Soon after the Pakistani army crackdown on the night of March 25, 1971,the first declaration of independence was made over the radio by M. A. Hannan. Very few people heard this declaration and Major Zia's famous "Ami Major Zia Bolchhi" declaration over Chittagong radio on March 27 was picked up by foreign news agency and was given wide publicity.
The first declaration
"Today Bangladesh is a sovereign and independent country. On Thursday night West Pakistani armed forces suddenly attacked the police barracks at Razarbagh and the EPR headquarters at Pilkhana in Dhaka. Many innocent and unarmed have been killed in Dhaka city and other places of Bangladesh. Violent clashes between EPR and Police on the one hand and the armed forces of Pindi on the other, are going on. The Bengalis are fighting the enemy with great courage for an independent Bangladesh. May God aid us in our fight for freedom. Joy Bangla."
Excerpted from The History of the Liberation Movement in Bangladesh, Author J. S. Gupta
[The historic Kalurghat radio station]
At 7:45 pm on 26th March 1971, Major Zia broadcast the message which became historic in the struggle for independence.
"This is Swadhin Bangla Betar Kendra. I, Major Ziaur Rahman, at the direction of Bango Bondhu Mujibur Rahman, hereby declare that the independent People's Republic of Bangladesh has been established. At his direction, I have taken command as the temporary head of the republic. In the name of Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, I call upon all Bengalis to rise against the attck by the west Pakistani Army. WE shall fight to the last to free our motherland. By the grace of Allah, victory is ours. Joy Bangla."
Listen to the audio
The Kalurghat Radio Station's transmission capability was limited. The message was picked up by a Japanese ship in Bay of Bengal. It was then re-transmitted by Radio Australia and later by the British Broadcasting Corporation.
March 26, 1971, is considered the official Independence Day of Bangladesh and according to all Bangladeshi sources, the name Bangladesh was in effect henceforth. Even the Indian PM, Indira Gandhi openly referred to it as Bangladesh. Certain sources, especially of Indian and Pakistani origin, continued to use the name "East Pakistan" until the following 16 December.
Footnote: We need more young encouraged peoples to bring our country up to a different level. So many people sacrificed their lives on 1971 just to make us what we are today. Yet we should start learning to think about everything as a global representation of the country.