The nation is observing the historic March 7 on Sunday, commemorating the landmark speech of Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, which was touted as an indirect declaration of the country’s independence in 1971.
This year the observance of the day is significant as the nation is celebrating ‘Mujib Year’ coinciding with 70 years of the Language Movement.
On October 30 in 2017, UNESCO recognised the historic speech as part of the world’s documentary heritage as the landmark fiery speech of Bangabandhu inspired the Bengalees to prepare for the War of Liberation in 1971.
It has been included in the Memory of the World International Register, a list of the world’s important documentary heritage maintained by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO).
On March 7, Bangabandhu in his historic speech at a mammoth rally in the then ‘Race Course Maidan’, now Suhrawardy Udyan, in the city directed the freedom-loving Bangalees for waging a decisive struggle against the Pakistani occupation forces.
In the 19-minute extempore speech from 4:23 pm before millions of people of former East Pakistan, Bangabandhu in unequivocal term said, “We spilled our blood…we are ready to shed more blood, the people of the country shall be freed, Inshallah!”
“Ebarer sangram amader muktir sangram, ebarer sangram swadhinatar sangram (The struggle this time is for our emancipation, the struggle this time is for our independence)” the great leader and the greatest Bangalee of all times went on to add.
During his deliberations amid thunderous slogans and applause, he also made a fervent appeal to the roaring people from all walks of life to make preparations for armed struggle against the tyranny, exploitation,
subjugation and deprivation by Pakistani military junta with whatever they possessed and transformed every house into a fortress.
The people were overwhelmed and imbued with the spirit of Bangabandhu’s unparalleled speech of independence regarded only as comparable with the Gettysburg Speech of slain US President Abraham Lincoln.
The whole nation responded spontaneously to Bangabandhu’s call with the thunderous slogan- “Bir Bangalee Astra Dharo, Bangladesh Swadhin Karo” -Brave Bangalees take up arms and free Bangladesh from occupation.
The vigorous speech inspired people of all walks of life to prepare for the war, which eventually began after the Pakistani regime on the black night of March 25 launched attacks on the unarmed Bangalees, the worst genocides in history for the next nine months.
Bangabandhu’s March 7 speech has been selected as one of the most rousing and inspirational wartime speeches in the last 2,500 years. The dynamic speech had changed the course of the country’s history.
The tantalizing speech literally had a mesmerizing and sparkling effect on the entire population of this soil and they became united under his capable and farsighted leadership to bravely fight for liberating the motherland from the clutches of the Pakistani occupation forces.
Although people from all walks of life irrespective of political and religious beliefs were united for the cause and began to take all-out preparations for a bloody war, they waited till the crackdown of the Pakistani occupation forces on the sleeping Bangalees on the night of March 25, defamed as the “Operation Searchlight”.
As soon as the Pakistani occupation forces started genocide, Bangabandhu declared the independence of the motherland instructing the people to put up strong resistance and fight against them till liberation is achieved.
At the instruction of Bangabandhu, the brave nation fought successfully the nine-month-old war of liberation and ultimately liberated Bangladesh from the clutches of the Pakistani occupation forces on December 16, 1971, with the assistance of the allied Indian forces.
Marking the day, different socio-cultural and political organisations, student and professional bodies have drawn up elaborate programmes, including laying wreaths at the portrait of Bangabandhu and holding discussions with maintaining health guidelines amid the Coronavirus pandemic.
The government has made national flag hoisting at all public and private buildings in the country and its diplomatic missions abroad compulsory on the historic 7 March from this year.
Meanwhile, Bangladesh Awami League (AL) has taken elaborate programmes to observe the historic March 7 in a befitting manner.
Marking the day, the ruling AL will hoist national and party flags atop Bangabandhu Bhaban and party offices, place wreaths at Bangabandhu’s portrait on the premises of Bangabandhu Bhaban at Dhanmondi, said a press release signed by the party’s office secretary Barrister Biplob Barua today.
A discussion will be arranged at the central office of Awami League on Bangabandhu Avenue at 11 am.
Awami League President and Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina will chair the discussion at virtual platform.
Bangladesh Betar and Bangladesh Television as well as private television channels and radio stations will broadcast and telecast special programmes while national dailies will bring out special supplements marking the auspicious occasion.
In addition to this, the Forest and Environment Sub-Committee of Awami League will hold a discussion on March 7 speech of Bangabandhu at 11 am at Bangamata Sheikh Fazilatunnesa Mujib auditorium of the National Museum here, said a press release.
Awami League Joint General Secretary and Information and Broadcasting Minister Dr Hasan Mahmud will attend the discussion as the chief guest.
Awami League Advisory Council Member and Chairman of Forest and Environment sub-committee Dr. Khandokar Bazlul Haque will chair the meeting while AL’s Forest and Environment Affair secretary Delwar Hossain will conduct the event.
Pro-Vice-Chancellor of Dhaka University Dr. Muhammad Samad, poet Nirmalendu Goon, Daily Bhorer Kagoj Editor Shyamal Dutta and AL central committee memberMarufa Akter Popy will be special guests at the event.