The 7th- March speech by father of the nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman was the result of the culmination of thousands of years of struggle for the restoration of peace, liberty, democracy and human rights, which were snatched and usurped by the colonial invaders and lastly the Pakistani Military rulers. It was a courageous pronouncement of a national hero who had crusaded life-long for the salvation of the people of his country.
The 7th March speech was a wake-up call for the people who have long been oppressed and suppressed by the military rule and almost forgot about their rights and liberty. The 7th March speech was an everlasting inspiration for a nation which has changed its lot through the Liberation War in 1971. The 7th March speech has made the nation indomitable and it was in a movement for achieving country’s independence that led to the War of Liberation.
It was a gloomy afternoon on March 7, 1971. The historic Racecourse Maidan was overflowing with people flocked there to hear their undisputed leader. Millions of toiling masses from all walks of life thronged the field which turned into a sea of human heads. Tension and anxiety, resentment and anger were writ large on the faces of the people present there.
They were there to realize their long-standing demands that remained overdue and unpaid by the military and autocratic rulers of Pakistan. They were there to take directives from their beloved leader to whom they had given the unstinted support and mandate in the election held on December 7, 1970. They gave Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman and his Awami League an absolute majority to form a government in Pakistan. They were there to deal a crushing blow on the enemy of Bengal, Bangalees and of humanity in general. They were waiting with the hope that they would make it the final round with the perpetrators who sucked in their blood for more than 23 years and exploited them in the name of Islam. The military rulers of Pakistan had been using Islam several times as the weapon of seizing power. Peace and democracy-loving people of the then East Pakistan, the majority of the total population, had been subjected to blatant economic exploitation, deception and atrocities by the Pakistani rulers.
Just after the birth of Pakistan, its creator Mr. Jinnah himself prepared a first blow for the country’s majority population the Bangalees by declaring that Urdu and Urdu alone shall be the state language of Pakistan. And the second blow came on 21 February, 1952 when the Pakistani rulers killed our valiant sons who had demanded that Bangla should also be the state language of Pakistan.
The third one came down on the lives of the people of then East Pakistan when the united front led by by Sher-e-Bangla A K Fazlul Haque, Hossain Shaheed Shuhrwardy, Moulana Bhasani and Sheikh Mujibur Rahman won a landslide victory in 1954 election. But Pakistanis did not allow this government to be functional. And finally they had started killing the innocent people when the Bangalees got absolute majority in 1970 election under the leadership of Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujib. The simmering anger grew over the months, years, and decades. So, after a long and harrowing journey the oppressed reached a turning point to realize their decade-old demands.
The waiting finally ended with the emergence of Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman before his people at the Race Course Maidan (now Suhrawardy Udyan) on this day the 7th of March 1971. Sheikh Mujib, the gifted leader of the soil, came straight to the microphone and started describing the sufferings, sorrow and pain he and his people went through.
In his speech, he proved himself as the most law-abiding, peace-loving and respectful to others’ opinion. One by one he spelled out the right cause of the people of the then East Pakistan. He made it clear in his speech that the Pakistani military rulers had killed hundreds of innocent people. They were not at all ready to hand over power to the elected representatives of the country. They had a diabolical motive to destroy the Bangalees as a nation and for that they started hatching a conspiracy to attack the innocent people.
On the historic 7th March in 1971 Bangabandhu, the iconic leader of the oppressed of the world, gave a clarion call to his people to fight the Pakistan army with the last drop of their blood. In his epoch-making speech, Bangabandhu made it clear that the indiscriminate killing of the valiant sons of the soil by the perpetrators infuriated the people and got them united on one point. He declared that the people of Bengal wanted freedom. They wanted economic emancipation too.
He said that his people would not hesitate to shed their blood again in realizing freedom and economic emancipation. He warned the Pakistani military junta that when the Bangalees had learnt to give blood for the cause of the nation nobody would be able to suppress them any longer. As a real leader of the people, Bangabandhu had given his people an idea of the attempts by the enemies to sabotage the fight for emancipation . He said that the enemies are active within the country. So, they might create confusion and inner conflicts among the people.
The 7th March speech of the Bangabandhu was regarded as the vitality to our freedom fighters. This reinforced their courage and hope in carrying out guerrilla attacks on the enemy and laying down their lives for the motherland.
This is an amazing fact that only in the 9- month guerrilla warfare the freedom fighters with the help of friendly Indian Army won the victory. And the nearly one lac (100,000) Pakistani army personnel were compelled to surrender to the joint forces. With the surrender of the Pakistani army an Independent Bangladesh came into being. And it had happened centering the Bangabandhu.
By any standard that speech is regarded as inspirational to attain democracy, rule of law and human rights. The international community has recognized it as the world’s best speech and the UNESCO has recently declared the 7th March speech as world heritage. The people of Bangladesh and the peace- loving people of the world are proud of this great speech.