebrated as National Flag Day. In the presence of Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, Mohammad Shajahan Siraj hoisted the flag of independent Bangladesh in the public meeting of Chhatra Sangram Parishad at Paltan Maidan on March 3. Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman first hoisted the national flag at his residence in Dhanmondi on March 23, 1971.

The first national flag of Bangladesh was hoisted on 18 April 1971 at the Bangladesh Mission in Kolkata, India. The national flag of independent Bangladesh was originally a gold map in the center of a red circle on a green ground. This flag was designed by student leader Shivnarayan Das. This flag was seen in the hands of freedom fighters during the liberation war. Later in 1972 artist Kamrul Hasan was given the responsibility to make the national flag universal. He brought reforms in the flag. The flag designed by Kamrul Hasan by removing the map from Shivnarayan Das' map-containing flag is now our national flag. After the establishment of Pakistan, the first general election was held in 1970 after 23 years. The result of that election was the unwavering support of the people to the six-point program of Awami League leader Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujib. Awami League, which won the majority of seats, was supposed to form the government. As elections were held in December, the National Assembly could have convened in January, but the government and the People's Party-Muslim League conspired to postpone it.

The session was convened on March 3. Awami League, the majority party, did not object to it, but prepared to attend the session. But the military junta of West Pakistan is not willing to hand over power to the people of East Pakistan. This became clear on March 1 by announcing the suspension of the session of the National Assembly by the President of Pakistan, General Yahya Khan.

When Yahya Khan's announcement was broadcast on the radio, the Commonwealth XI match against Pakistan was underway at the Dhaka Stadium. Instantly the crowd was outraged. Dhaka Stadium became a battlefield. Schools-colleges, offices-courts, shops-everything were closed. Millions of freedom-seeking people came down the streets. The entire city turns into a procession city. The people who took part in the procession chanted slogans of independence: 'Joy Bangla', 'Bir Bengali take up arms, make Bangladesh independent'The situation was heated by the Pakistani military government's attempt to invite the Awami League to form the government, in this situation the people of Bengal spontaneously erupted into protests as the National Assembly session was suspended indefinitely 48 hours before it was supposed to sit. As a democratic protest, Bangabandhu called a full-day hartal in Dhaka on March 2 till two o'clock and on March 3 across the country. Other progressive political student-labor organizations supported the strike. The date of sitting of the session was declared as 'National Mourning Day' on March 3. On that day, Bangabandhu addressed a public meeting in Paltan organized by Chhatra League and said that on March 7, he will announce the next program at Race Course Maidan. In a press release signed by Bangabandhu sent to various newspapers and news agencies on March 2, 1971, it is said that a strike will be observed across the country from March 3 to March 6 from 6 am to 2 am. Government offices, secretariats, high courts, autonomous corporations, PIA, railways, roads and ships, mills and factories, commercial establishments, haat bazar etc. will remain closed. Only ambulances, newspaper vehicles, hospital, drug store, electricity and WASA staff vehicles will be operational. That is, Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman called for peaceful non-cooperation with the government.

The non-cooperation movement that started with the call of the elected leader Bangabandhu was not a single party movement to establish Bengali independence. It was a preparation for an all-out people's war, regardless of party or opinion.

All political parties trade unions and people of different classes actively participate in it, except for the separatist and Pakistanist parties like Muslim League, Jamaat-e-Islami and Nezam-e-Islam. March 2, 1971 has a special importance in the resistance struggle of the students against the injustice of the Pakistani ruling group. It was through the hoisting of the flag on that day at the initiative of the then leaders of Daksu University that the Bengali students were enlivened by the mantra of freedom struggle and started their journey towards independence. The hoisting of the flag tells our people that there is no alternative to an independent Bangladesh.

On the same day, Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman announced the program of non-cooperation movement. The country came to a standstill, practically the control of East Pakistan came into the hands of Bangabandhu. This non-cooperation movement played an important role in creating the background of our freedom struggle, which later led to the fearless leadership of the Father of the Nation, Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, which brought us the desired freedom. We get the independent territory of Bangladesh.

The writer is a, Poet and Essayist, Sunamganj

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