Bangladesh takes extensive pride after UNSESCO has recognized the historic 7th March Speech of the Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman on October 30, 2017, which inspired millions of Bangalis to take up arms to join the Liberation War. The speech was included in a list of World’s important documentary heritage, known as “Memory of the World International Register” whose aim to ensure the preservation of and access to documentary heritage in various parts of the world.
The Memory of the World Register now includes a total of 427 documents and collections, coming from all continents and safeguarded on various materials from stone to celluloid and from parchment to sound recordings.
Along with 78 other nominations put forward by a panel of experts, the decision to include the famous speech among a list of the documentary heritage of the world was finally declared by the Director General of UNESCO, Irina Bokova on that very day at the UNESCO Headquarters in Paris.
The Speech is already been included in the UNESCO’s international register which set another milestone of the cherishment of the speech and it has already been translated in 12 languages.
Last year, The International Advisory Committee (IAC) proposed in various meeting from October 24 to 27 to justify whether the historic 7th March speech be included in the Memory of the World International Register or not, which as a result, bought a huge glory for the nation.
The historic Speech was delivered by Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman on 7th March 1971 at Suhrawardy Uddyan which inspired the people to sacrifice for their country and to take one step towards independence in 1971.
Following political deadlock, delayed the convening of the assembly, a move seen by Bengalis as a plan to deny Mujib’s party, which formed a majority, from taking charge. It was on 7 March 1971 that Mujib called for independence and asked the people to launch a major campaign of civil disobedience and organized armed resistance at a mass gathering of people held at the Race Course Ground in Dhaka.
On that day, mentioning four conditions like the immediate lifting of martial law, withdrawal of all military personnel to their barracks, immediate transfer of power to elected representatives of the people and a proper inquiry into the loss of life during the conflict, Bangabadhu called East Pakistan for joining the National Assembly on 25 March.
“The struggle this time is a struggle for emancipation, the struggle this time is a struggle for independence”, the father of nation declared in a thunderous voice on 7th, “Turn every house into a fortress, resist the enemy with everything you have … Having mastered the lesson of sacrifice, we shall give more blood. God willing, we shall free the people of this land.”
The 19 minutes long speech concluded with, “Our struggle, this time, is a struggle for our freedom. Our struggle, this time, is a struggle for our independence. Joy Bangla! The speech set the tone for the Liberation War that would officially begin later that month on March 26.
“The world will now get to know more about our Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman and our glorious Liberation War,” said Foreign Minister of Bangladesh Mr. Abul Hassan Mahmood Ali MP While expressing a joyful reaction about this achievement.
“The 7th March speech of Bangabandhu provided inspiration to the Bengali people in their quest for freedom and emancipation. The speech also energized the entire nation and also served as the ultimate source of inspiration for the countless freedom fighters who joined the Mukti Bahini, he added.
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, proud daughter of Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, with heavy emotion, extended her thanks to UNSECO for recognizing the historic speech of Bangabandhu as a world documentary heritage. She also mentioned Bangabandhu had tied in the same string the then political situation, Bengali nation’s emotion, dream and aspiration with his extraordinary oratory and political sagacity and “the recognition is a great pride for Bangali nation and Bangla language”.
Explaining the importance of the speech, She explained, how in the eyes of international political analysts, this particular speech was one of the greatest political speeches of the world as it inspired the Bangali nation to snatch the victory jumping into the Liberation War.
“Let us build a non-communal, hunger-poverty-free, happy and prosperous country…Establish the ‘Sonar Bangladesh’ dreamt by Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman. This should be our commitment on the historic March 7”, she added.
State employees of Bangladesh organized a joyous rally in Dhaka on November 25, 2017 and celebrated UNESCO’ss recognition of Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman’s historic March 7 speech as a world documentary heritage where Bangabandhu’s fans roared the same slogan – ‘Joy Bangla’. On that program politicians, lawmakers, freedom fighters, cultural activists, renowned sportsmen, representatives from NGOs, scouts, rovers, and people of different sectors participated and shared emotion of the achievement.
Bangabandhu’s speech is still played throughout the country during various national occasions like Ekushey February, Victory day, Book Fair ground etc and also continues to reverberate in hearts and minds of the Bengali people. This speech continues to enthrall people and will continue to inspire succeeding generations of this country.
>Shatabdi Sarker Poushi