The People’s Republic of Bangladesh, formerly East Pakistan became an independent country in the early hours of March 26th 1971. The announcement made by Sheikh Mujibur Rahman the country’s founding father will always be remembered for the words ‘ Amar Sangram Shadinathar Sangram’. Our struggle is the struggle for independence.
A bloody struggle followed lasting 9 months where some 30 millions were displaced., some 3/ 400 000 women were raped by the Pakistan Army and Razakars and millions died.
The country once one of the poorest in Asia is set for the highest growth in Asia in spite of the Pandemic and third in the world after Sudan and Guyana. Impressive progress is recorded for girls who have been prioritised by Sheikh Hasena’s government who provide bursaries to girls upto 18 staying on in education.
2021 is Bangladesh’s Jubilee year and celebrations have kicked off in many countries of the world and messages of support have been sent to mark the event.
H.R.H Queen Elizabeth sent the following:
On the special occasion of your 50th Independence Day, I am delighted to convey to Your Excellency my congratulations, together with my best wishes to the people of Bangladesh,” she said in the message.
“We share ties of friendship and affection, which remain the foundation of our partnership and are as important today as fifty years ago. After what has been a difficult year, I hope we may look forward to overcoming global health challenges and to better times in the future”.
Britain has close relations with Bangladesh and Enfield is home to one of the largest Bangladeshi communities in London.
Yasemin Brett – on the 50th anniversary of the independence of Bangladesh
Bangladesh by Joan Baez read by Yasemin Brett
Rashida Khan Banu sings Ekla Cholo Re by Rabindranath Tagore (I go it Alone)
Londinium – Bengali. Translated by Iqbal Hussain Read by Ramola Raychoudhury. Original poem by Anthony Fisher