September 2021 \ News \ SPECIAL COLUMN

The 15th of August is the National Mourning Day of Bangladesh ...

By Muhammad Imran High Commissioner of Bangladesh to India

As a next-door neighbour, the Government and people of India extended both moral and material support and gave shelter to ten million refugees. India encouraged other nations to come forward for the just cause and played a pivotal role in making Bangladesh a reality. The nine month long war ended in a decisive victory on 16 December 1971 when the Pakistan Eastern Command surrendered to the joint command of Bangladesh and India in Dhaka. Bangabandhu returned home on 10 January 1972 to take charge of the new nation.

Bangabandhu started rebuilding the war-ravaged country. But the journey was not an easy one. All physical infrastructures were devastated and communication networks were totally destroyed. There were no economic activities and no foreign currency reserve as the country inherited nothing as a successor state. Everything had to be built from scratch. Bangabandhu started the formidable task of rehabilitation and rebuilding the nation with the limited resources available. Massive infrastructural development works started, most of the roads and bridges were rebuilt and both rail and road networks started functioning. Major policy decisions on agriculture, food production, industrialization, rural and urban development, health and other areas of the economy were taken. Within less than a year, a new constitution was drafted and made effective on 16 December 1972.