Bangladesh is located in the fertile delta of the Ganges, Brahmaputra and Meghna (GBM) river system. The riverine country became an independent country in 1971 with Dhaka as its capital city.
During the War of Liberation, Bangladesh was strategically divided into eleven sectors in order to defeat the Pakistani army. Forming the sectors later proved to be a well-organized and vital strategy for winning the Liberation War.
However, the sector boundary was not political, rather more Geographical. Several geographical factors i.e. river, hill, culture etc. influenced forming the Sector Boundaries of the Liberation War in 1971.
As Bangladesh is a riverine country, rivers played a key role in forming the most of the Sector Boundaries. Especially, rivers such as Padma, Brahmaputra, Meghna, Jamuna, Surma, Madhumati, Muhuri etc. played the key role in sector formation.
A recent study of River and Delta Research Center (RDRC) prepared several maps which help to understand the geographical aspects especially rivers and water bodies of Bangladesh in 1971 and how this factor influenced the birth of the country.
The key features of this map include geopolitical and geostrategic importance, view of Bangladesh in light of rivers and streams and more than 1200 rivers. The key features of these maps include geopolitical and geostrategic importance, view of Bangladesh in light of rivers and streams and more than 1200 rivers.
Beside rivers, secondary data such as historical maps, published articles etc. also helped to delineate the Sector Boundary of the Liberation War of 1971.
The study was an integrative approach of using satellite images acquired 1968 to 1972 to map every identifiable river and to demarcate the sector boundaries. These operations were done by using Geographic Information System (GIS) and Remote sensing software such as ArcGIS 10.8, Erdas Imagine, goggle earth etc.
Beside rivers, secondary data such as historical maps, published articles etc. also helped to delineate the Sector Boundary of the Liberation War of 1971. This study is paramount in representing the efficient and crucial sector-wise strategy of the historical Liberation War of Bangladesh which was set up mainly by rivers.
“New nation, new state, new relief” as a new nation all rivers of 1971 should be mapped carefully and preserved as the resource of the country. 1971 can be the baseline or reference point to compare the current situation of rivers and water bodies.
During 1971 rivers and water bodies played a vital role to communicate within and outside of the country and demolish the Pakistani Military.
These maps contain more than 1200 rivers of 1971 which includes narrow streams and canals as well. No other person or organization published a map of such numbers and details of rivers of 1971 before.
Author: Chairman, River and Delta Research Center (RDRC), Bangladesh.