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Dhaka     Tuesday   13 April 2021

The Timeless 7th March Speech of Bangabandhu

Professor Dr. Md. Sazzad Hossain || risingbd.com

Published: 11:16, 8 March 2021  
The Timeless 7th March Speech of Bangabandhu

Professor Dr. Md. Sazzad Hossain

March is the month of independence and yesterday was the historic 07th March. On this day in 1971 the father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman delivered the historic address at Suhrawardy Udyan, the then Race Course, which inspired the nation to fight for independence. I would like to thank H. E Mr. Md. Zahangir Alam, Bangladesh Ambassador to Uzbekistan for organizing this special webinar in commemoration of the historic 07th March Speech by Bangabandhu.

Let me at first pay richest tribute to the Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman and Bangamata Fazilatun Nesa Mujib, brothers Sheikh Kamal, Sheikh Jamal and Sheikh Russell and other martyrs of August 15, the Liberation War martyrs and the war-wounded freedom fighters whose supreme sacrifices made Bangladesh a sovereign state through the nine-month Liberation War under the leadership of Bangabandhu.

Before the March 7 address, the air was heavy with speculations about what Bangabandhu would state. Bangabandhu gave everyone a patient hearing but said very little. He knew exactly what his options were and their possible outcomes. By midday, the vast Ramna Race Course was teeming with millions eager to hear from the “Poet of Politics". Bangabandhu arrived at the venue at 2:45 in the afternoon and spoke for only 18 minutes. It was an electrifying 18 minutes. Not only were the people of entire Pakistan and East Bengal glued to their radios but the world too was holding its breath. However, on orders from the central government, both the radio and TV stations had to abstain from broadcasting the historic speech. In protest, the staff of radio and TV channels walked out of their broadcasting stations. The speech was extempore, and became one of the most memorable speeches ever given by a politician.

In his historic address, Sheikh Mujib declared, ‘Ebarer Sangram Amader Muktir Sangram, Ebarer Sangram Swadhinatar Sangram’ (The struggle this time is for our emancipation, the struggle this time is for the independence). He made the clarion call to turn every home into a fortress of resistance against the Pakistani army.

The March 7 address of 1971 was not only the greatest political speech in the Bengali language; it is one of the best in the entire world. This speech was simultaneously the declaration of our independence and the inspiration of our Liberation War.

It is now an admitted fact that in the treasury of the world's great speeches, the historic March 7 speech of Bangabandhu Sheikh MujiburRahman occupies a special place of honour and prominence. This speech gained international recognition when UNESCO enlisted the historic speech as part of the world's documentary heritage. It has also been included in the "Memory of the World Register", a list of the world's important documentary heritage maintained by UNESCO.

The book We shall fight on the beaches: The Speeches that Inspired History by Jacob F Field, which is a collection of "extracts from the most rousing and inspirational wartime speeches of the last 2500 years—Cicero to Churchill, Lincoln to Mao", also included Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman's historic March 7 speech (which effectively declared Bangladesh's independence) as one of the most rousing and inspirational wartime speeches in the last 2,500 years.

Bangabandhu completed this timeless speech in 18 minutes by uttering between 58 and 60 words per minute. In broadcasting theory, 60 words per minute is considered to be an ideal. There were no annoying repetitions in the speech of 1,107 words.

This year we are celebrating Mujib Borsho (celebration of the birth centenary of Bangabandhu) and the golden jubilee of independence. The father of the nation, Bangabandhu, had turned Bangladesh into a least developed one pulling the war ravaged country in just three and a half years’ time. His daughter hon'ble Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has established the country as a developing nation in this Golden Jubilee year of independence. Bangabandhu's speech of March 7 has become synonymous with the history of Bangladesh. May the spirit of March 7, 1971 live long.

Professor Dr. Md. Sazzad Hossain, Member, University Grants Commission (UGC) and Director, Bangladesh Satellite Company Limited (BSCL)