History of Dinajpur District
In ancient times, the present district of Dinajpur formed part of the Kingdom of Pundravardana. The Vishayas (district) of Kotivarsha of Pundravardhana. The Vishayas (district) of Kotivarsha(11 miles south of Dinajpur town, at Present day in Gangarampur, South Dinajpur, India) and Panchanagari(Birampur: Chondipur, Garpillai, Charkai, Begampur, Mirzapur) then covered the present district of Dinajpur. The pundras of Pundranagara were mentioned for the first time in Aitareya Brahmana as Dasyus-people outside Aryan stock. Bodhayana Dharmasutra spoke of the Pundras inhabiting the belt as outside the pale of Vedic culture.
4TH Century B.C.(Mauryan period)
Some Chinese pilgrims noticed Asokan pillars in many parts of Pundravardhana and the discovery of an old Brahmi inscription AT Mahastanagarh confirms Mauryan authority over this region, according to Brihatkathakosha of Harishena, Bhadrabahu, the Jaina guru of Chadragupta Maurya, was a son of a Brahmin of Kotivarsha in Pundravardhana. Bhadrabahu was the author of Kalpasutra.
3rd century A.D. TO 544 A.D. (Gupta Period)
The discovery of a number of inscriptions of the Gupta and later Gupta periods within the district of Dinajpur bears ample testimony to the sway of the Guptas over Pundravardhana. Five copper plates were discovered in the village of Damodarpur in Phulbari P.S. and one at Baigram in Hilli PS.(South Dinajpur,India). Of the five copper-plate inscriptions found at Damodarpur, two relate to the reign of Kumara-gupta I, two to the reign of Budha-gupta, and the fifth to the reign of a later Gupta emperor whose name could not be deciphered, but who reigned in the year 224 of the Gupta era corresponding to 544 A.D. The Baigram copper-plate inscription is of the year 128 of the Gupta era corresponding to 448 A.D. and thus refers to the reign of Kumara-Gupta I. the Gupta power disappeared from North Bengal towards the end of the 6th century A.D.
Middle of the 8th century A.D-Middle of the 12 century A.D.(Pala Period)
Gopala who founded the Pala dynasty, was elected by the people sometime towards the middle of the 8th century A.D. to rule over Bengal. He (750 A.D.) established Pala authority in the District. His son Dharmapala(c 770-c 810A.D.), was engaged in warfare with the Prathharas for the hegemony of North India. He was succeeded by his son Devapala, who has equally powerful as a king. But the glory of the Pala empire declined rapidly after the death of Devapala as his five successors (Vigrapala I, Narayanpala, Rajyapala, Gopala II and Vigrapala II) were all weak and there is nothing of interest to record about them next, Mahipala I, who succeeded to the throne in about 980 A.D., could recover to fortunes of the Palas to some extent. He was succeeded by Nayapala and his successor was Vigrahapala III. Next, Mahipala II ascended the throne of the Palas in about 1080 A.D. there was a popular upspring led by one Divya, a fisherman by caste, during the reign of Mahipala II. Divya deposed Mahipala II. The Pala power was thus temporarily eclipsed in north Bengal. Surapala was succeeded by Ramapala who recovered Varendri after defeating and killing Bhima, the successor of Divya. The last king of the Dynasty, who ruled over north Bengal, was probably Madanapala. The rule of the Palas over, at least , North Bengal can be said to have lasted four hundred years.
Middle of 12th century A.D.-1201(Sena Period)
Madanapala was defeated by Vijaya Sena of the Sena dynasty. The progenitor of the Dynasty was one Virasena but detailed genealogy is forthcoming only from Samantasena. The Senas probably came to Bengal from Karnata in South India. They settled in Radha now in west Bengal and became local chieftains under the Palas and gradually ousted them taking advantage of the decline of the Pala power. Samantasena's son was Hemantasena. It was Hemantasena's son Vijayasena who defeated the last Pala king. The rule of the Senas over North Bengal, however, was rather shortlived as the Sena kingdom was replaced by the Muslim power established by Mohammad Bakhtiyar Khilji in approximately 1204 A.D. Vijayasena, Vallalasena, and Lakshmanasena were the Sena kings who rules over North Bengal betwwn the first half of the 12th century A.D. and the beginning of the 13th century A.D.
After Destroying Nalanda Bihara Malik Ikhtiyaruddin Muhammad Bakhtiyar Khilji defeated Lakshmanasena by a surprise attack in 1204 A.D. Lakshmana-sena appears to have retreated into East Bengal after his defeat. Bakhtyar did not send any troops in pursuit of the fugitive king between 1204 and 1205 he fairly completed his conquest of the Varendra tract with the historic city of Gaur. Devkot (Bangarh), about ten miles south of Dinajpur town which is now in Gangarampur, South Dinajpur (India). Appears to have been the seat of Government of the Khilji Maliks for about two decades, after which the seat of Government was removed from Devkot to Gaur. Bakhtiar then devoted himself to the peaceful administration of his newly enquered land. He started his famous expedition to Tibet from the town of Devkot in 1206 A.D. He left Ali Mardan Khalji in sarkar Ghoraghat to watch the eastern frontier from his headquarters at Barsul. The Tibet expedition ended disastrously and Bakhtiyar Khalji was assassinated by 'Ali Mardan Khalji While he was lying ill at devkot on his return from the Tibet expedition (1206). Muhammad Bakhtiyar Khalji had the Khutbah read and coins struck in his own name. Mosques, madrasas and Khanqahs arose in the new abode of Islam through Bakhtiyar's beneficence, and his example was worthily imitated by his Amirs.
Muhammad shiran Khalji, one of the officers of Muhammad Bakhtiyar Khalji, having heard the news of the tragic end of his master, hurriedly marched with his army from Lakhnor or Nagar in the Birbhum district, and reached Devkot to punish Ali Mardan. Ali Mardan was captured and imprisoned, and the interregnum terminated with the election of Muhammad Shiran by the Khalji Amirs as the ruler of Lakhnawati (1207 AD). Shiran was an independent ruler with the title of sultan Alauddin, having the khutba read in his name and also perhaps issuing coins in his own name. Ali Mardan succeeded in escaping from that place and fleeing to Delhi, where he instigated Sultan Qutbuddin Aibek to send an army against Malik lzz-uddln Muhammad Shiran Khalji Qae-maz-Rumi, the Governor of the province of Oudh, was ordered by Sultan Qutbuddin to proceed to Lakhnawati to settle the dispute among the khiji Amirs. Malik Izz uddin Muhammad shiran evacuated Devkot in the face of the advancing army and retreated eastward beyond the punarbhava river. Qae-maz-Rumi occupied Devkot and it was at his suggestion that Husam-uddin Iwaz was appointed as the chief-holder of Devkot. The power of the delhi sultanate over Lakhnawati was thus re-established. Husam-uddin Iwaz ruled over the greater part of the principality of Lakhnawati as a vassal of the Delhi Sultanate till Ali Mardan again appeared on the scene. In 1208 A.D.
Ali Mardan obtained the vice-royalty of Lakhnawati from Qutb-uddin Aibak but after Qutb-uddin's death in 1210 he became independent and openly assumed the title of sultan. His reign was however shortlived and he was killed in 1213 A.D. by the Khilji nobles who elected Husamuddin lwaz as ruler. He took the title of sultan Ghiyasuddin Iwaz Khilji and ruled the kingdom of lekhnawati for about fourteen years (iz 13-27 A.D.) He transferred the seat of Government from Devkot to the historic city of Gaur-Lakhnawati. In 1227 A.D. he was defeated at the hands of Nasiruddin, the eldest son of Sultan Shamsuddin iltutmish. During 1227-81 A.D fourteen governors were in power at Lakhnawati. Some of them declared themselves as independent sultans. Sultan Balban personally invaded Bengal and succeeded in defeating and killing sultan Mughisuddin Tughril. He left his youngest son, Bughra Khan, as the Governor of Bengal in 1282 A.D. But Bughra Khan declared his independence of delhi and took the title of Sultan Nasiruddin. Under him Bengal was divided into four governorships of Bihar, Saptagram, Bang and Devkot. It was during the reign of Sultan Rukn-ud-din Kaikaus, the son of Sultan Nasiruddin that a mosque was constructed at Devkot. The Kingdom of Lakhnawati continued to enjoy independence till Sultan Ghiyasudding Tughlug reduced it again to a province of his empire (1324 A.D.)
1342 A.D.-1487 A.D.
A new chapter was opened in the history of Bengal when one Haji Ilyas succeeded in establishing himself as the master of the whole of Bengal under the title of Shamsuddin Ilyas Shah in 1342 A.D. The Ilyas shahi dynasty ruled over Bengal till 1487 A.D. There was a short interregnum of a few years during which the Ilyas Shahi dynasty was supplanted by one Raja Ganesh, who was one of the nobels in the court of the then Ilyas Shahi king. His son, Jadu, was converted to Islam and ruled as Jalaluddin. Next king was Shamsuddin Ahmad son of Jalaluddin. According to Sir Jadunath Sarker, Ganesh was a baron of Dinajpur who had an independent and hereditary source of strength in his large ancestral estate and perend Ganesh usurped the throne. The Ilyas Shahi dynasty was again reinstated after the assassination of Shamsuddin Ahmad Shah, in the person of Nasirudding Mahmud (1442-1459 A.D).The Ilyas Shahi Sultans reigned for a pretty long time (till 1487 A.D.) and during this period the sultans came to regard Bengal as their native land, and people accepted them as their sultan. Relations between the Hindus and Muslims attained some stability and we find Hindus accepted as nobles in the court of the Ilyas Shahi Sultans. One of the Sultans, Ruknuddin Barkbak Shah, showed great interest in Bengali literature.
1487 A.D.-1576 A.D.
The six years intervening between 1487 and 1493 were years of turmoil. Rukn-uddin Barbak Shah had brought into Bengal about eight thousand Abyssinian slaves whom he employed in most of the key positions of the State. The Abyssinians virtually ruled Bengal during these six years, until the last of then Shamsuddin Muzaffar (Sidi Radr Diwana) was put to death by Sayyid Husain who was the wazir. Sayyid Husain put himself at the head of the people who had risen against Shamsuddin Muzaffar. Sayyid Husain ascended the throne of Bengal in 1493 A.D. under the title to Alauddin Husain shah and he founded the famous Husain Shahi dynasty (1493-1538). He was a great patron of Bengali literature. His name is even now a household word symbolizing good government. Hindus were also employed in high offices during the reign of Alauddin Husain Shah reigned till 1519 A.D. He was succeeded by his sort Nusrat Shah who reigned till 1532 A.D. The dynasty came to an end in 1538 when Bengal passed into the hands of sher Shah, the Afgan. Sher Shah's successor on the throne of Delhi Was Islam Shah. It was during the reign of Islam Shah that the governor of Bengal declared his independence and took the title of Shamsuddin Muhammad Shah Gazi (1553-60). His rule and the rule of his three successors were short-lived and ultimately the throne of Bengal was occupied by Taj Khan Karrani in 1564 A.D. The house of Karrani Ruled Bengal until Daud Khan Karrani, the last of the line, Was defeated by Akbar's generals, Munim Khan, in 1574 A.D. and Khan-i-Jahan in 1576 A.D.
Mughal Period 1576 A.D.-1757 A.D.
Munim Khan sent a detachment from Tanda (the then capital of Bengal) to Ghoraghat. The Afghan Jagirdar was defeated and slain and his followers were driven into Cooch Behar. The Mughal power could not, however, be established in Bengal immediately, as the local Afghan and Hindu Chiefs fought the Mughel forces whenever opportunity offered. In fact, Munim khan had to recover Ghoraghat afresh after his victory over Daud in Orissa, as the Mughal representative at Ghoraghat had been driven out by Kalapahar, Babu Mankali and other Afghan chiefs who had come back from Kooch Behar during the viceroy's absence in Orissa. There were twenty-nine Mughal Governors between 1574 A.D. and 1727 A.D. of whom Mansingh (1598-1606), Islam Khan (1608-13), prince Muhammad Shuja (1639-60), Mir jumla (1660-63), Shaista Khan (1663-78, 79-88) and Murshid Quli Khan (1713-27) were very famous. The last viceroy, Murshid Quli Khan became viriually independent on account of the weakness of the Emperor of Delhi. His four successors, Shujauddin Md. Hadi (1727-39) Sarfaraz Khan (1739-40)Alivardi Khan (1740-56) and sirajuddaulah (1739-57), practically ruled as independent Nawabs. The district of Dinajpur during this long period of about two hundred years, saw a new era of peace and progress.
Modern Period 1767 A.D.-1947 A.D.
The district of Dinajpur during Raja Baidyanath, came under the control of the East India Company in 1765 the year in which the East India Company obtained the Diwani of Bengal. the accuisition of Diwani by the East India Company did not bring any major change in the administration.They appointed Muhammad Reza Khan as their Naib or deputy at Murshidabad. In order to acquire control over the administration, they had forced Najm-ud-daulah, Mir Jafar's son, to consent to the appointment of the same Muhammad Reza Khan as his deputy as well.In July, 1768, an Amil-one Braja Mohan Mitra-was appointed for collection of revenue of the Dinajpur District. A change in this system was brought about during the Governorship of Verelst. Mr. H. Cottrell was appointed supervisor to supervise the collection of revenue and the gather detailed information on every aspect of the district with particular stress on revenue system. Under Waren Hastings, it was decided that a Committee of Circuit was to be appointed to visit the principal districts and to form the revenue settlement for five years. The committee of Circuit visited Dinajpur in January, 1773. The Collectorate records do not begin till 1786 A.D., and the first Collector, Mr. Marriot, appears to have only been a Collector in the more limited sense of being responsible for the payment of the Government revenue. Mr. Redfern and Mr. Vansittart, who were appointed subsequently for short periods, were probably in the same position. Mr. Hatch, who was appointed Managing Collector of the Dinajpur Raj in 1786, as was vested with judicial powers and jurisdiction over the greater part of the area covered by the present districts of Dinajpur, Malda, and Bogra, was the first District officer in the modern sense of the term. From this time on we have a regular record of the administration of the district.
Raja Baidyanath died in 1780 without an heir. His widow Rani Saraswati adopted a young boy named Radhanath. Radhanath obtained a sanad from the British declaring him successor to Baidyanath, on payment of a succession fee of 730 mohars. Warren Hastings signed the sanad where lands of the revenue of the estate were given. Since Raja Radhanath was minor, the management of the estate was looked after first by Raja Devi Singh fo Dilwarpur, Murshidabad and later by one Janaki Ram Singh, brother of the Rani Saraswarti. Janaki Ram Singh was not efficient in running the estate. He failed to understand the strictness of the British revenue system and had arrears on his payment. Therefore, the Board of Revenue removed him from the post of manager. Ram Kanta Ray, a relative of the Raj family, was appointed as a new manager in 1787. He was doing his duty well. But young Radhanath and Rani Saraswati did not like him and British because of the removal of Janaki Ram Singh for his simple fault of arrears in payments.It is said that Rani Saraswati became very annoyed with the British due to their interference in her estate.Mr. Hatch could realize the sentiment of the Rani. In 1792, he negotiated the matter by placing Raja Radhanath incharge of her estate. Radhanath managed the estate smoothly for a year. After that he faced problems due to two reasons: a) In 1793, Mr. Hatch was promoted to the Board of Revenue and Mr. Eliot succeeded him. Raja did not have good relation with the latter.b) Due to the influence of Rani Saraswati, Raja appointed Janaki Ram Singh as his adviser. Janaki Ram Singh put the estate again into some troubles. His mismanagement was carried so far that in 1794 his seal was seized and locked up in the Collector's treasury and Ram Kanta Ray again appointed as manager. Radhanath regained his power in the estate again in 1796 but he again mage the same mistake once again. In 1797, arrears of revenue having accrued to the extent of some 70,000 rupees, by an order of the Board of Revenue part of the estate was sold. Further sales were continued to meet up the revenue arrears,which affected much of the estate by raising money on mortgages. He even borrowed money from Ram Kanta Ray. His wife Rani Tripuri Sundari and previous Rani Saraswati also purchased lands to a considerable extent. However, all his efforts were fruitless and by the close of 1800 almost the whole estate had been lost. The Raja was virtually a prisoner in his own house as his creditors wer threatening him to seize his person and him him imprisoned. Radhanath died in 1801 at the early age of 24.
Raids of Sannyasis and Fakirs.
During the later half of the eighteenth century, the district was subjected to the plundering raids of the sannyasis and fakirs. The sannyasis traced their origin to some of the dashnami sects established by the disciples of Shankaracharyya. With the passage of time, members of these sects took to the profession of arms, and local chieftains began to use them in their warfare. Warren Hastings recorded in 1773 about these sannyasis; "they neither marry nor have families, but recruit their members by the stoutest of the children which they steal from the countries which they pass, some subsist by gratuitous alms and the others the far greater by plunder" Some of these sannyasis settled down and acquired large properties in many places including Dinajpur district. So far as the fakirs are concerned it may be recalled that the custom of giving presents to the fakirs (the holy man of Islam) and supplying them with provisions and travel facilities, such as, boats free of any charges, was in vogue among the Muslim conquerors. The fakir was also allowed to go anywhere he pleased with his retinue and to go in a procession with banners, standards; etc. the weakening of the ruling power emboldened these fakirs to take large scale oppression of the peasantry. The sannyasis and fakirs used to enter the district from palaces in Western India ostensibly for pilgrimage, but, in reality, to amass riches by plundering the people. Warren Hastings succeeded in curbing the activities of the sannyasis but the fakirs continued to oppress the people of the district even as late as 1799. The East India company took vigorous measures, employing detachments of the Army to bring these marauders to book and finally, by the beginning of the nineteenth century succeeded in ultimately stamping out these bandits. The British rule thus brought peace to the country side.
Changes in the Boundary of the District.
The area of the district was formerly much bigger than it was at the time of independence (1947), including as it did the greater portion to the districts of Bogra and Maldah (India) and considerable tracts now included in Raishahi, Rangpur and purnea (India). When dinajpur first came under British rule in 1765, it was known for the lawlessness of its inhabitants, and the ordinary district staff failed to cope successfully with the dacoits and the river pirates with which this large tract of country was infested. The area was, therefore, gradually reduced with the objects of improving the administration. During the year 1800-01, a large number of estates, hitherto included in Dinajpur, were made over to purnea (India), Rangpur and Rajshahi. From 1833-1870, a large portion of the district was transferred to Bogra and Maldah (India). Finally in 1897-98, the whole thana of Mahadevpur in the south of the district was transferred to Rajshahi.
In the early part of the nineteenth century there were many indigo factories in the district, but the business does not seem to have ever been a very paying one, and the factories have long since disappeared, though the remains of old vats may still be seen here and there buried in jungle. The planters did not usually grow their own indigo, but got the raiyats to grow it for them in consideration of advances made to them for the purpose. The growing of indigo never became popular with the cultivators, as the landlords were against in and put an end to all chances of profit by exacting an extra heavy rent for land on which indigo was grown. The indigo-planters were unpopular with both landlords and raiyats, the former alleging that they were quarrelsome and over bearing in their manners and fond of interfering with themselves and their raiyats, and the latter accused them of compelling them to grow indigo against their will and complained that the factory amlas cheated when measuring land and weighing the crop. The planters then retorted by saying that the reason for their unpopularity with the Zamindars was that the presence of members of the dominant race on their estates affected the prestige of the latter with the cultivators and that prevented them from resorting freely to the illegal extortions of which they were so fond. It seems probable that the presence in the district of a body of Europeans who were not amenable by virtue of their nationality, to the laws of the country, must have hampered the district authorities considerably.
At the time of Jehad movement against the sikha on the North west Frontier, Maulana Karam Ali Shah was the local leader of the movement in Dinajpur. Mushti saving, collections from sale of Qurbani hide, fitra and zakat were mobilized to finance the movement.
The war of independence of 1857 .
The war of Independence of the sepoys and others of 1857 left the district undisturbed. The most important result was that the administration of the Indo-Pakistan Sub-continent was taken over by the British Government and the East India company ceased to exist.
First Partition of Bengal in 1905 and the agitation against the partition .
On the 8th July, 1905 A.D. the Reuter Published a report that the secretary of state had given his assent to the Government of India's new scheme of partition of Bengal into two parts and to form a new province of East Bengal and Assam. This proposal to divide Bengal was made ostensibly for administrative convenience and for ensuring advancement of East Bengal and Assam in the fields of education, etc. This move of creating a new province of Eastern Bengal and Assam, where the Muslims formed a majority, was strongly opposed by the Hindus of the district in meetings held on the 21st July, 1905. Lal Mohan Ghosh suggested that all Honorary Magistrates and all Members of District Boards, Municipal Commissioners and panchayets should resign in a body and national mourning should be observed for twelve months during which the people should not participate in any public rejoicing. This meeting was presided over by the Maharaja of Dinajpur. In the early part of 1904 the musalman sava, a social and political organization of the Muslims of Dinajpur, the first of its kind in East Bengal, had been established under the leadership of Maulvi Yaquinuddin B.L. and Maulvi wahid Husain, B.L. When the Hindus opposed the partition of Bengal the Muslims of Dinajpur called several meetings in its support. The partition was, however, proclaimed in September, 1905. Maharaja Girija Nath Roy Bahadur took the leading part in the agitation against the partition. People were urged to boycott English goods by way of protest against the partition of Bengal. A National School was opened at Dinajpur for boycotting the education which was then being imparted under the control of the Government. Mr. Fuller, the Lieutenant-Governor of the newly created province visited Dinajpur in 1905. The Hindus refused to accord him a reception. But the Maharaja of Dinajpur in co-operation with the Muslims gave him a reception. No Congress leader attended the meeting. Societies were formed by the Hindus to direct and control the agitation against the Government and branches of the Bratee Samiti and of the Anushilan Samiti Were formed in Dinajpur town by 1908.
The struggle for swaraj and the khilafat movement.
By the time of the First World War (1914-18) revolutionary movement spread in the district of Dinajpur. When the movement for swaraj began in 1919 local Congress leaders preached the ideals of the Congress and some primary Congress Committees Were organised even in villages in the interior. A spirit of resistance was roused amongst the masses, and a non-violent peasant movement was launched against oppression by the Zamindar in various forms. The Muslims and Hindus of the district Jointly took part in the Khilafat movement of 1920. The Musalman sava was turned into Khilafat party in action. Maulvi Yaquinuddin, B.L., Maulvi Wahid Husain, B.L., Maulvi Quadir Bakhas, B.L, Maulana Abdullahel Baqui, maulana Manirudding Anwari, Maulana Abdullahel Kafi, Maulana Abdur Rahman sadi and Maulana Abdullah were among the leaders of the Khilafat movement in the district. The speech delivered by the Maulanas excited the people against the British Government and the Khilafat movement reached to the remote villages. The Baqui and Kafi brothers suffered imprisonment several times. When Maulana Maniruddin Anwari was arrested from a meeting large number of people gathered before the gate of the Jail. In 1920 there was a big gathering of the Muslims which continued for five days. The evening sessions of the first two days (20th and 21st Chaitra) were organized by the Muslim Shikhys Shamiti and presided over by Maulvi Abdul Karim, B.A. (retired Inspector of Schools). The meetings of the 3rd day in the morning and evening were organized by the provincial Muslim League and were presided over by Maulvi Majibur Rahman (Editor of the Musalman of Calcutta) and by Maulvi Wahid Husain, B.L. The meetings of the 4th and 5th day were organized by the Ahale Hadith where Maulana Md. Akram Khan and a Maulana from Egypt delivered speeches. The speech delivered by the Maulana from Egypt in Arabic was translated into Bengali by Maulana Abdullahel Baqui.
In 1924, Purna Chandra Das, a noted revolutionary, was arrested at Dinajpur. In 1928, there was a hartal in Dinajpur in protest against the Simon commission. In 1930, hartals and Picketings were resorted to by the people of Dinajpur in protest against Ghandhi's arrest. The Government replied by extending the provisions of the prevention of Intimidation and Unlawful Instigation Ordinance to Dinajpur. Dinajpur continued to figure in the reports of the Government as a troubled district. On the 28th October, 1933, the railway station of Hili was raided by a group of youngmen dressed in military uniform. The station staff offered strong resistance, and there was an exchange of fire as a result of which the night guard of the railway station sustained serious injury and died in the hospital. The raiders who belonged to the Anushilan Samiti, hoisted the Congress flag on the station building and decamped with a large amount of money. Subsequently, all the youngmen who had raided the railway station were arrested and brought to trial, and most of them were sentenced to undergo imprisonment for various terms including transportation for life.
Circumstances Leading to the birth of independent Bangladesh.
Former Pakistan was a novel experiment in the history of nation-building. It was neither a geographical nor an economic unit. It had no common language nor uniform culture. The two-nation theory mainly based on religion was the basis for its creation. The ideas and ideals which inspired the Muslims of East Bengal (now Bangladesh) to make supreme sacrifices for the creation of Pakistan could not be implemented during the last twenty-four years (1947-71 of its existence due to the conspiracy of the self-seeking leaders and bureaucracy of west Pakistan (now Pakistan).
During all these years the people of Bangladesh struggled to achieve their rights and privileges, but all were trampled down by sheer force and repressive measures. They found a leader in the person of Sheikh Mujibor Rahman, a great disciple of Huseyn Shaheed suhrawardy. As a trusted lieutenant of this great leader, he always fought for the genuine causes of Bangladesh and for its people. Gradually, he became the symbol of hopes and aspirations of the oppressed and exploited people of Bangladesh. His party-the Awami League won the general election of December-January, 1970-71 capturing 167 seats out of 313, in the National Assembly of former Pakistan. Sheikh Mujibur Rahman thus got the mandate of the people to frame a Constitution of the country of the basis of his party's 6 points formula and the students' 11 points to realize their demands through constitutional means. But the ruling coterie and bureaucracy were never willing to meet the grievances of the people of Bangladesh. So conspiracies went on to nullify the results of the election and at last, on the 1st of March, 1971 the meeting of the National Assembly was postponed for an indefinite period by the then self-styled president of Pakistan, General Yahya Khan.
Sheikh Mujibur Rahman then gave a call for non-violent-non-co-operation movement on the 2nd march, 1971, against the undemocratic action of General Yahya khan. On the 7th march, 1971, he declared at a meeting at Rece Course ground in Dacca, "This time, it is the struggle for emancipation it is the struggle for independence". The movement continued peacefully. People from all walks of life wholeheartedly co-operated with the leader and participated in the movement. Then came the dreadful night of the 25th March, 1971. Thearmy came out of the barracks. They fell upon the students and the unarmed citizens of Decca and other places like hungry wolves. The rule of Nero began. Murder, plunder, burning and rape went on throughout Bangladesh. The students, the police, the Jawans of Bengal Regiment and the public, enlisting themselves in the Mukti Bahini, fought bravely and resolutely in every nook and corner of Bangladesh against the brute army of General Yahya Khan. During the War, India and Russia gave them material help and moral support. The Mukti bahini and the Indian army jointly fought against Pakistan from 3rd to 16th December, 1971 on the soil of Bangladesh. The Pakistan Army surrendered on the 16th December.
During the long nine months, the occupation army of Pakistan killed about 30 lacs of people, compelled about one crore to take refuge in India, about 3 crores of people were rendered homeless, thousands to women were raped and caused irrepairable loss to our economy.
However, with the surrender of the Pakistan Army on the 16th December, 1971, the Eastern Wing of former Pakistan, emerged as an independent state. The new state is called the people's Republic of Bangladesh and the Father of this new Nation is Sheikh Mujbur Rahman.