Bangladesh celebrates 50 years of Independence!
Bangladesh Independence Day commemorates 50 years since the country’s Declaration of Independence from Pakistan on 26 March 1971 by founding President Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman.
The nation’s founding father, affectionately titled Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, was a politician, statesman and leader of the Awami League, who inspired his supporters to fight against the rule imposed by the West Pakistan forces.
He served as the first President of Bangladesh and later as the Prime Minister of Bangladesh from 17 April 1971 until his assassination on 15 August 1975.
The Partition of India of 1947 was the division of British India into two independent dominion states, India and Pakistan.
Pakistan was comprised of both East Pakistan and West Pakistan.
The People’s Republic of Bangladesh was formerly known as East Pakistan and comprised of Hindus and Muslims who mainly spoke the language ‘Bangla’.
The Islamic Republic of Pakistan was formerly named West Pakistan and held the dominant power over East Pakistan from 1947.
Commencing on March 26, 1971, the Bangladesh Liberation war was an enduring struggle that lasted nine months. India joined the war in support of the former ‘East Pakistan’ and their military might helped the independent country of Bangladesh to become a reality.
Pakistan finally surrendered in 16 December 1971, which is known as Victory Day for the Bangladesh community.
Australia was one of the first countries to recognise Bangladesh after it achieved independence in 1971.
Bangladesh Community Representative and Leader in Sydney Australia, Nasim Samad said:
“Today is an important day for Bangladesh, as an independent nation, and all community members around the world. My family was a part of that historic struggle for freedom. Independence was gained through great suffering and sacrifice and is very dear to us. We honour all those who lost their lives. Today, 50 years since Independence, our future generations can enjoy what it means to be free and independent and enjoy their language, culture and traditions. In remembering Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibar Rahman, we look to our flag and national anthem with great pride.”
Bangladesh has over 165 million people with a largely Muslim population supplemented by a smaller Hindu population.
Dhaka is the largest city and bustling capital of Bangladesh followed by Chittagong, the second largest city boasting the largest seaport.
Bangladesh shares land borders with India to the west, north, and east, Myanmar to the southeast, and the Bay of Bengal to the south. It is narrowly separated from Nepal and Bhutan by the Siliguri Corridor, and from China by Sikkim, in the north, respectively.
The 2016 Census recorded 41,233 people were born in Bangladesh and living in Australia.
Keen to learn more or engage with the Bangladesh community in Australia? Contact our team at [email protected]