December 16 is our victory day (Bijoy debash) (Bengali- বিজয় দিবস). On this day, we achieved our ultimate victory over Pakistan occupation forces and achieved our independence. On this day a new sovereign and independent country named Bangladesh with its own identity own flag and own status came into being. Bangladesh stood upright among the nations of the world after a ninth-month long bloody struggle and sacrifices of millions of people. So this day is a red letter day in our national history.
Historical Background for the victory day of Bangladesh: Long-standing exploitation, injustice and deprivation from due political, economic and administrative rights and privileges were the root causes of discontentment and resentment of the Bangladeshis against the ruling West Pakistani leaders. Matters grew worse when in the general election of 1970 the Awami League came out victorious defeating the ruling Muslim League and achieved absolute majority in the parliament. But the then authorities of West Pakistan were dilly-dallying to hand over power to the elected East-Pakistan Leaders. They were plotting a blue-print to massacre the Bengalis. On the night of December 25 the Pakistani forces launched an atrocious and barbarous attack on the innocent and sleeping Bengalis under the Operation Searchlight. By killing the innocent people of Bangladesh they were trying to subdue the spirit of independence of the Bengali, their voice for justice and rights.
But the heroic sons of this soil stood against the Pak-army with velour and indomitable spirit for liberaty. They fought against the Pak-army to free their beloved country. On March 26 Bangladesh declared independence and appealed to international community to recognize Bangladesh. In the meantime, people of all walks of life joined the liberation force. After a nine-month long struggle, and crossing a sea of blood, we gained our freedom on December 16, 1971. On the day, the Pak-army surrendered to the Liberation army at the race-course ground. Thus we achieved our glorious victory.
The Observance of the Victory Day of Bangladesh: Since then December 16 is being celebrated as our victory day. We observe the day with great excitement and jubilation, with colorful festivity and patriotic zeal. This day is a public holiday. Our national flag is kept flying on top of every private and public houses and offices, schools, colleges and universities. We offer wreaths to the victory monuments. Govt. offices and buildings are decorated and illuminated on this day. Many cultural programs and festivals are held thought-out the country. People from every walk of life attend those programs with great excitement and enthusiasm.
Significance: Our victory day is a landmark event in our national political history. The day is the perpetual source of our inspiration and energy. The day reminds us of the heroic sacrifices of our sons for the noble cause and also inspires us to sacrifice ourselves for our beloved country. The day is a clear warning for the oppressors that people’s right can never be neglected for long and that oppressors will always be defeated.
Finally, Bangladesh is our pride, and our victory day is our greatest achievement as a nation because, through this victory we have got a country, a flag, an identity and an invaluable treasure of our own. However, though we have got political freedom, we have not yet got economic freedom. And so, we must take the oath on victory day that we will make our country independent in all respects. Only then, our victory will be achieved in the true sense of the term.