The historic Mass Upsurge Day, commemorating the 1969's movement for autonomy from the then East Pakistan that eventually led to the Liberation War and the emergence of Bangladesh in 1971, will be observed today (Monday) in a befitting manner.
On January 24, 1969 Matiur Rahman Mallik, a standard IX student of the Nabakumar Institution, and Rustam Ali, a rickshaw-puller, were killed in a police firing on demonstrators in Dhaka as Pakistani rulers desperately tried to suppress the popular uprising. The killings spread intense protests across the country that eventually saw the fall of the autocrat Ayub regime. It is said that the day teaches Bangladeshis the values of democracy and protest against oppression.
On the eve of the day, President M Abdul Hamid and Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina today issued separate messages, expressing profound respect for those who had embraced martyrdom in the historic movement in 1969. "The January 24 of 1969 is a historic day in the progress of independence and democracy of Bangladesh," President Abdul Hamid said in his message.
Paying profound homage to the memory of those who were martyred in the independence freedom, he said the day has been remembered in the history of the country's struggle of independence and freedom movement as the day of mass uprising. In her message, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina called upon all, irrespective of party affiliations, to work together for building a modern, developed and prosperous nation dreamt by Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman.
She said the 1969 mass upsurge is a significant chapter in the history of the country's independence. The nation achieved independence following the 1952 Language Movement, Six-Point Demand, 11-Point Demand, the Mass Upsurge of 1969 and the armed War of Liberation, the premier said. "We got an independent-sovereign Bangladesh," she added. She said the greatest Bangalee of all time, Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, declared the six-point demand in 1966 to liberate the nation from the exploitation of the Pakistani rulers.
To foil the mass movement of Bangalees, the Pakistani ruling clique had filed the Agartala conspiracy case in 1968 and arrested 35 leaders, including Bangabandhu.