The history of Bangladesh is old and eventful. The land has always attracted people. The earliest mention of Bangladesh is found in the Hindu epic, Mahabharata (the story of great battle in 9th century B.C.). Evidence also suggests that there was a strong Mongoloid presence. Soon after, in the 5th and 6th centuries B.C., came the Aryans from Central Asia. Then came the Guptas, Palas, and the Senas, who were Buddhist and Hindu.
From the 13th century A.D., the flood of Muslim invaders and the tide of Islam up to the 18th century swamped the Buddhist and Hindus. Sometimes there were independent rulers like Hussain Shahi and Ilyas Shahi dynasties, while, at other times, they ruled on behalf of the imperial seat of Delhi.
From 15th century, the Europeans - namely Portuguese, Dutch, French and British traders - exerted an economic influence over the region. British political rule over the region began in 1757 A.D. when the last Muslim ruler of Bengal (Nawab Siraj-ud- Dowla) was defeated at Palassey. In 1947, the country was partitioned into India and Pakistan. Present Bangladesh becomes the eastern wing of the then Pakistan. But the movement for autonomy for East Pakistan started within a couple of years because of language and cultural differences and economic disparity between the two wings. The seeds of independence were sown through the language movement in 1952 to recognize Bangla as a state language. Ultimately the then East Pakistan emerged as a sovereign and independent state of Bangladesh in 1971, after nine-month long war of liberation (starting on 26 March, 1971).
On the night of March 25th, the Pakistani army arrested our great national leader, Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman. On March 27th, then major (chief of army and Hon’able president later) Ziaur Rahman, declared the independence of Bangladesh on behalf of Bangabandu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman from the Kalurghat radio station in Chittagong.
On December 16, 1971, the Pakistani army surrendered at Surawardy Uddyan in Dhaka. It is our victory day. About three million people courted martyrdom in our liberation war.