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Triumphant Homecoming In 1972

Professor Dr. Anwarul Karim

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Bangabandhu returned home, the free and independent Bangladesh on January 10. He reached his own free country Bangladesh, Dhaka around 1-30 p.m. by the Royal British Air force jet on January 10, 1972. As soon as the crowd saw Bangabandhu, there was a thunderous roar by the attending people, Joi Bangla, Joi Bangabandhu' and this spontaneous emotional outburst of people could not be measured by any means. He made a triumphant homecoming in 1972 in the midst of joy and jubilations throughout the country.
Bangabandhu was released from Pakistani prison following world-wide pressure on 8 January, Bangabandhu came to London by a PIA plane and from Pakistan and he was received by the British Prime Minister Edward Heath. Bangabandhu moved towards Bangladesh by a British Royal Force jet with a stop over at Delhi Airport. He was received with due honor by the President of India VV Giri and Prime Minister Indira Gandhi.
Bangabandhu attended a celebration program by India. He expressed his heartfelt gratitude to the Government and people of India for their all-out support and sacrifice to the cause of Bangladesh. Bangabandhu reached Dhaka, the capital of his free country Bangladesh around 1-30 pm by the Royal British Air force jet on January 10, 1972. As soon as the crowd saw Bangabandhu, there was a thunderous roar by the attending people, Joi Bangla, Joi Bangabandhu' and this spontaneous emotional outburst of people could not be measured by any means.
Bangabandhu went to the Ramna Racecourse by a microbus. There had been a stream of jubilant crowd to greet Bangabandhu for his home coming.  From Airport to the Ramna Race Course, the whole road was full of people, old and young, women and children. It was a day when none could stay inside.
The Central Students Action Council arranged a reception in honor of Sheikh Mujibur Rahman on 23 February at the Race Course (Suhrawardy Uddyan). At this meeting of one million people, Mujib was publicly acclaimed as Bangabandhu (Friend of Bengal).
Bangabandhu went to the Ramna Racecourse by a microbus. There had been a stream of jubilant crowd to greet Bangabandhu for his home coming.  From Airport to the Ramna Race Course, the whole road was full of people, old and young, women and children. It was a day when none could stay home.   A decorated truck carried Bangabandhu, flanked by the leaders of Bangladesh's Provisional Government, formed on April 10 of 1971 at Mujibnagar (formerly Baidyanathtala), to a human sea at Suhrawardy Udyan. With his homecoming, all uncertainties surrounding the leadership of the new republic, for that matter, the future of Bangladesh were removed, as the London- based The Guardian in an editorial on January 10 in 1972 wrote, "Once Sheikh Mujibur Rahman steps out at Dacca Airport the new republic becomes a solid fact."
"Bangladesh will be an ideal state and its foundation will not be based on any particular religion," Bangabandhu told the crowd at Suhrawardy Udyan on January 10 in 1972. "I would like to say categorically and unequivocally that our country will be a democratic, secular and socialist one. In this country the laborers, peasants, Hindus and Muslims all will be living in peace and harmony," he said.
In the speech, Bangabandhu underlined the priorities to transform a worn-torn country into a prosperous state. He put the infrastructure at the forecourt, which is vital for resuming communication, doing business and supporting people in need across the country. "Let me tell you that this freedom of ours will remain incomplete if the people of Bangladesh do not get sufficient food, our mothers and sisters do not get clothes and the young men jobs," he said.
As far as foreign policy in concerned, he gave a clear outline about the theme of the policy - 'Friendship to All, Malice to None'. The greatest leader of all times was so generous that he even indicated that diplomatic relation with Pakistan might be established. On the Pakistani army's slaughter of three million Bengalis, "Mujib said, "If Hitler were alive today, he would be ashamed." On that historic day of 10 January 1972, Bangabandhu also declared, "Bangladesh has earned independence. Now if anybody wants to seize it, Mujib would be the first man to sacrifice his life for the protection of that independence."  "The people of Bangladesh are free today. We have much work ahead," he told the mammoth gathering understandably in an emotionally broken voice, as he was bursting into tears on a number of occasions during his speech. Millions of people, who gathered at the Race Course to listen to their most beloved leader after a period of nine months, were overwhelmed with the speech of Bangabandhu, who did not even forget on that very day to issue a warning against irregularities, which might impede building of a welfare nation. "Let me warn my officers, do not accept bribe. Corruption will not be allowed in this land anymore," Bangabandhu said in the historic speech, also giving a guideline to rebuild the war-torn nation, maintain peace and harmony in society and strengthen ties with global communities" Bangabandhu concluded.

(Dr. Anwarul Karim is presently working as senior Professor in the department English and Executive Director, Bangabandhu Research Center, Northern University Bangladesh. E -mail dranwar.karim@gmail.com)

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