Where knowledge is free
Where the world has not been broken up into fragments
By narrow domestic walls
Where words come out from the depth of truth
Where tireless striving stretches its arms towards perfection
Where the clear stream of reason has not lost its way
Into the dreary desert sand of dead habit
Where the mind is led forward by thee
Into ever-widening thought and action
Into that heaven of freedom, my Father, let my country awake
Independence Day in the People's Republic of Bangladesh commemorates the country's declaration of independence, achieved on 26th March, 1971. Formerly East Pakistan, the Bangladesh War of Liberation lasted nine months in which thousands of civilians died (the Bangladeshi Authorities say it was 3 million), there was an exodus of 10 million refugees into this new country, and 30 million others were left displaced. Somewhere in the middle, a category 3 cyclone raged too.
|National Monument, Savar.|
Rabindranath Tagore (1861-1941): poet, novelist, song-writer - author of the national anthems of both Bangladesh and India - is a Bangladeshi cultural icon and his words and music claimed as the emblem of the separatist movement. For many, he was not only the soundtrack of the revolution, rather the revolution centred on him.
These days, Independence Day remains a celebration of freedom, a time to remember, and is a national holiday. There is nothing Bhola's Children enjoy more than a picnic and a parade - and here they are (rain-soaked!) waiting for both to start:
|No rain on Bhola's Children's parade!|