March 26 - the day Independence of Bangladesh was formally declared on the eve of a 9month long war of Independence with Pakistan that led to the emergence of Bangladesh as a sovereign nation. After many years of exploitation, both politically and economically, the Bengali national sentiments led to the massive victory of Sheikh Mujibur Rahman and the Awami League in the Pakistan National Elections of 1970. The ruling oligarchs in the then West Pakistan balked at having to give up the reigns of power to East Pakistanis. They stalled the installation of the newly elected parliament, and on the dark night of March 25, 1971 embarked on a genocidal reign of terror aimed at extinguishing all signs of Bengali nationalism. In the face of this, the inevitable declaration of independence was proclaimed, and the fight was on for the people of Bangladesh to achieve independence, at a terrible price of 3 million people killed by the marauding armies of Pakistan.