The Liberation Fight of 1971 was a war of the people. Everyone, regardless of gender, participated equally in this total conflict. After the 25th of March, the Pakistani army began taking control of the whole nation of Bangladesh. At the time, demonstrators and liberation fighters, especially in Dhaka, attempted to oppose them. Khansena murdered a group of endangered women and children in this reality. The Pakistani troops moved from village to village. This consists of their native friends. There have been harassment, rape, abuse, and violence perpetrated by Pakistani forces against women in this precarious setting. Women are subjected to genital mutilation and abuse. It has gained significance in the liberation war’s history. Women have battled for freedom, which is the larger reality. Granted independence fighters refuge within the country. Saved
Alternatively, women have battled with amazing bravery, even standing on the battlefield. Nevertheless, it is disappointing that women’s contributions to the struggle for independence have not been properly evaluated even today. Not just the fight for our liberation was pertinent in this instance. When we examine the history of the world, we find that women have made substantial contributions to every preventative war against inhumanity and independence fight. This is now entirely plausible from the perspective of Bangladesh’s independence war. Yet, the identification of women liberation fighters in this country was not extensively debated in 1971 nor in the nearly two decades that followed.
During the independence war, Pakistani soldiers persecuted Rama Chowdhury of Chittagong, the 1971 author of Janani Granth. On the 3rd of September, 2018, he passed away. After the war, this woman, like many other torture victims in 1971, could not find a place in her husband’s home. Those women who had been raped throughout the war needed rehabilitation. Widows without spouses required shelter. All of these have been observed in a major way. In addition, the state wishes to cover up the brutality against women that occurred in 1971 with the glory of heroism. The state has consequently referred to oppressed women as “heroes.”
However, the women’s society during the Liberation War of 1971 must be seen with true appreciation. First and foremost, it must be realised that the vast majority of women who were oppressed across the nation during the war were oppressed solely due to their gender. It is also a fight against women. His body bore the marks of the conflict. And it took time for the state, society, and political actors to realise this. In the liberation struggle, women sacrificed themselves like warriors. It took time for many people to realise that.
Taking into account the history of Bangladesh’s liberation war, it is clear that women have played a prominent role in achieving incremental victories. Women and students participated actively in the 1969 mass uprising and coup. On the 19th of January, 1969, the armed police forces of the military junta used batons to strike protesting students. Asaduzzaman was slain by police gunfire on the 20th of January. As a result, Asad’s mother sent a message to the student leaders from her Shivpur village residence. My Assad did not die. My Asad used to say, “In the next ten years, this motherland would have a fresh lease on life. Make this wish come true for my Asad.” 1970 (Dainik Azad, the 26th). Asad, whose name was disclosed to us by his mother’s speech, is unquestionably a freedom fighter.
At that time, students participated in all marches and movements with vigour. Daily, the women’s community has joined the Rajbandi Mukti movement, mass actions, and processions under the leadership of the esteemed poet Suifya Kamal. At 10 am on the 7th of February, 1969, two and a half thousand women gathered at the central Shaheed Minar under this nobleman’s direction. Marching towards Bahadur Shah Park According to reports published by Azad on the 24th of March, 1969, thousands of burqa-clad women also participated in the procession.
When the liberation fight began, women participated in numerous ways. Muslim, Hindu, Buddhist, and Christian women all participated in the liberation war. Additionally, tribal women participated in the liberation battle.
During the war, the Bangladeshi government’s strategy of providing women with combat training, preparing them for guerilla warfare, appointing women MPs to head administrative duties, etc., was not determined. Even after that, women remained steadfast on this issue. They exhibited a tremendous willingness to engage in the conflict. Under the command of Syeda Sajeda Chowdhury, a politician and representative of the wartime administration in Kolkata, 300 young women from Gobra camp received weapons training in Gobra and BLF camps. Dr. Geeta Majumder, Geeta Kar, Shirin Banu Mitil, and Dr. Geeta Kar are among them. Even when Laili Parveen learned how to use weapons, they were not permitted to engage in combat. There was reluctance among the wartime government on the issue of women’s direct engagement in the war.
On the other hand, a huge number of young people awaited war training in various youth camps due to a scarcity of weapons. Whereas boys cannot obtain weapons, cannot go to combat, and cannot receive training, the Bangladeshi government and politicians did not recognise the significance of training and arming girls for the liberation war. At that time, there was no justification for the hostile attitude towards women. Subsequently, Almataz Begum appeared in the film Guerrilla War. A daring leader of the freedom army was Karuna Begum of Barisal. Shireen Banu Mitil and Alea Begum wore men’s clothing while fighting the Pakistanis in this war.
It is equally important to remember the mothers of liberation fighters. All moms, such as the mother of Shaheed Rumi, Jahanara Imam, and the mother of Shaheed Azad, Safa Begum, have inspired their children. Also, a part of history is their sacrifice. This is essentially how women have played an unbreakable role in the Bengali freedom struggle. They toiled in camps. Those who worked as cooks alongside freedom fighters in the camp were also trained as guards with firearms. During the liberation war, he also provided the freedom fighters with information regarding the location of the Khansena and Razakars. They hide freedom fighters at home and develop weaponry to aid and treat wounded freedom fighters. They were gathering medication, food, and clothing for their benefit. In 1971, women’s activism represented their liberation battle.
During the liberation war, the sociopolitical status of women was extremely archaic and regressive. While the guys fought to defeat the Pakistani army and liberate their country, they were also attempting to free it. The women were then required to fight for their nation’s emancipation and defend their existence, dignity, and honour. Several books have been released about the women’s liberation war. There, we hear the sounds of brave struggle among the descriptions of their Liberation War experiences. The liberation fight and guerilla war in Bangladesh would not have been feasible without the assistance of the women’s society.