The historic March 7, a memorable day in the history of Bangalis’ long and arduous freedom struggle, was observed across the country on Saturday in a befitting manner.
In 2017, United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (Unesco) recognised the historic March 7 Speech of Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman as a world documentary heritage.
On this day in 1971, Bangabandhu, the undisputed leader of Bangalees, delivered his epoch-making speech of independence before a mammoth rally at the historic Racecourse Maidan, now Suhrawardy Udyan, in Dhaka city.
In his 19-minute extempore speech before a million freedom-loving people, Bangabandhu had made a clarion call for a non-cooperation movement asking the nation to prepare for the war of independence to liberate the country from the exploitative Pakistan regime.
“The struggle this time is for freedom, the struggle this time is for independence, Joy Bangla,” Bangabandhu declared from the massive rally.
In his speech, compared with US President Abraham Lincoln's historic Gettysburg speech, Bangabandhu said: “Since we have learnt to give blood, we'll give more blood. Insha Allah, the people of this country must be liberated...turn every house into a fort. Face (the enemy) with whatever you have.”
His speech worked like a magic spell inspiring the entire Bangalee nation to join the struggle for independence from the autocratic and repressive rule of the then Pakistani military junta.
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on Saturday morning paid rich tribute to the great leader and greatest Bengali of all time by placing wreaths at his portrait at Dhanmondi-32 marking the historic March 7.
At this, the Prime Minister observed silence for some time paying respect to the architect of Independence Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman.
Awami League and different socio-political and cultural organisations also observed the day through elaborate programmes.
Besides, Bangladesh Betar and Bangladesh Television as well as private television channels and radio stations aired special programmes on the occasion while national dailies published supplements.
Meanwhile, President Md Abdul Hamid and Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina have issued separate messages recalling with gratitude the courageous and farsighted leadership of Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman in materialising the nation's journey to freedom through his March 7 Speech.
On the other hand, various programmes were also organised by Bangladesh missions abroad marking the historic day.
Bangladesh High Commission in New Delhi paid homage to Bangabandhu. High Commissioner Muhammad Imran, with the members of the mission, placed wreaths at the portrait of Bangabandhu at the chancery building. A discussion meeting was also held on the occasion where Minister (Press) Farid Hossain presented the key-note paper.
In Mumbai, Bangladesh Deputy High Commission held a discussion meeting highlighting the significance of the day. Bangladesh Embassy in Tokyo also observed the day.
To mark the occasion, a minute’s silence was observed at the Bangabandhu auditorium of the embassy paying tribute to Father of the Nation. Later, a documentary of the March 7 speech was screened.
Bangladesh Embassy in Hanoi, Vietnam, arranged a programme at the chancery building. Expatriate Bangladeshis, local Vietnamese guests, and officials and employees of the embassy were also present.
Bangladesh Consulate, Istanbul, observed the historic day in a befitting manner. Besides discussion, a view exchange meeting titled ‘Bangabandhu’s birth centenary and the role of the expatriates’ was held at consulate premises.
Bangladesh High Commission in Islamabad, Pakistan, also observed the day. Led by Bangladesh High Commissioner Arif Ahsan, the officials and employees of the High Commission placed wreaths at the portrait of Bangabandhu. Later a video on the historic speech of Bangbandhu was screened.
The historic day was observed with patriotic zeal at Bangladesh Embassy in Washington, DC.
The embassy chalked out various programmes and screened a documentary on the March 7 speech at Bangabandhu Auditorium. The messages of the President and Prime Minister were read out.
Defence Attaché Brig Gen Moinul Hassan and Minister (Press) Shamim Ahmad read out the messages respectively.
Speaking on the occasion, Bangladesh Ambassador to the USA Mohammad Ziauddin said Bangabandhu in his iconic speech, spoke from his heart for the emancipation and independence of the Bengali nation.
He said international connoisseurs and critics of speeches recognised Bangabandhu’s speech as the best by any political leader or personality in world history.
They agreed that profound intensity of feelings resonated the emotions deep in the hearts of every person who listened, said a media release.
“This is the only speech in history that has led to the birth of a country,” the Ambassador said, urging all to materialise the dream of Bangabandhu under the dynamic leadership of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina.
Earlier, Ambassador Ziauddin accompanied by officials and employees of the embassy, placed wreath at the bust of Bangabandhu in the chancery.
A special prayer was offered seeking divine blessings for the departed souls of Bangabandhu and members of his family assassinated on August 15, 1975, and martyrs of the Liberation War.
Speaking about the March 7 speech, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina said this historic address of Father of the Nation will continue to energise not only the countrymen but also the people of the world for ages.
“It’s the only speech which has been keeping up its appeal in the entire world for the last 49 years. It will energise not only the countrymen, but also the people around the world for ages,” she said.