Provisional Government of the People's Republic of Bangladesh

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The Provisional Government of the People's Republic of Bangladesh (Bengali: গণপ্রজাতন্ত্রী বাংলাদেশ অস্থায়ী সরকার, Gônôprôjatôntri Bangladesh Ôsthayi Sôrkar), popularly known as the Mujibnagar Government, was the government in exile of Bangladesh based in Kolkata (Calcutta), India, during the Bangladesh Liberation War. Formed in mid April 1971, the provisional government confirmed the declaration of independence of East Pakistan made earlier by Major Ziaur Rahman on 26 March at Kalurghat near Chittagong. Sheikh Mujib was detained in West Pakistan while the leaders of the Bengali liberation movement led by the Awami League fled Dhaka amid a brutal crackdown by the Pakistan Army.[1]

Senior leaders of the Awami League and Bengali defectors from Pakistani civil and armed services formed a provisional government for Bangladesh on 10 April 1971.[1] A formal swearing-in ceremony was held on 17 April in Meherpur District. Baidyanathtala was also renamed Mujibnagar (City of Mujib) by the provisional government as a tribute to the immense popularity of Sheikh Mujib, whose fate was unknown at the time as he was detained in West Pakistan awaiting a trial for treason. The government in exile came to be popularly termed as the Mujibnagar Government.

The Mujibnagar government coordinated war efforts from a colonial mansion on 8 Shakespeare Sarani in Calcutta with the active support of the Indian government. During the course of the war, the majority of Bengali civil servants and diplomats serving Pakistan began defecting. They subsequently joined the Mujibnagar government, and operated a secretariat in Kolkata as well as foreign missions in several Asian, European and North American capitals. A group of leading Bengali intellectuals were appointed Special Envoys and began touring western capitals advocating the Bangladesh cause while leading Bengali cultural figures and activists operated the radio station Swadhin Bangla Betar Kendra (Free Bengal Radio Station).

Mujibnagar Cabinet[edit]

  • Note: The Provisional Government was established on 17 April, 1971 in Liberated Meherpur

1. Sheikh Mujibur Rahman (titular President of Bangladesh; under Pakistan detention from 26 March)
2. Syed Nazrul Islam (Vice President and Acting President of Bangladesh)
3. Tajuddin Ahmad (Prime Minister of Bangladesh)
4. Colonel M A G Osmani (Commander-in-Chief, Mukti Bahini)
5. Mansur Ali (Minister of Finance and Planning)
6. Khondaker Mostaq Ahmad (Minister of Foreign Affairs and Law)
7. A. H. M. Qamaruzzaman (Minister of Home Affairs, Relief and Rehabilitation)
8. Abdul Mannan (M.N.A in charge of Ministry of Information and Radio, Shadhin Bangla Betar Kendra)

See also[edit]

References[edit]