Vol. 5 Num 43 Fri. July 09, 2004  
Front Page

Zia first proclaimer of independence, reprinted Liberation War history says

A reprint of Swadhinota Juddher Dolilpatro, the official history of Bangladesh's Liberation War, came out yesterday with an insertion that names former president Ziaur Rahman as the proclaimer of independence.

A new chapter titled 'The First Proclamation of Independence by Major Zia' has been added at the beginning of the third volume of the 15-volume book that compiles a mass of Liberation War documents.

Although the date of Zia's radio announcement was mentioned as March 27, 1971, a footnote says: the Eighth East Bengal Regiment led by Major Ziaur Rahman mutinied and Major Zia arrested the regiment commander, Lt Colonel Janjua. Ziaur Rahman then gathered the battalion officers, junior commissioned officers and soldiers, and proclaimed Bangladesh as an independent country at 2:15am on March 26, 1971.

The reprinted book contains the roles, speeches and statements of political leaders and the elite, and documents on political changes before the Liberation War. Its contents also include declaration of the Liberation War, documents of people's participation in the war, descriptions of the war, roles and statements of expatriate Bangladeshis, roles of other countries, refugee problem, tales of genocide and torture, and description of the victory.

In 1977, Zia undertook the project to collect Liberation War documents and compile them into a comprehensive historical documentation. Renowned journalist and poet Hasan Hafizur Rahman edited the book titled 'Bangladesher Swadhinota Juddho: Dalilpatra' (The Liberation War of Bangladesh: Documents). Publication of its 15 volumes completed in 1986.

After the BNP-led coalition government had come to office in 2001, the newly formed Ministry of Liberation War Affairs was assigned with reprinting the book on October 23 of the same year.

This new edition which has Bangla and English editions costs Tk 3,000. A total of 2,250 sets of the book have been published.

At its launching ceremony yesterday, LGRD Minister Abdul Mannan Bhuiyan said, "Direct or indirectly, the entire populace excepting a few Rajakar and Al-Badr had taken part in the Liberation War."