‘Joy Bangla’ will be used in all state programmes

The High Court (HC) on Tuesday issued a rule that ‘Joy Bangla’ would be the national slogan while asking the government to use the slogan at the beginning and the end of all the state programmes from December 16. Joy Bangla” was the slogan of freedom fighters and all the people of Bangladesh during the Liberation War in 1971.

“The High Court has asked the government to ensure that the "Joy Bangla" slogan is used at the beginning and the end of state programmes,” Deputy Attorney General Abdullah-Al-Mahmud Bashar told reporters. Besides, “Joy Bangla” was the slogan of country’s independence and national unity and therefore it should remain as the national slogan for the future generations as a symbol of national spirit and patriotism.

The HC also observed that 'Joy Bangla' should be national slogan from December 16. An HC bench of Justice FRM Nazmul Ahasan and Justice KM Kamrul Kader came up with the observation while hearing a rule. Supreme Court lawyer Dr Bashir Ahmed had filed a writ petition on December 3, 2017.

On December 4, the HC issued a rule asking the authorities concerned to explain as to why 'Joy Bangla' should not be declared as the national slogan. The cabinet secretary, the law secretary and the education secretary had been made respondents to the rule. On 7 March 1971, Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman called for independence and asked the people of Bangladesh to launch a major campaign of civil disobedience and organized armed resistance at a mass gathering of people held at the then Race Course Ground in Dhaka.

“The struggle now is the struggle for our emancipation; the struggle now is the struggle for our independence. Joy Bangla!” the great leader ended his historic speech uttering these two powerful words. After the assassination of Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, Khondakar Mostaq Ahmad replaced Joy Bangla with Bangladesh Zindabad.

Joy Bangla was the slogan and war cry of the Mukti Bahini that fought for the independence of Bangladesh during the Bangladesh Liberation War in 1971. At the start of the Liberation War, on 27 March 1971, Major Ziaur Rahman broadcast announcement of the declaration of independence on behalf of Sheikh Mujibur Rahman and he finished with "Joy Bangla".

Earlier on December 4, a High Court bench observed that “Joy Bangla” was the only slogan at home and abroad during the Liberation War of Bangladesh in 1971. Even, some poets, litterateurs and intellectuals of the then West Pakistan had chanted slogan “Joy Bangla” and therefore, they were arrested and sent to jail in 1971, the HC bench of Justice FRM Nazmul Ahasan and Justice KM Kamrul Kader said during hearing a rule on this issue.

The bench said, when the Pakistan occupation force shot the freedom fighters to death during the Liberation War, the freedom fighters embraced death chanting “Joy Bangla” slogan. On December 4 in 2017 the HC issued a rule asking the government to explain why “Joy Bangla” should not be declared as the national slogan.

The surrender ceremony of the Pakistani military also took place at the Race Course Ground on December 16, 1971. About 93,000 Pakistani troops surrendered, making it the largest military surrender that occurred after World War 2. Lieutenant General Jagjit Singh Aurora, Joint Commander of Indian and Bangladesh Forces accepted the surrender without a word, while the crowd at the race course erupted in celebrations, shouting victory slogans, "Joy Bangla".

“The slogan comes from a poem named "Pūrṇa Abhinandan" (1922) by Kazi Nazrul Islam. It appeared in the 11-point charter put forth by the Sarbadaliya Chhatra Sangram Parishad on 4 January 1969. After the release of Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, the SCSP held a rally at the Ramna Race Course ground on 22 February 1969, to honour him. When Mujib was conferred the title of Bangabandhu, cries of Joy Bangla came from all over the park.