SANGSAD BHABAN: Prime Minister and Leader of the House Sheikh Hasina yesterday said her government has favoured a strong opposition…
DHAKA: The historic Mass Upsurge Day will be observed today commemorating the 1969’s movement for autonomy of the then East Pakistan that eventually led to Liberation War and emergence of Bangladesh in 1971.
On this day in 1969 Matiur Rahman Mallik, a standard IX student of the Nabakumar Institution, and Rustam Ali, a rickshaw-puller, were killed in police firing on demonstrators in Dhaka as the Pakistani rulers desperately tried to suppress the popular uprising.
The killings sparked off intense protests across the country that eventually saw the fall of the Ayub regime. It is said that the day teaches Bangladeshis the values of democracy and to protest against oppression.
To mark the day, different political, social and cultural organisations have chalked out elaborate programmes including paying tributes to 1969 martyr Matiur Rahman by placing wreaths at his monument at Nabakumar Institute at Bakshibazar here.
President Abdul Hamid and Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina today issued separate messages on the occasion expressing profound respect for those who had embraced martyrdom in the historic movement in 1969.
They also called upon all to be inspired with the spirits of the mass upsurge of 1969 and the Liberation War to build a prosperous Bangladesh.
In his message, President Abdul Hamid said the 24th January of 1969 is a historic day for the progress of Bangladesh towards independence and democracy.
He said the day remains memorable as the day of historic mass upsurge in the history of Bangladesh’s independence movement.
Following the path of this mass upsurge, the independence and democratic rights of the people were earned in exchange for huge sacrifices, he added.
The President called upon all to work together to uphold the independence and democracy.
In her message, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina said the 1969 Mass Upsurge is a significant chapter in the history of Bangladesh.
“We achieved our great independence through the Liberation War following the 1952 Language Movement, charter of emancipation of Bangalees six-point demand, later 11-point and 1969 mass upsurge,” she said.
The Prime Minister said the greatest Bangalee of all time Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman had declared the six-point demand in 1966 to free the Bangalee nation from the colonial Pakistani subjugation and repression, persecution, discrimination and exploitation of the Pakistani rulers.
She said the declaration of six-point demand had intensified the independence movement.
To thwart the movement, the Pakistani rulers had lodged the Agartala conspiracy case and arrested Bangabandhu along with 34 others. Masses, students, workers and farmers across the country waged a strong but spontaneous movement against the case, she added.
On this day (January 24) in 1969, the masses brought out a procession defying Pakistani rulers’ repression and curfew to free Bangabandhu from jail and to oust Pakistani military regime, she said adding that class nine student Matiur Rahman died in police firing on the procession.
Then the mass upsurge compelled the autocratic Ayub regime to release prime accused of the so-called Agartala conspiracy case Bangabandhu and others from jail and autocrat Ayub Khan had to step down, the Prime Minister recalled and said the 1969 mass upsurge still inspires all to fight against misrule and exploitation.
“We are working tirelessly to bring smiles on the faces of all, ending exploitation, deception and discrimination,” the premier said.
She urged all to work together for building a hunger and poverty free, non-communal, advanced, prosperous and peaceful Bangladesh imbued with the spirit of Liberation War.