Claiming East Pakistan would be called "Bangladesh"

Mujib demanded the acceptance of his six points and the demands of other political parties and walked out following its rejection. On December 5, 1969 Mujib made a declaration at a public meeting held to observe the death anniversary of Suhrawardy that henceforth East Pakistan would be called "Bangladesh":  There was a time when all efforts were made to erase the word "Bangla" from this land and its map.

The existence of the word "Bangla" was found nowhere except in the term Bay of Bengal. I on behalf of Pakistan announce today that this land will be called "Bangladesh" instead of East Pakistan." Mujib's declaration heightened tensions across the country. The West Pakistani politicians and the military began to see him as a separatist leader. His assertion of Bengali cultural and ethnic identity also re-defined the debate over regional autonomy. Many scholars and observers believed the Bengali agitation emphasized the rejection of the Two-Nation Theory — the case upon which Pakistan had been created — by asserting the ethno-cultural identity of Bengalis as a nation. Mujib was able to galvanise support throughout East Pakistan, which was home to a majority of the national population, thus making him one of the most powerful political figures in the Indian subcontinent. It was following his 6-point plan that Mujib was increasingly referred to by his supporters as "Bangobondhu" (literally meaning "Friend of Bengal" in Bengali).

N.B. One of the organizers of that historic event was Mr. Saleh Mustafa Jamil, the president of Bongobondhu Information & Research Center, Gothenburg, Sweden who is seen in the picture.

 

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