Nation observed historic March 7


The nation observed the historic March 7 on Monday 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, the 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).

Marking the day, different socio-cultural and political organisations, student and professional bodies chalked out elaborate programmes, including laying wreaths at the portrait of Bangabandhu and holding discussions with maintaining health guidelines amid the Covid-19 situation.

The national flag was hoisted at all public and private buildings in the country and diplomatic missions abroad on the historic 7 March as per the government’s decision.

Bangladesh Awami League (AL) took elaborate programmes to observe the historic March 7 in a befitting manner.

The day’s programme began with hoisting of national and party flags atop Bangabandhu Bhaban and party offices.

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina paid rich tributes to Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman on the occasion of the historic March 7.

She paid the homage by placing a wreath at the portrait of the Father of the Nation in front of the Bangabandhu Memorial Museum at Dhanmondi in the city this morning.

After laying 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.

Later, on behalf of Awami League, party’s General Secretary Obaidul Quader along with central leaders paid tributes to Bangabandhu by placing wreaths at his portrait in front of the Bangabandhu Memorial Museum.

AL Presidium Members Begum Matia Chowdhury, Dr Abdur Razzaque, Shajahan Khan, Jahangir Kabir Nanak and A. H. M. Khairuzzaman Liton, Joint General Secretaries– Mahbubul-Alam Hanif, Information and Broadcasting Minister Dr Hasan Mahmud and AFM Bahauddin Nasim, Organizing Secretaries Ahmed Hossain and Mirza Azam, AL Cultural Affairs Secretary Asim Kumar Ukil, Labour and Manpower Affairs Secretary Habibur Rahman Siraj, Publicity and Publications Secretary Dr Abdus Sobhan Golap and Central Working Committee member Mustafa Jalal Mahiuddin were present, among others.

Later, leaders and workers of AL Dhaka city north and south units, Awami Jubo League, Bangladesh Krishak League, Awami Swechchhasebak League, Mahila Awami League, Bangladesh Chhatra League, Jubo Mahila League and Jatiya Sramik League and other associate and like-minded organizations paid tributes to Bangabandhu.

Bangabandhu Parishad, Bangabandhu Sangskritik Jote, Sammilita Sangskritik Parishad, Bangladesh Tanti League, Amra Muktijoddhar Santan, Bangabandhu Sainik League, Sheikh Russel Shishu Sangha, Awami Sangskritik Forum, Muktijoddha Sanghati Parishad, Awami Shilpi Gosthi, Dhaka Bar Association and Bangladesh Awami Jubo Ainjibi Parishad also paid homage.

A discussion was arranged at Awami League’s Bangabandhu Avenue central office this morning.

Awami League President and Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina chaired the discussion joining virtually from her official Ganabhaban residence here.

Awami League General Secretary Obaidul Quader, Presidium Members Begum Matia Chowdhury, Dr Abdur Razzaque, Shajahan Khan, Jahangir Kabir Nanak and Mofazzal Hossain Chowdhury Maya Bir Bikram, Joint General Secretary and Information and Broadcasting Minister Dr Hasan Mahmud and Organizing Secretary SM Kamal Hossain, among others, addressed the discussion.

AL Publicity and Publications Secretary Dr Abdus Sobhan Golap moderated it from Ganabhaban end.

Marking the day, the Information and Broadcasting Ministry arranged a discussion, documentary screening and cultural function at Tatya Bhaban auditorium at Kakrial in the city.

AL Joint General Secretary and Information and Broadcasting Minister Dr Hasan Mahmud joined the programme as the chief guest and also spoke on the occasion.

Additional information secretary Md Mizan Ul Alam chaired it while Bangladesh University of Professionals (BUP) Bangabandhu Chair Prof Dr Syed Anwar Hossain, Press Institute of Bangladesh (PIB) Director General Zafar Wazed and Chief Information Officer Md Shahenur Mia joined it as discussants.

Department of Films and Publications Director General SM Golam Kibria delivered the welcome address.

Ekushey Padak recipient Amzad Ali Khandker and senior officials of the ministry were also present.

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 his 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 that was 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 from 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, unleashed 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 to 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 liberated Bangladesh from the clutches of the Pakistani occupation forces on December 16, 1971, with the assistance of the allied Indian forces.

Bangladesh Betar and Bangladesh Television as well as private television channels and radio stations broadcast special programmes while national dailies brought out special supplements marking the auspicious occasion.