‘It still acts as a source of inspiration for the people,’ says Sheikh Hasina
The appeal of Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman’s historic March 7, 1971 speech will never fade away and it will remain as a great source of inspiration for people to make sacrifices for the country, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina said on Thursday.
"It (speech) will have an everlasting appeal on freedom-loving people," she said while addressing a discussion organized by Awami League in Dhaka to commemorate the historic day.
“At the same time, we can get great inspiration from this speech to be ideal and patriotic persons in politics and make sacrifice for the country,” she added.
Hasina, the eldest daughter of Bangabandhu, said this historic speech would continue to be played over ages. "It still acts as a source of inspiration for the people."
Talking about the most important feature of her father’s speech, she said no speech of any other world leader has so much appeal on people.
After the assassination of Bangabandhu in 1975, Ziaur Rahman completely banned the playing of the historic speech in Bangladesh, she said.
She reminded that, during the March 7 rally, the then Pakistan president, Yahya Khan, had imposed a ban on airing Bangabandhu’s speech on radio. However, all members of Pakistan Radio in the erstwhile East Pakistan boycotted office and forced the authorities to air the speech the next day.
"The subsequent military dictators followed it [Ziaur Rahman’s ban]. Many Awami League leaders and workers even lost their lives while trying to play this speech."
Those who prohibited the playing of the speech are now going to be destroyed gradually and will be destroyed, the prime minister said. "Those who love Bangladesh being imbued with the spirit of the Liberation War will only survive."
"It was not merely a speech through which he (Bangabandhu) depicted the roadmap for a guerrilla war, he also talked about the future of Bangladesh and rights of the Bangali nation," she said.
Hasina said people had left the rally venue for home on March 7, 1971 after being inspired with their desired instructions they had got from Bangabandhu’s speech and followed the instructions to the letter.
Because of all these, she said, the Unesco had recognized the March 7 speech of Bangladesh’s founding father as a world documentary heritage and included it in the Memory of the International World Register on October 30, 2017.
Reminiscing about the historic day, Hasina said: “My mother, Sheikh Fazilatunnesa Mujib, had asked my father to take some rest before going to the rally because he was tired. All the leaders had advised him to do so in different ways. Some of them even advised him to deliver a written speech.
“However, before he left for Suhrawardy Udyan, she [Fazilatunnesa Mujib] told my father, ‘You know what you need to say.’ I was there. She told him, ‘You know what you have to say. Listen to your heart. You should say what your heart says.”
Hasina said that Bangabandhu had given all the instructions for the Liberation War in his speech in advance. “He had even directed the people about their duties in case of his absence.”
Awami League senior leaders Syeda Sajeda Chowdhury, Amir Hossain Amu, Tofail Ahmed, Matia Chowdhury, Sheikh Fazlul Karim Selim, Mohammad Nasim, Mosharraf Hossain, Abdur Rahman and AFM Bahauddin Nasim, among others, also spoke at the discussion on Thursday.