Awami League to celebrate Mujibur Rehman's March 7, 1971 speech

ANI | Updated: Nov 18, 2017 13:53 IST

Dhaka [Bangladesh], Nov.18 (ANI): Bangladesh's ruling Awami League is holding a public rally at the Suhrawardy Udyan in Dhaka to celebrate and give recognition to the historic March 7, 1971 speech of the Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman as a world documentary heritage.

The speech was given by Sheikh Mujibur Rahman on March 7, 1971 at the Ramna Race Course in Dhaka before over two million people. It was delivered during a period of escalating tensions between East Pakistan and the powerful political and military establishment of West Pakistan.

In the speech, Rahman proclaimed: "This time the struggle is for our freedom. This time the struggle is for our independence."

He announced a civil disobedience movement in the province, calling for "every house to turn into a fortress".

The speech inspired the Bengali people of what was then East Pakistan to prepare for a war of independence amid widespread reports of armed mobilisation by West Pakistan.

The Liberation War of 1971 began 18 days later, when the Pakistan Army launched Operation Searchlight against Bengali civilians, intelligentsia, students, politicians, and armed personnel.

On October 30, 2017, UNESCO added the speech in its the Memory of the World Register as a "documentary heritage". UNESCO Director General Irina Bokova announced the decision at the UNESCO Headquarters, Paris.

The Awami League is holding the rally under the banner of the Nagarik Committee. It begins at 2.30 p.m. local time.

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina is expected to address the rally as chief guest while Professor Emeritus Dr Anisuzzaman will preside over the programme.

Awami League general secretary Obaid-ul-Quader and other top leaders will participate in the programme. (ANI)