The people of Bangladesh discovered their identity through the Language Movement in 1952. The struggle to establish their id entity and national spirit began soon after 1947 when they realized that under Pakistan created on the two nation theory the y was little scope for the distance culture of Banglees to flourish .
The refusal of the central government to grant status to Bangla language became the focal point of struggle, because language was the most important vehicle of the cultural expression of the people of this land. The contradiction of the two Pakistans , the racial oppression and the exploitation of the West over the East was gradually u nveiled.
The struggle for the consciousness of identity and cultural freedom which began with the advent of the student movem ents of the 60’s gained momentum in the mass movement of 1969. Though it brought about the fall of a mighty military ruler li ke Ayub Khan, the ultimate goal was not achieved.
After this, came the election of 1970 with absolute victory of Sheikh Mujib ur Rahaman. In the elections of December 7, 1970 the Awami League won 160 out of 162 seats in East Pakistan, all but two, and would have had a clear majority in the new assembly had it been convened. Sheikh Mujibur Rahman became the majority party leade r of the Pakistan National Assembly . The military rules of Pakistan refused to allow the Awami League to form a government. Major General Ziaur Rahman on behalf of Mujib declared independence.
A full scale movement of non-cooperation with the military gov ernment began on the 26th of March, 1971 which is celebrated as the Independence Day every year. Thus Bangladesh plunged into a civil war. The Pakistan Army began their genocide by attacking the innocentBangalees of Dhaka city. The dwellers of Dhaka city never con fronted such intolerable days.
The Pakistani army massacred 35,000 Bengali intellectuals and unleashed a brutal war against th e Bangalees of East Pakistan to prevent their secession. the dream encircled flag During the nine month struggle which ensued an estimated three million Bengalis died and and ten million refuges fled into India Sheikh Mujib was imprisoned in west Paki stan.
A Bangladesh Government in exile was established. The actual military campaign took place in December and lasted only t en days. The Indian Army launched a massive offensive against the Pakistani forces to support the Bangladesh movement . On D ecember 16, 1971, the Pakistan army surrendered.