Independence Day in Bangladesh is a public holiday every 26 March that commemorates Bangladesh’s separation from Pakistan to become an independent nation. The declaration of Independence came late on the night of 25 March 1971, and was the culmination of a long struggle with the ruling regime in West Pakistan.
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Between 1947 and 1971, East Pakistan (Bangladesh) fought for equal status for their language (Bengali) with the official Pakistani language (Urdu) and for equal treatment within the union. Ultimately, they felt that the geographical separation and cultural differences between themselves and West Pakistan made independence as natural as it was just.
A nine-month-long guerilla war followed Bangladesh’s declaration of autonomy, and the conflict would result in the loss of 100,000 lives. Pakistan committed many atrocities against the people of Bangladesh to keep them under their rule, but ultimately, India intervened on the side of Bangladesh and rendered them victorious. The war finally ended on 16 December 1971.
Bangladesh holds numerous parades, fairs, and concerts on Independence Day. Many politicians deliver patriotic speeches, which are broadcast on t.v. and radio, and patriotic singing also abounds. The streets of Dhaka and other cities are decked out with Bangladeshi flags, and the whole nation is in a celebratory mood.
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