(Feb. 10, 2011)
by Mofidul Hoque, Trustee and Member-Secretary
The Liberation War Museum (LWM) was established in 1996 to honor the nation's heroic struggle for democracy and national rights through the armed resistance of the people against genocidal act unleashed by the Pakistan Army on 25 March 1971. The nine month long liberation war led to the emergence of independent Bangladesh as a secular democratic state. The Museum brings to view the untold stories of courage and determination, heroics and sufferings. It is run by a Board of Trustees with overwhelming support of all sections of people and is the outcome of citizens' effort at all levels. It is now recognized, nationally and internationally as a reliable and credible institution preserving and projecting the history of the emergence of Bangladesh.
Currently the museum collection boasts 15,200 (September 2010) objects which include rare photographs, documents, media coverage and materials used by freedom fighters and martyrs of liberation struggle. Housed in a rented premises, the museum exhibits about 1400 objects due to space constraints. Visitors to the museum discover the events that led to the peoples' upheaval and resistance and the human sacrifices to uphold the fundamental principles of democracy, secularism and nationalism which ultimately been reflected in the Bangladesh Constitution (1972). A major aim of LWM is to introduce the young generation to the past glories so that they can work for a better future for all.
The museum runs a vigorous outreach programme whereby the students of Dhaka city are brought to the museum by providing transport services. The museum also has a mobile bus turned into a mini-museum that goes to educational institutions all around the country. The students view the display inside the bus and watch a documentary film on the history of liberation struggle. LWM also appeals to the students to collect oral account of senior members of their family who have witnessed the 1971 days of liberation war. The museum is preserving all those submissions and thereby has built-up an archives of memory and so far collected more than 15,000 such eye-witness accounts submitted by the students. The students of Dhaka city who visited the museum in one year are invited to join the Annual Freedom Festival where more than 10,000 students take oath to serve the nation.
LWM regularly observes various days and strengthens the bondage with the community thereby. Apart from the national days it also observes World Non-violence Day, World Museum Day, Hiroshima Day etc.
The Museum organizes an annual International Festival of Docufilms on Liberation and Human Rights. In 1996 the museum with the help of Bangladesh Army excavated a killing field in the suburb of Dhaka and later on established a memorial site that developed strong bondage with the local community and victim's family members.
Building the New Museum
The museum has recently procured land at a prime place and full-fledged museum with proper facilities and modern amenities will be build there. The design of the new museum has been choosen through open competition. The fund-raising and construction has already began and it is expected to open the door in 2013.
Address: 5, Segun Bagicha, Dhaka - 1000
Days closed: Sunday and other national holidays
Admission: 5.00 Taka/0.08 US$
(Originally published on February 7, 2011)
Liberation War Museum, Bangladesh
Annual Freedom Festival of the Liberation War Museum
Visitors to the Liberation War Museum
Commemorating the “Hiroshima Day”
The Mobile Museum during its visit to far-away school