Former state minister for home affairs, Sohel Taj, has demanded the government declare 10 April as Republic Day and 3 November as National Mourning Day, teaching new generations the actual history of the country by including contributions of four national leaders in the academic curricula.
With banners at hand spelling out the three-point demand, Sohel Taj, the son of Bangladesh's first prime minister Tajuddin Ahmad, with hundreds of his followers marched from the Jatiya Sangsad Bhaban area to the Ganabhan in the capital on Sunday.
They submitted a memorandum to the prime minister requesting fulfilment of their demands as early as possible.
"As independent Bangladesh got its first government on 10 April, the day deserves recognition as Republic Day," Sohel Taj told the media, after the events. "Besides, the Jail-Killing day [3 November] should be observed as National Mourning Day as we lost four great national leaders on the day, who led the Liberation War in the absence of Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahaman."
On 3 November 1975, the four leaders and heroes of the Liberation War – Syed Nazrul Islam, Tajuddin Ahmad, Captain Mansur Ali and AHM Quamruzzaman – were assassinated inside Dhaka Central Jail.
They played a key role in forming the Mujibnagar government in exile that led the Liberation War of 1971 with Syed Nazrul Islam as acting president, Tajuddin Ahmad as prime minister, Mansur Ali as finance minister, and AHM Qamruzzaman as the home, relief, and rehabilitation minister.
Sohel Taj said the actual history of the liberation war, including the contributions of all the organisers and freedom fighters from civil and armed forces must be added to the academic curricula.
"If new generations remain ignorant of the actual history of the country, they will not be able to play a proper role in developing the country," the politician added.