The great speech…evoked us to fight for freedom
Just at 3:20 pm on March 7, 1971. A man clad with black coat on white Pajama and Panjabi stood firm on stage in front of microphone. The air was quivering with his thunderous voice "Padma, Meghna, Jamuna--yours, ours address." Millions clapped that sounds like music of freedom. Bangabandhu's hand greeted the freedom-loving population. He started his historic speech.
That seemed to be a self-written poetry and a plan of Bengalis' war of independence. The bold voice uttered, "If any single bullet is fired, if any of my man is killed, I urge you all, build fort at every house." These words provoked the unarmed Bengalis to stand against injustice, suppression and for freedom. Bangabandhu went on speaking, "Confront the enemies with whatever you have. Even if I cannot order, halt every road forever."
Only 19-minute speech made a whole new history. Bangabandhu demanded the withdrawal of martial law, power to the elected people's representatives, stop of killing and firing and restrain of army and their return to the barrack. He also called to form a Judiciary Commission to probe the murder that day.
Bangabandhu said, "Dear brothers, I don't want Prime Minister's position. I want freedom of my people. They could not allure me with prime minister's post. They could not hang me. You protected me and brought me out from conspiracy. I told you that day in Racecourse ground, I will repay the debt with blood. I am ready to pay the debt with my own blood."
The 19-minute speech was so powerful that the anti-liberation force and their collaborators could not suppress and hide it from the next generations even after brutal killing Bangabandhu.
People tried to compare the world's top speeches with Bangabandhu's historic one but failed. Bangabandhu's historic 7th March Speech had 1,308 words. Bangabandhu uttered every single word he believed and it paved the way of independence. Those words were uttered from the core his heart. The speeches stir the new generation even today. Even today, that speech empowers each and every one to stand steady against all darkness.
Bangabandhu's speech sometimes compare with Martin Luther king's historic speech. His speech 'I have a dream', which was written and contained 1667 words and of 17-minute length. Abraham Lincoln and Martin Luther King both were famous for establishing democracy and civilization respectively. But Bangabandhu's historic 7th March speech made millions of people enchanted and inspired to start the fight for their freedom. Moreover, no other world leader delivered speech at enemy's gun and in front of over one million unarmed freedom-seeking people.
Bangabandhu warned the administration with love as well as spoke about the war-strategy. He said to the soldiers, "Soldiers, you are my brothers, stay at barrack, nobody will do anything to you. But don't try to fire on my chest. You cannot suppress seven crore people. As we've learnt to die, nobody can suppress us."
Beside an implicit call of war, some portion in Bangabandhu's speech seemed as he was directing people as the chief of the government, and he directed government officials "take your salaries on 28 of the month."
According to a report, Bangabandhu was very careful while delivering his 7th March speech. ISI reported on March 8 that, "Bangabandhu cleverly delivered his speech. He didn't take the responsibility of breaking Pakistan, but declared the Independence, as well as imposed four conditions without being identified as a separatist. We had nothing except standing aside and playing as silent listeners. We failed to take action as planned."
The then East Pakistan's capital Dhaka was the city of rally, procession on March 7 in 1971. People from every corner of the country came to the Race Course ground, either in bare foot, by train or bus. Over one million people of all races, religions and casts attended the assembly. All of the population on the Race Course ground burst into fire after hearing the historic speech. They were solely inspired to stand steady for freedom. They stood stand with only bamboo sticks but had fire at their hearts for freedom.
Bangabandhu's speech was the most important and significant speech in the history of independent Bangladesh. The whole population of Bangladesh waited for that marvellous moment. Later, on the very dark night of March 25, Pakistani occupation army brutally killed thousands of Bengalis and later on the first hours of March 26, Bangabandhu declared the Independence of Bangladesh---the armed war for freedom was launched. The victory came on December 16 after nine months of devastating war. Bangladesh got its name in the world map as a free and independent country.
Famous writer and historian Jacob F. Field, in his book titled 'We Shall Fight on the Beaches: The Speeches That Inspired History' put Bangabandhu's speech on top. Bangabandhu's speech has been translated in many languages. American magazine 'News Week' titled Bangabandhu as the 'Poet of Politics' on April 5, 1972 and published its cover story.
The speech of the poet of politics creates an epoch even today when it is played. Even today, the historians, and political scientists become overwhelmed when they analyze Bangabandhu's speech.
The Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman showed the example of winning a battle successfully. He is an idol for all generations. He is the guidance for all generations to come. Bangabandhu will inspire all generations to stand beside the suppressed and depressed population in all ages to come and find way to overcome and win the battle.
The writer is a President, Bangladesh Online Activist Forum