Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman’s historic March 7 speech, a speech that inspired millions of Bangalis to go against the Pakistani occupation forces and earn independence for their country, has officially been recognised by Unesco as part of the world’s documentary heritage.
This is a matter of great pride for us as a nation, as a people.
The program, called Memory of the World, was launched by Unesco in 1992 -- an initiative that safe-guards the documentary heritage of humanity against collective amnesia, neglect, and the ravages of time and climatic conditions -- and Bangbandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman’s speech absolutely deserves to be among the pantheon of the many great documents which have been preserved by the program thus far.
Delivered at the Ramna Race Course, the rousing speech commanded the attention of everyone that was present, captured the imagination of millions of people, and gave voice to the aspiration of a nation that was out to prove its right to sovereignty.
If nothing else, by preserving the speech as a protected document, Unesco has sealed Pakistan’s attempt to subjugate an entire people as the historic fact that it is, protecting it from attempts at distortion of history such as the misleading video footage released on a webpage maintained by the Pakistan High Commission.
Even today, Bangabandhu’s speech resonates with the spirit of what it means to be a Bangladeshi. Now that it has been preserved as one of humanity’s documentary heritage, we will never forget it.