Victory day of Bangladesh
Victory Day Parade, 2012. National Parade ground, Dhaka, Bangladesh.
|Official name||Bengali: বিজয় দিবস (Bijôy Dibôs)|
|Celebrations||Flag hoisting, parades, singing patriotic songs and the national anthem, speeches by the President and Prime Minister, entertainment and cultural programs.|
|Next time||16 December 2016|
Victory day (Bengali: বিজয় দিবস Bijôy Dibôs) is a national holiday in Bangladesh celebrated on December 16 to commemorate the victory of the Allied forces High Command over the Pakistani forces in the Bangladesh Liberation War in 1971. The Commanding officer of the Pakistani Forces General AAK Niazi surrendered with his forces to the Allied forces commander Lt. Gen. Jagjit Singh Aurora, which marked ending the 9 month-long Bangladesh Liberation War and 1971 Bangladesh genocide and officially secession of East Pakistan into Bangladesh.
The 1971 Bangladesh Liberation War (Bengali: মুক্তিযুদ্ধ Muktijuddho) was a war of independence, which resulted in the secession of East Pakistan from the Islamic Republic of Pakistan and established the sovereign nation called Bangladesh. The war pitted East Pakistan and India against West Pakistan, and lasted over a duration of nine months. One of the most violent wars of the 20th century, it witnessed large-scale atrocities, the exodus of 10 million refugees and the Killing of 3 million people.
On 16 December 1971, Lieutenant General Amir Abdullah Khan Niazi, CO of Pakistan Armed Forces located in East Pakistan signed the Instrument of Surrender. The Instrument of Surrender was a written agreement that enabled the surrender of the Pakistan Eastern Command in the Bangladesh Liberation War, and marked the end of the Indo-Pakistani War of 1971 in the Eastern Theater.
The surrender took place at the Ramna Race Course in Dhaka on December 16, 1971. Lieutenant General Amir Abdullah Khan Niazi and Lieutenant General Jagjit Singh Aurora, Joint Commander of Indian and Bangladesh Forces, signed the instrument amid thousands of cheering crowds at the race course. Air Commodore A. K. Khandker, Deputy Commander-in-Chief of the Bangladesh Armed Forces, and Lieutenant General J F R Jacob  of the Indian Eastern Command, acted as witnesses to the surrender. Also present were Vice-Admiral Mohammad Shariff, commander of the Pakistani Naval Eastern Command and Air Vice-Marshal Patrick D. Callaghan of the Pakistan Air Force's Eastern Air Force Command, who signed the agreement. On behalf of Bangladesh, Air Commodore A. K. Khandker acted as witness to the surrender. Lieutenant General Jacob Rafael Jacob, Chief of Staff of the Indian Eastern Command, along with the other commanders of Indian naval and air forces, acted as witnesses on behalf of India. Aurora accepted the surrender without a word, while the crowd on the race course started shouting anti-Niazi and anti-Pakistan slogans.
Recognition of Bangladesh
The Surrender of Pakistan Armed Forces marked the end of the Bangladesh Liberation War and the creation of Bangla Desh (later reduced to a single word). Most United Nations member nations were quick to recognize Bangladesh within months of its independence.
The celebration of Victory Day has been taking place since 1972. The Bangladesh Liberation War became a topic of great importance in cinema, literature, history lessons at school, the mass media, and the arts in Bangladesh. The ritual of the celebration gradually obtained a distinctive character with a number of similar elements: Military Parade by Bangladesh Armed Forces at the National Parade Ground, ceremonial meetings, speeches, lectures, receptions and fireworks. Victory Day in Bangladesh is a joyous celebration in which popular culture plays a great role. TV and radio stations broadcast special programs and patriotic songs. The main streets are decorated with national flags. Different political parties and socioeconomic organizations undertake programs to mark the day in a befitting manner, including the paying of respects at Jatiyo Smriti Soudho, the national memorial at Savar near Dhaka.
Victory Day in India
India also commemorates victory over Pakistan on the same day in 1971 on Vijay Diwas.
Events commemorating Victory Day
- 1971: State Bank of Pakistan became Bangladesh Bank.
- 1972: The constitution of the People's Republic of Bangladesh was enacted on December 16.
- 1973: Gallantry awards of war were declared by Bangladesh Gazzett on 15 December.
- 1996: Silver jubilee of victory was celebrated.
- 2007: The remains of Bir Sreshtho Matiur Rahman were brought back to Bangladesh on 10 December.
- 2013: New world record of the largest human flag was set when 27,117 volunteers gathered at the National Parade Ground holding red and green blocks to form the national flag of Bangladesh.
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