Bangladesh’s Historic 7th March Today

The nation is set to observe historic 7th March, a red-letter day in the country’s history, in a befitting manner today.

On this day in 1971, Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman in his speech at Racecourse Maidan (now Suhrawardy Udyan) directed freedom-loving Bangalees to wage a decisive struggle against the Pakistani rulers.

In his 19-minute extempore speech from 4:23pm before millions of people of East Pakistan, now Bangladesh, Bangabandhu unequivocally said, “We shed our blood…We are ready to shed more blood. The people of the country shall be freed, Inshallah!”

“The struggle this time is a struggle for emancipation, the struggle this time is a struggle for independence,” said the great leader.

During his deliberations amid thunderous slogans and applause, he also made a clarion call for people from all walks of life to prepare for an armed struggle against tyranny, exploitation, subjugation and deprivation with whatever they had and to turn every house into a fortress.

People were overwhelmed and imbued with the spirit of Bangabandhu’s speech.

The whole nation responded spontaneously with a thunderous slogan ‘Brave Bangalees take up arms, achieve independence for Bangladesh.’

The speech changed the course of the country’s history, inspiring people to prepare for the Liberation War, which began after the Pakistani military on March 25 launched an attack on unarmed Bangalees and committed genocide for the next nine months.

As soon as the attack began, Bangabandhu proclaimed independence.

The celebration this year has reached a new height following the UNESCO’s recognition of Bangabandhu’s historic 7th March speech as part of the world’s documentary heritage.

The UNESCO on October 30 announced the prestigious acknowledgement to one of the world’s most glorious speeches, through which Bangabandhu effectively decelerated the country’s independence in a mammoth public rally at Ramna Racecourse ground (now Suhrawardy Udyan) in Dhaka on March 7, 1971.

The speech provided inspiration to the Bengali nation in their quest for freedom and energised freedom fighters for freeing the country through the nine-month War of Liberation.

With the immense joyfulness for UNESCO’s recognition and everlasting encouragement of the historic speech, the nation this year will celebrate the day with much enthusiasm and fanfare and renewing the vow for safeguarding the country’s independence and upholding the spirit of the War of Liberation.

Marking the day, President Abdul Hamid and Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina have issued separate messages recalling with gratitude courageous and farsighted leadership of Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman in materialising the nation’s journey to freedom through his March 7 Speech.

In a message, the President said, “Bangabandhu’s dream was to turn Bangladesh into ‘Sonar Bangla’. We should take steps to fulfill the dream of the Father of the Nation.”

In her message, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina said, “The historic speech of the Father of the Nation was the source of the immeasurable strength during the Liberation War. The everlasting speech will inspire the deprived, engrossed and freedom seeking people of the world.”

The prime minister on behalf of her government and the Bangalee nation thanked the UNESCO authorities for recognising the speech as part of the world’s documentary heritage.

Meanwhile, different socio-cultural and political organisations and students’ and professional bodies have also chalked out elaborate programmes, including laying of wreaths before portraits of Bangabandhu and holding discussions and rallies.

The ruling Awami League hoists the national and party flags atop Bangabandhu Bhaban and party offices and place wreaths at Sheikh Mujibur Rahman’s portrait on Bangabandhu Bhaban premises in the capital’s Dhanmondi at 7:00am.

Besides, the AL will hold a rally at historic Suhrawardy Udyan at 2:00pm.

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, also president of AL, is expected to chair the programme.

AL general secretary Obaidul Quader asked all leaders and activists to observe the day in a befitting manner and air the historic speech across the country.

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