The nation on Sunday observed the historic March 7 commemorating the landmark speech of Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman which was touted as indirect declaration of the country’s independence in 1971.
The day was observed nationally for the first time this year. National flag was hoisted atop all public and private buildings in the country and its diplomatic missions on the occasion of the day, reports BSS.
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina paid rich tributes to Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman by placing a wreath at his portrait in front of Bangabandhu Memorial Museum at Dhanmondi in the city this morning.
After placing the wreath, she stood in solemn silence for some time as a mark of profound respect to the memory of Bangabandhu, the architect of the independence.
Sheikh Rehana, younger daughter of Bangabandhu, accompanied her sister and Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina while a munajat was offered praying peace of the departed souls of the August 15, 1975 martyrs.
After the departure of the premier from the premises of Bangabandhu Bhaban, Awami League (AL) General Secretary and Road Transport and Bridges Minister Obaidul Quader along with party leaders placed a wreath at the portrait of Bangabandhu on behalf of AL.
AL Presidium Members Dr Mohammad Abdur Razzaque, Jahangir Kabir Nanak, Shajahan Khan, Abdul Matin Khasru and Abdur Rahman, Joint General Secretaries– Mahbubul Alam Hanif, Education Minister Dr Dipu Moni, Information Minister Dr Hasan Mahmud and AFM Bahauddin Nasim, Organizing Secretaries Ahmed Hossain, BM Mozammel Haque and SM Kamal Hossain, State Minister for Information Dr Murad Hassan, AL Cultural Affairs Secretary Ashim Kumar Ukil, Liberation War Affairs Secretary Mrinal Kanti Das and Labor Affairs Secretary Habibur Rahman Siraj were also present, among others, on the occasion.
State Minister for Cultural Affairs KM Khalid placed a wreath at the portrait on the behalf of the Cultural Affairs Ministry while Dhaka South City Corporation Mayor Sheikh Fazle Noor Taposh also paid tributes to Bangabandhu.
Later, leaders and workers of central 14-party alliance, Dhaka city north and south units of AL, Awami Jubo League, Awami Swechchhasebak League, Bangladesh Chhatra League, Bangladesh Krishak League, Mohila Awami League, Jubo Mohila League and Jatiya Sramik League laid wreaths at the portrait of Bangabandhu.
Apart from AL and associate bodies, Bangabandhu Parishad, Bangabandhu Sanskritik Jote, Muktijoddha Kendrio Command Council, Sammilita Sangskritik Jote, Bangladesh Tanti League, Amra Muktijoddhar Santan, Bangabandhu Sainik League, Sheikh Russel Shishu Sangha, Awami Sangskritik Forum, Bangabandhu Sangskritik Jote, Bangladesh Pani Unnayan Sramik Karmachari League, Muktijoddha Sanghati Parishad, Awami Shilpi Gosthi, Dhaka Bar Association and Bangladesh Awami Jubo Ainjibi Parishad paid tributes to Bangabandhu by laying wreaths at his portrait.
Liberation War Affairs Ministry introduced mobile museum of Liberation War to encourage the new generation to know the history of the great Liberation War.
Liberation War Affairs Minister AKM Mozammel Haque inaugurated the mobile museum having two buses at Shikha Chirantan on the premises of historic Suhrawardy Udyan in the morning. Liberation War Affairs Secretary Tapon Kanti Ghosh and other officials of the ministry were present.
Jatiya Press Club (JPC) authority arranged a seminar on “Bangabandhu’s 7th March Speech: Roadmap to Freedom of Bangalees” marking the day.
Information Minister and Awami League Joint General Secretary Dr Hasan Mahmud joined the seminar as the chief guest.
Dhaka University former Vice-Chancellor and chairman of the board of directors of Bangladesh Sangbad Sangstha (BSS) Prof AAMS Arefin Siddique, Daily Observer editor Iqbal Sobhan Chowdhury, JPC former president Saiful Alam, Bangladesh Federal Journalists Union former president Manjurul Ahsan Bulbul, JPC former general secretary Swapan Saha addressed it, among others.
JPC president Farida Yasmin chaired the seminar while BSS former city editor Ajit Kumar Sarker presented the keynote. JPC general secretary Elias Khan delivered the welcome address.
Krishak League arranged rally of farmers and discussion.
AL Presidium Member Advocate Jahangir Kabir Nanak, Joint General Secretary AFM Bahauddin Nasim, Swechchhasebak League General Secretary Afzalur Rahman Babu addressed it, among others.
Krishak League president Samir Chanda chaired it while general secretary Umme Kulsum Smriti moderated it.
Special prayers were held at all mosques across the country seeking eternal peace of the departed souls of Bangabandhu and 1971 Liberation War martyrs.
On March 7 in 1971, Bangabandhu delivered a momentous speech at the then Race Course Maidan, now Suhrawardy Udyan in Dhaka, effectively declaring the War of Independence, which speech brought the country’s independence successfully.
This year observance of the day was more significant as the country is going to celebrate the golden jubilee of the country’s independence on March 26 next while ‘Mujib Year’, the yearlong celebration of Bangabandhu’s birth centenary is also going on.
The landmark fiery speech of Bangabandhu inspired the Bengalees to prepare for the War of Liberation.
The war began 18 days later, when the Pakistan Army launched “Operation Searchlight” against unarmed Bangalee civilians, intellectuals, students, politicians, and armed personnel.
On October 30 in 2017, the UNESCO recognised the historic speech as part of the world’s documentary heritage.
It has been included in the Memory of the World International Register, a list of world’s important documentary heritage maintained by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO).
On March 7, Bangabandhu in his historic speech 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 take preparations for armed struggle against the tyranny, exploitation, subjugation and deprivation by Pakistani military junta with whatever they possessed and transforming 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 to the Gettysburg Speech of slain US President Abraham Lincoln.
The whole nation responded spontaneously to Bangabandhu’s call with 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 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 independence of the motherland instructing the people to put up strong resistance and fight against them till the 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.