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Mirsir Ali

Question: Do you remember where you were before 1971 and how did you come to Birmingham?


Answer: Before 1971 my father’s house was at Kings Road. I lived there with my father. After my father had passed away, I owned that house. Here I studied at different schools and night college. Those who had B.Sc. degree from Bangladesh could join the university. I tried hard to take admitted in Birmingham University but as I had no Bangladeshi qualification I couldn’t join there.


Question: In which year did you move to Birmingham?

Answer: I moved to Birmingham in 1962. My house was at 39, Kingston My father’s uncle Abdul Majid was here first.


Question: When the situation got worst in Bangladesh after 7th March 1971 what did you do then?

Answer: Pakistani occupation forces attacked Bangladeshi people and started killing innocent Bengali civilians including rickshaw drivers. Allah helped us at that time. Without his mercy, we couldn’t get Bangladesh. We protested at this time; Afruj Miah, Shobuj Choudhury, Tunu Miah, Jamshed Miah protested from Stratford Road. They fought for Bangladesh. I was younger then and encountered them.


Question: How old are you now?

Answer: 82


Question: You were involved in a youth league then and battled for Bangladesh. How did you feel then? Did you feel Bangladesh would be an independent country?

Answer: There was no existence of Bangladesh at this time. It was East Pakistan. We wanted to build up our own country Bangladesh. Afruj Miah, Azad Joglu Pasha, Jamshed Miah, Yousuf Choudhury, Shobuj Choudhury lead our movement. Shobuj Choudhury wrote everything in Bengali language. Yousuf Choudhury efforted a lot to make our country historic. All of them attempted for our country but we didn’t think Bangladesh could be established so easily. We declared Bangladesh as an independent country on 28th March, 1971 at Small Heath Park.


Question: On 25th March, 1971 when the Pakistani army attacked Bangladesh, a protest rally was organised in Birmingham where approximately 10000 Bangladeshi people gathered. How could you arrange a large number of people within a short period of time?

Answer: We wrote in Bengali language and published leaflets that we are a brave nation, we won’t bow our heads to Pakistani, and we want our own free country.


Question: Do you remember what happened on the morning of 28th March 1971?  

Answer: I was there (showing place). Pasha, Mukit, Afruz Miah, Tunu Miah was also there. Mrs. Pasha had great contribution. She gave away her chain for Bangladesh. I just used to say, ‘Naara e Takbir Allah o Akbar’.


Question: The flag of Bangladesh was hoisted for the first time outside Bangladesh on Britain soil in Birmingham. Tell me something about this event.

Answer: That flag was in my hand. Nobody took the risk to take the flag. I took the initiative. The flag was hoisted at the gathering in Small Health Park on March 28th and I raised the flag for the first time.


Question: Didn’t you feel afraid to raise the flag or aware of the fact that what could happen to you?

Answer: I wasn’t aware of anything at this time. I had only the intention to raise that flag.


Question: What was the colour of that flag? How could you get this?

Answer: The colour of that flag was green and red. I didn’t exactly remember who brought this. Someone gave it to me.


Question: What was your feeling about raising the flag of Bangladesh?

Answer: My feeling was that we could survive as an independent nation across the world. We had no relation with Pakistan and we had our own flag.


Question: Why did you take the flag instead of others?

Answer: Dr. Khaleq asked me to take the flag. He is still alive. I was energetic then and fearless then.


Question: How did you feel after hoisting the flag?

Answer: I was afraid. I realised Pakistanis would be aggressive toward me. So I couldn’t stay at my home. I used to live in other houses.


Question: What was your contribution to post-liberation war work?

Answer: We appealed for our acknowledgement at Stratford Road.  


Question: On 16th December, 1971 Bangladesh became independent. Do you remember where were you and what you did at this time?

Answer: I was in Birmingham.


Question: Did you get threatened after raising the flag?

Answer: They looked for me, to kill me. I didn’t stay at my home. I stayed at other houses.


Question: There were 10000 people. Why did they search for you?

Answer: I took that responsibility and the flag was on my hand.


Question: What did people say seeing the flag in your hand?

Answer: People started shouting saying Bangladesh! Bangladesh! They were happy.


Question: What do you think now?

Answer: Now we are an independent country. Our mission we will be making Bangladesh proud all over the world.


Question: Do you think whoever participated at that time got their proper recognition?

Answer: I think nobody gets this.


Question: Do you think you got your appraisal?

Answer: I didn’t expect anything at this time. I genuinely did everything for Bangladesh.


Question: Do you want to get acceptance from the government of Bangladesh for raising the flag at Birmingham?

Answer: I don’t care whether I get acknowledgement or not. We built our own country that’s our pride.


Question: Don’t you feel upset about not getting the acceptance yet?

Answer: I don’t feel upset whether I get acceptance or not. We didn’t do anything for the acceptance, we did it all for our country.

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