REMEMBERING MARCH 7, 1971,SOUL-STIRRING ELOQUENCE AT THE DEFINING MOMENT
It is an unforgettable and glorious moment for Bengali nationhood and freedom loving people of the world, who wants political emancipation from colonial rule.
I share our history and thought with you all.
“WHEN Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman rose to address the huge mass of humanity at the race course on March 7, 1971, he knew full well that what he said there would reverberate around the world, that its ramifications would be greater and wider than one could imagine.
There was the simple truth he needed to expound before his people and before the world at large. It was that the Pakistani military junta, in cahoots with its political allies, was engaged in trying to repudiate the resounding victory the people had given him and the Awami League at the general elections of December 1970. And in light of that conspiracy to deprive the Bengali nation of its fair share in the administration of the country, it fell to Bangabandhu to define the course the Bengali nation would take in the days to come. Part of that course had already been indicated by the non-violent non-cooperation movement he had launched earlier in the month to drive home the Bengali response to the gathering crisis.
In the event, the declaration made by the Father of the Nation on March 7, 1971 turned out to be a defining moment in the history of Bengalis in that it firmly set them on the road to political liberty. It was at once an instance of the courage Bangabandhu had always been known for. He made it clear to the junta that the Bengalis were united as never before in the struggle for their rights, a cause for which they were willing to shed the last drop of blood. It was a bold example of the forthrightness Bangabandhu had consistently employed in his articulation of political belief when he warned Pakistan’s rulers that they could not expect him to talk to them without first setting a few crucial matters right.
His demand for an end to martial law and for an immediate transfer of power to the elected representatives of the people was, in that sense, a reflection of the inner urge of his people. Note that the impassioned nature of Bangabandhu’s oratory did not obviate the need for a reasoned approach to the crisis. He not only offered people an overview of the flawed nature of politics in Pakistan but also recounted the ceaseless struggle the Bengalis had waged since the language movement of 1952 and all the way to the movement for the ouster of Ayub Khan in 1969.
On that bright afternoon of rich expectations, Bangabandhu engaged in a brilliant internalising of the power of the masses, the same that had reposed their trust in him through giving him the huge mandate he had asked for at the elections. In what remains an outstanding instance of political oratory, he had the world know that the Bengali nation was not opting for secession from Pakistan. The majority, with their electoral strength, would not and did not secede. But what the Bengalis knew was that they were headed on the path to freedom. When Bangabandhu orated that the struggle was for emancipation, that it was for independence, our future lay clear and open before us.” Source : The Daily Star, Dhaka, Bangladesh.
On March 7, 1971, Sheikh Mujibur Rahman gave a speech at the Racecourse Ground (now called the Suhrawardy Udyan)…In this speech he mentioned a further four-point condition to consider the National Assembly Meeting on March 25:
1. The immediate lifting of martial law.
2. Immediate withdrawal of all military personnel to their barracks.
3. An inquiry into the loss of life.
4. Immediate transfer of power to the elected representative of the people before the assembly meeting March 25…He urged “his people” to turn every house into a fort of resistance…
He closed his speech saying, “The struggle this time is for our freedom…The struggle this time is for our independence.” This speech is considered the main event that inspired the nation to fight for their independence….
MARCH 11, 2014