Nation set to observe historic March 7

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DHAKA, Mar 7, 2020 (BSS) – The nation is set to observe the historic March
7 today commemorating the landmark speech of Bangabandhu which was touted
as indirect declaration of the country’s independence in 1971.

This year the observance of the day will be more significant as the nation
is getting ready to celebrate the birth centenary of Father of the Nation
Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman on March 17.

The landmark fiery speech of Bangabandhu inspired the Bangalees to prepare
for the War of Liberation.

The war began 18 days later, when the Pakistan Army launched “Operation
Searchlight” against unarmed Bangalee civilians, intellectuals, students,
politicians, and armed personnel.

On October 30 in 2017, the UNESCO recognised the historic speech as part
of the world’s documentary heritage.

It has been included in the Memory of the World International Register, a
list of world’s important documentary heritage maintained by the United
Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO).

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 Pakistan
occupation forces.

In the 19-minute 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 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 as comparable to the
Gettysburg Speech of slain US President Abraham Lincoln.

The whole nation responded spontaneously to Bangabandhu’s call with
thunderous slogan “Bir Bangalee Astra Dharo, Bangladesh Swadhin Karo” (Brave
Bangalees take up arms and free Bangladesh from occupation).

The vigorous speech inspired people of all walks of life to prepare for the
war, which eventually began after the Pakistani regime on March 25 launched
on the unarmed Bangalees 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 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.

According to political analysts, the 7th March speech of Bangabandhu was
not only a call for the Bangalee nation to fight for freedom, it was rather a
direction for all nations.

To mark the day, different socio-cultural and political organizations,
student and professional bodies have drawn up elaborate programmes including
laying wreaths at the portrait of Bangabandhu and holding discussions and
rallies.

The ruling Awami League has also drawn up different programmes to observe
the day.

The party will hoist national and party flags atop the Bangabandhu Bhaban
and party offices and place wreaths at Bangabandhu’s portrait on the
Bangabandhu Bhaban premises at Dhanmondi in the morning .

A discussion will be arranged at the Bangabandhu International Conference
Centre (BICC) auditorium at 3.30pm .

Awami League President and Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina will chair the
discussion while party leaders and distinguished personalities will address
it.

The 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 auspicious
occasion.