Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina today extended her thanks to UNSECO for recognizing the historic March 7 speech of Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman as a world documentary heritage.
“The recognition is a great pride for Bangalee nation and Bangla language,” she said in a statement extending thanks to UNESCO, its Director General Irina Bokova and all other concerned.
The UNESCO announced Monday its decision to incorporate the historic speech of the Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman delivered on March 7, 1971 in the Memory of the World International Resister.
She said Bangabandhu had tied in the same string the then political situation, Bengali nation’s emotion, dream and aspiration with his extraordinary oratory and political sagacity.
“The directives of the father of the Nation was the main mantra’ of the rock solid national unity during the heroic movement and armed struggle in 1971, the appeal of which is remained un-faded . . . it still inspirers the young generation and will continue to do so,” Sheikh Hasina said.
She said in the eyes of international political analysts, this particular speech was one of the greatest political speeches of the world as it inspired the Bangalee nation to snatch the victory jumping into the Liberation War.
Noted writer and historian Jacob F. Field included the speech in the book titled “We shall Fight on the Beaches: The Speeches that Inspired History” which was compiled with the world famous inspirational speeches of two thousand and five hundred years.
Inclusion of the speech in the UNESCO’s international register is an another milestone of the cherishment of the speech, which has already been translated in 12 languages, she said.
Sheikh Hasina said Bangabandhu delivered the speech on March 7, 1971 at the then Racecourse Ground in Dhaka taking into account the long historical struggle of the Bangalee nation.
His speech in a human sea, she said, was virtually the declaration of Bangladesh’s independence as Bangabandhu, in his fiery voice, called upon Bangalees to wage struggle against the Pakistani oppressors until the freedom was achieved.
“Ebarer sangram amader muktir sangram, ebarer sangram swadhinatar sangram (this struggle is for freedom, this struggle is for independence),” Bangabandhu declared in his roaring voice at the public meeting on March 7, 1971.
The premier in her thanksgiving statement referred to the independence struggle history.
She said since the 1947 creation of Pakistan on the basis of the two-nation theory, the then West Pakistani rulers began to show a step-motherly attitude towards the Bangalees launching a attack on language and culture alongside economic exploitation.
Pakistanis moved to make the Urdu as the state language instead of Bangla, mother language of the most of the people when “Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman first raised resistance against the unjustified actions of the Pakistanis, which led to a movement under his leadership for sovereignty of the nation”.
As a continuation of the language movement Bangalees, she said, took part in the election in 1954 under the banner of Jukta Front, waged movement in 1966 for an education policy, launched the movement for 6-point demand, took part in the mass upsurge in 1969 and exercised franchise in the general election in 1970.
“All these movements and the victory in the 1970 election culminated into a logical and decisive conclusion through achieving the national freedom,” Sheikh Hasina said.
Sheikh Hasina said the six-point appeared as the Bengalis charter of emancipation but the Pakistani military junta arrested Bangabandhu for furnishing the demand and implicated him in the Agartala Conspiracy Case confining him first at the Dhaka Central jail and then Dhaka Cantonment.
As the case proceedings began, she said, the Bengalis burst into protests sparking the 1969 mass upsurge forcing the junta to release Bangabandhu and a sequel of the upheaval the then military dictator Ayub Khan was ousted from power though another military tyrant Yahiya Khan replaced him.
Sheikh Hasina recalled that the situation had compelled the military rulers to hold the 1970 general elections and Awami League under Bangabandhu’s leadership secured the overwhelming victory but Pakistani rulers dilly dally policy to handover the power and launched afresh their repression against the nation.
Against the backdrop of the situation, she said, Bangabandhu called the public meeting on March 7, 1970 where he delivered the epoch making speech, when he vividly described the whole episode of Pakistani rulers’ oppression on Bangalees for 24 years.
“Necessity of the statehood of a nation and aspiration of the people was the core essence of the speech. Bangabandhu asked his people to be ready with anything he/she has to resist the enemy, she said.
The premier added: “At the final stage of the independence struggle (ahead of the beginning of the war) the speech united the whole nation against the colonial rule.”
Sheikh Hasina recalled that the military rulers of Bangladesh following assassination of Bangabandhu and BNP-Jamaat alliance imposed restriction on playing the speech in the state media “but they could not erase the speech from the heart of the people of the country”.
In the statement the Prime Minister paid her rich tributes to the Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, her spouse Fazilatun Nesa and all her family members who embraced martyrdom on August 15, 1975.
She also paid her glowing tributes to the martyrs of the Liberation War.