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15 December, 2016 00:00 00 AM / LAST MODIFIED: 15 December, 2016 12:19:41 AM
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Victory Day

Victory Day

Sheikh Iraj

Tomorrow, we are going to celebrate the 45th anniversary of our Victory Day. Every year, Bangladeshis celebrate Victory Day with great joy and respect, no matter where we live. People from all walks of life participated in the Liberation War inspired by Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman. During the nine months of brutal war, from March 26 to December 16, countless Bangladeshis lost their lives. On December 16, we pay tribute to the martyrs and celebrate the victory they achieved for us.
But it may come as a surprise to many, but some among our new generation sometimes get confused regarding the difference between March 26, our Independence and National Day, and December 16, the Victory Day. So for those who tend to get mixed up, just remember: on March 26, 1971 the declaration of independence from Pakistan was made; and on December 16, 1971, the defeated Pakistani army officially surrendered to a joint command of Bangladeshi-Indian forces.
On December 16, our Bijoy Dibash, a number of different colourful events take place, through which we relive and learn more about the 1971 Liberation War. Stage plays, musical concerts, parades, rallies, book fairs and TV shows are arranged on the Victory Day theme. Since our birth as an independent nation, we have achieved a lot and our youths have always contributed greatly to building our nation. On the shoulders of our youths lay the responsibilities of defending our sovereignty and leading us through continuous development. This week, Y&I spoke with some people from different walks of life about celebrating Victory Day. They talked about their hopes and plans for the country over the next 45 years and what they can do to help.
 
Samrat Shakawat
When I was a student, I really used to celebrate Victory Day with great enthusiasm. I am a banker now, and in the last 3-4 years, I didn’t do much on December 16th. This year, I have made plans to go out with my friends. We will go out and have dinner together. We also may watch a new movie at the nearest cinema hall. I live in Mirpur with my parents and I am not sure if I can go to Savar National Monument.
History tells us every developing nation goes through ups and downs in its first 50 years, and we are no different. I know it’s going to be our 45 years of independence and I am proud of what we, as a nation, have accomplished. In the next 45 years, I dream of a Bangladesh where there will be no corruption.        

Jahangir Alam
Whenever I think of December 16, the image of Pakistani forces surrendering comes to my mind. December 16 is a national holiday, but I work in a foreign company and I am not sure if I will get a holiday. I recently got married, so if I get a day off, maybe we will roam the city in a rickshaw. I used to get excited about Victory Day when I was younger. I remember constantly asking my parents to take me outside on Victory Day. I am in my late 20s now and my excitement about celebrating the day has not decreased. In fact, today I understand more about the significance of our Victory Day. We should be proud of our forefathers, who sacrificed so much so that we can live in a free country.
I want to see our country excel in every possible direction in the next 45 years. I want to help our country by carrying out responsibilities like speaking the truth, paying my taxes and helping people in need.

Angel Nila
If we compare the development of our neighbouring countries in 45 years, then we are doing quite well. The real question is how we are planning the next 45 years to come. Like any country in the world, we have problems of our own. I believe we need to find our own solutions for those problems. I heard someone say the other day that today’s youth are more self-centered and they are not passionate about the country. I think that is completely untrue. Today’s youths are extremely patriotic. I love my country, but I don’t believe in showing off.
In the next 45 years, I want Bangladesh to thrive in every sector. I am not sure whether I will be on this earth to witness this, but I truly believe we are going to become a role model for many developing countries. I work in sales so I know the value of branding. I think the best way I can help my country is by portraying the best aspects of our country. I always speak about the positive things about our country, doesn’t matter if I am abroad or conversing with foreigners here.
    
Rumana Akhter Soma
I don’t like it when some of us become too patriotic only on important national occasions. As a Bangladeshi, I believe I should always feel proud of my country. I used to celebrate Victory Day with my parents, but this year I got married. So, I think this year’s Victory Day will be a little different. Of course, we have plans to go out and cook some hearty meals at home.
I will be nearly 70 years old after 45 years. I hope even at 70 I will be of some service to my country. We must all work together in order to grow.   
 
Mohammed Shanawaz
The month of December, particularly the 16th, always connotes a sense of celebration of freedom for me, like any other Bangladeshi. However, for the last two years, Victory Day celebrations have become much more meaningful and genuine to me. As a Teach for Bangladesh fellow, I taught in a government primary school for two years. In those two years, I got the opportunity to celebrate our Victory Day with my students in the school located in a low-income urban community. While narrating nstories of our freedom-fighters and struggles towards independence to the little kids, I also realised the true essence of  Victory Day, that how important it is to instill the true essence of our fight for freedom, independence and victory in our next generation.
At the 45th anniversary of our glorious Victory Day, I envision a country in the next 45 years where all children will get the opportunity to study under an excellent education system, where all children will know the true essence of our freedom struggle, independence and victory, and where everyone will work relentlessly to establish an independent secular Bangladesh. I will do my best in every way possible to make this vision come true in the next 45 years.
 
Humayun Kabir
I am a singer and I am from Rajshahi. On Victory Day, I normally perform at a number of events and this year is no different. That been said, I always find some time to spend with my close friends on this day. We walk on the streets and hang out in the local tea shops; we also sing. I have noticed that people like it when we sing patriotic songs on this day. I can’t see the future but I hope in next the 45 years our music will be more popular among the rest of the world.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Benjir Abrar
I am studying at university. I normally celebrate our Victory Day on our campus with my friends. We organise stage plays, concerts and even painting competitions. Like everyone else, I too have hope and dreams about our country. I hope in the next 45 years the cost of higher education in private universities will be cheaper. I am saying this because like many others I am facing this difficulty. Many of my friends and I offer private tuition so we can share some of our education cost. I personally think the cost of higher education in private universities is increasing too rapidly. When I complete my education, I want to help our country in the education sector.

Toma Rahman
I live in the USA, but my family and I always celebrate Victory Day there. We cook Bangladeshi dishes on the day and I even fly a Bangladeshi flag outside my house. Sometimes I feel sad when someone says that those who live abroad don’t care about the country. Both my parents were freedom fighters and we were brought up in a house where all my siblings and I were taught to love and respect our country. To be honest, I think unless one lives or goes abroad, they can’t truly understand how much they love their own country.
I hope in the next 45 years we become a country where all people from all religious background will live together in peace.   
Shamsun Nahar
Both my husband and I participated in the Liberation War. I learned shooting from my father, who had an arms and ammunition shop. We fought against the Pakistani forces at Mirpur on 27th March, but we didn’t take any freedom fighter’s certificate for it. I remember on December 16, we were in Dhaka when suddenly the crowd in the street started to shout “Joy Bangla”. We knew that the day would come when we will finally defeat the Pakistani forces. But we didn’t realise it will happen that early. Believe me, those nine months were horrific, I lost so many close ones that I can’t even remember.  
Now it’s more likely that I won’t be in this wonderful world in the next 45 years. Still, I have no regrets. I hope in the next 45 years, the youths of this country will have the same kind of love that our generation had for this country.

Noirit Mustapha contributed to this article.
Photos: Internet

 

 

 

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Editor : M. Shamsur Rahman

Published by the Editor on behalf of Independent Publications Limited at Media Printers, 446/H, Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1215.
Editorial, News & Commercial Offices : Beximco Media Complex, 149-150 Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1208, Bangladesh. GPO Box No. 934, Dhaka-1000.

Editor : M. Shamsur Rahman
Published by the Editor on behalf of Independent Publications Limited at Media Printers, 446/H, Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1215.
Editorial, News & Commercial Offices : Beximco Media Complex, 149-150 Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1208, Bangladesh. GPO Box No. 934, Dhaka-1000.

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