To breathe the air of freedom was a dream of many patriots and either it is Rani Laxmi Bai or is Nelson Mandela; both owe the same amount of respect.
Not only India or South Africa faced the atrocities of the foreign empires, but also there were many including ‘Bangladesh’, which is so named and emerged as an independent nation after their revolutionary fight for independence.
The Liberation War thus marked the beginning of this epoch making moment.
The Early Background:
After the independence of India in 1947, there was an emergence of two pieces of earth namely India and Pakistan, of which, Pakistan comprised of West Pakistan and East Pakistan. The eastern province of Pakistan which is now known as Bangladesh was completely ruled by the western province of Pakistan with all the political power concentrated in its hands. Although the first democratic elections of Pakistan were won by the eastern province, it was ignored by the ruling western province.
The atrocities of the western province grew so high that it was difficult for the eastern province even to breathe the freedom. The government which is defined as of the people, for the people and by the people, soon turned as a bane for its people, who led to the outbreak of a wild forest fire, the Liberation War, against the increased economic exploitation.
The Liberation War began on 26th March 1971 when the Pakistani army launched a military operation called as Operation Searchlight against the people of Bengal. The Liberation War was lead by the Liberation Army which comprised of the people from military, parliament and civil. The eastern province’s political party known as Awami League called out for a revolution with the help of their leader Sheikh Mujibur Rahman.
The leaders were M. A. G. Osmani, Ziaur Rahman, K. M. Shafiullah , Khaled Mosharra, Sam Manekshaw, J.S. Aurora, J. F. R. Jacob, Sagat Singh, from the eastern province and Abdul Hamid Khan, Tikka Khan, Patrick D Callaghan, Mohammad Shariff, and other. Callaghan and many more were from the western province of Pakistan.
During the War:
India joined the Liberation War on 3rd December 1971, thereby extending its helping hand towards the eastern province. Although the population of both the east and the west provinces of Pakistan were near to equal, the death toll that both the provinces had to pay went from 300,000 to 3,000,000, including the people from India.
On 16th December 1971, India, along with the Allied Forces of Bangladesh defeated the eastern province of Pakistan, which resulted in the surrender of largest number of war prisoners which the world had witnessed since World War-II. Thus this marked the end of the Liberation War.
The Dawn of New Era:
After the entire struggle by mind, body, blood and bones, we could see the eastern province of Pakistan turning into ‘Bangladesh’. The air of freedom finally ran through the people’s veins and everyone just released the sigh of relief…they always dreamt of!