Tomorrow is the historic March 7, a Red-letter day in the history of the Bangalees’ long arduous freedom struggle, BSS reports. On this day in 1971, the undisputed leader of the Bangalees- the architect of Bangladesh- Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman delivered his epoch-making speech of independence at the Race Course Maidan, now Suhrawardy Udyan, in Dhaka.
In his 19-minute extempore speech from 4.23 pm before a million freedom-loving people of the than East Pakistan, now Bangladesh, Bangabandhu in unequivocal term said, “We had spilled bloods…we are ready to shed more bloods, the people of the country shall be freed, Inshallah!”
“The struggle this time is for our emancipation, the struggle this time is for our independence,” the great leader went on to add. 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 comparable to that of Gettysburg Speech of the slain President of the United States, Abraham Lincoln. The whole nation responded spontaneously to his call with thunderous slogan “Bir Bangalee Astra Dharo, Bangladesh Swadhin Karo” (Brave Bangalees take up arms and free Bangladesh from occupation).
Bangabandhu’s tantalizing speech literally had a mesmerizing and sparkling effect on the entire population in the eastern part of Pakistan and they became united under his capable and farsighted leadership to bravely fight for liberating the motherland from the clutches of the Pakistani 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.
Referring to the significance of the speech, Dhaka University History Department Professor Mesbah Kamal said after the fiery speech of Bangabandhu the control of Bangalees was established in all over Bangladesh instead of Pakistanis as the word Bangladesh was written in different places instead of East Pakistan. “After the 7th March Speech, the entire nation was running through the direction of Bangabandhu as it united people all over Bangladesh except some Pakistani collaborators,” he added.
According to political analysts, the 7th March speech of Bangabandhu was not only a call for the Bangalee nation to fight for freedom rather a direction for all nations. Like every year, the day will be observed across the country with due respect. On the eve of the day, President Abdul Hamid and Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, gave separate messages.
The ruling Awami League-led government has taken extensive preparations to observe the historic March 7 in a befitting manner. Different political parties, social, cultural and professional bodies have chalked out elaborate programmes to mark the day. The programmes of the ruling Awami League on the day includes hoisting of the national and party flags at 6.30 am and placing of wreaths at the portrait of Bangabandhu at the Bangabandhu Memorial Museum at Dhanmondi at 7 am.
The ruling party will also organise a public rally at the historic Suhrawardy Udyan, where Bangabandhu delivered his epoch-making independence speech on the day in 1971 at 3 pm.
Awami League President and Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina will chair the public rally.
The national hook-ups- Bangladesh Betar and Bangladesh Television-as well as private television channels and radio stations will air special programmes while national dailies will bring out special supplements marking the day.