• Tuesday, Jul 14, 2020
  • Last Update : 04:08 am

Debates surrounding the declaration of Bangladesh's independence

  • Published at 04:29 pm February 8th, 2020
Md Abdul Jabber's book

Book note

While carrying out research for his book, Bangladesher Shadhinota Ghoshona O Prashongik Bitorko, Md Abdul Jabber found that there were two streams of debate relating to the declaration of Bangladesh’s independence, despite reports published in various international newspapers with headlines like “Heavy Fighting as Shaikh Mujibur Declares E Pakistan Independent”.  

The first stream claims that it was not Bangabandhu who declared independence on March 26, 1971 but Major Ziaur Rahman who did so the next day. Unlike his wife Khaleda Zia—the main proponent of this debate, Ziaur Rahman never claimed to be the first to declare independence. The second stream believes that nobody declared independence: our liberation war had begun spontaneously without declaration or guidance.

In this book, which has five chapters, the author seeks to analyze the authenticity and acceptability of the arguments provided by both sides of the debate. 

Abdul commences the main discussion by highlighting the constitutional and legal position of the declaration of independence. The first constitutional document, the Proclamation of Independence, which was announced and published on April 10, 1971, confirms that Bangabandhu had made “the declaration of Independence” on March 26. He then discusses how Bangabandhu’s declaration spread across the country through wireless transmission and leaflets. From March 27, international newspapers like The Times, the Financial Times, The Age and The Bangkok Post reported that Bangabandhu had declared independence.

Abdul then considers at some length the claims made by the main advocates of the second stream. Moidul Hasan in his Muldhara ’71, A K khandker in his 1971 Vetore Baire and S R Mirza in his Muktijuddheyr Purbapor have put forward this thesis that the liberation war had started without any prior planning or guidance. Discussing similar claims made in Muktijuddho O Tarpor by Golam Murshid, Tazuddin Ahmed—Neta O pita by Sharmin Ahmed and Jotshna O Jononir Golpo by Humayun Ahmed, which are all books written by important national figures, he claims that their arguments are not supported by evidence culled through scientific research. 

Md. Abdul Jabber’s Bangladesher Shadhinota Ghoshona O Prashongik Bitorko is an important addition to the study of Bangladesh’s liberation war. In the midst of countless books that spread fallacies and propaganda, this book gives readers well-researched scientific analyses and concrete logical explanations.


Hironmoy Golder works with Arts & Letters.

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