Victory day is celebrated on December 16 in Bangladesh. On this day in 1971, the Pakistani Army surrendered to the Indo-Bangladeshi High Command in Dhaka, ending a 9 month war of independence. Pakistani General AAK Niazi surrendered officially to the Allied forces commander General Jagjit Singh Aurora. Bangladesh gained independence after 9 months of a long and bloody struggle.
India also commemorates victory over Pakistan on the same day in 1971 on Vijay Diwas.
Bijoy Dibash commemorates the day in 1971 (16 December) when ninety thousand troops of the Pakistan occupation army surrendered to the allied forces of Bangladesh and India at Suhrawardy Udyan in Dhaka. The day is observed with due solemnity and nationalistic fervour. The first ray of the morning is heralded with a 31 gun-salute. In capital Dhaka, there is usually a ceremonial military parade in which all uniformed services are represented. Hundreds of thousands of people gather at the National Parade Square to watch this parade. Floral wreaths are laid at the Jatiya Smriti Saudha (National Memorial Monument) at Savar near Dhaka in memory of those who sacrificed their lives for the liberation of the country.
~From Banglapedia - [Helal Uddin Ahmed]
The Promise of Victory Day
VICTORY Day comes once again this year and fills us with a sense of pride and joy. December 16th is that unique day in our history nearly three decades ago, when we realised an extraordinary and heartfelt dream. We became an independent nation. The dream for Bangladesh became a reality only after a long and bitter struggle and after an immeasurable price had been exacted in return. Our martyrs paid the price with their lives, anointing our mission with their blood and ever-strengthening our resolve. As we rejoice in the memory of Victory Day, we pay homage to all our freedom fighters. ....
On this all-important day, let us take stock of what we have achieved as a nation during the last three decades. One major gain has been our return to democracy and the attainment of representative government for the past ten years. Of this achievement, we are proud. We are also proud of the fact that we have achieved near self-sufficiency in food in this country and are able to successfully recover even after a natural disaster like a flood has affected the country.
.....Among the most serious of our failures is that we have not translated the fruits of our independence into real economic and social gains for our masses. We have not been able to lift a majority of our people above the margins of poverty. We have failed to give a basic level of education, health and security to a majority of our children and youth. Women in Bangladesh have made some advances in social awareness and income generation, but they still remain the lowest ranking members of the economic and social order, at high risk during pregnancy, from attacks of domestic violence, and still burdened with the care and upbringing of children. We have evidently achieved an average growth rate of more than five per cent in our economy, but this gain does not look that attractive when measured against the damage we have done to our environment. Our clean underground water resource is discovered to be contaminated by arsenic. Our surface water sources have been polluted with dangerous chemical wastes.
So, while we rejoice in the anniversary of our victory today, we do so with a heavy heart. The promise of Victory Day remains unmistakeably unfulfilled. It is this realisation that we urge on the entire leadership today. We remind them all of their shared responsibility towards the nation, towards the higher moral obligation of living up to the faith that the masses have placed in them. We expect our leaders to lead by example, to rise above the petty squabbles of ordinary people, to display vision and statesmanship. We expect to see democracy work inside and outside parliament. The time has come for those who are responsible to take concrete steps to substantially lift a majority of our people above the poverty line, to provide them with health, education and a safe environment. These are the responsibilities that the people entrusted to their leaders. We urge them to live up to this trust, to convert the victory we gained on this day into a real victory for all our people.