Muktijoddha Sangsad

Muktijoddha Sangsad a non-political welfare association of the combatants during the War of Liberation formed on 13 February 1972. The aims and objectives of the organisation as stated in its constitution are to:

(i) organise people and freedom fighters for achievement of the cherished goal of the War of Liberation; (ii) protect the country and its people, uphold the spirit of the War of Liberation, and also participate in all elections for bringing welfare of the country's people; (iii) rehabilitate the freedom fighters, including those who are disabled, and also the members of the families of shaheed (martyr) freedom fighters; (iv) contribute to the economic development of the country, and safeguard the rights of the people; (v) participate in development activities; (vi) resist communalism, expansionism, racism, and imperialism for the sake of protecting the nation's unity and integrity; (vii) prepare a comprehensive list of freedom fighters for publication in official gazette; (viii) write an authentic history of the War of Liberation and take necessary steps to preserve the memories and legacy of the War; and (ix) express its solidarity with the oppressed nations of the world fighting for emancipation.

Muktijoddha Sangsad started functioning as a welfare organisation and launched special programmes such as 'Change the Food Habit' and 'Clean Dhaka City' movements. To rehabilitate freedom fighters the organisation declared a welfare programme, which includes: (a) formation of a national freedom fighters board, (b) employment of freedom fighters in different organisations; and (c) assistance to freedom fighters in withdrawal of police charges against them for their killing actions during the War of Liberation. The organisation formed a Muktijodda Kalyan Trust (Freedom Fighters Welfare Trust), successfully pursued the government in regularly holding Special BCS Examinations in 1973, making the provision for reservation of 30% jobs for the freedom fighters in the government service, and granting indemnity of freedom fighters from criminal cases filed against freedom fighters before 28 February 1972.

The constitution of the organisation was subsequently changed several times to meet the emergent exigencies. The present constitution of the Sangsad was approved in its National Council held on 28 February 2001. According to the constitution, the organisation will have two types of members, General and Associate. Persons who took part in the War of Liberation and fought for the country's independence are entitled to become general members, while associate membership is open to any person who is not a member of any political party but upholds the spirit of independence and sovereignty of Bangladesh and stands for all principles outlined in the Sangsad's constitution.

The Central Command Council of the Sangsad comprises 101 members. The district committees have 51 members, thana committees 41 members, and the union/ward committees 21 members. According to a provision confirmed in 1978, any dignified person believing in the spirit of the War of Liberation may be given recognition as the Chief Patron and Chief Advisor of the Sangsad, provided he/she is already a member of the patron committee and the advisory committee respectively.

The commands affiliated with the Sangsad are: Muktijoddha Children Command, Muktijoddha Students Command, Muktijoddha Youths Command, Muktijoddha Women Command, Muktijoddha Peasants Command, Muktijoddha Workers Command, Muktijoddha Technocrats Command, Muktijoddha Teachers Command, Muktijoddha Cultural Workers Command, Muktijoddha Businessmen Command, and We the Children of Freedom Fighters Command.

The Central Command Council preserves the right to increase the number of commands. Sangsad also has committees for the affiliated organisations at union, thana, district and central levels. [Swapan Kumar Sarkar]