‘With the excitement of waiting for a poem to be written / Millions of insanely anxious rebellious listeners are sitting / When will the poet come to the beach of Janasamudra from dawn? / At the end of hundreds of years of struggle … Who can stop his thunderous message? / The poet shook his immortal poem by shaking the stage of mass sun / This time the struggle is for our liberation / This time the struggle is for freedom. Since then the word freedom is ours. ‘ This is how the poet Nirmalendu Guna portrayed the historical truth of Fagun’s fire red afternoon in the poem ‘Swadhinata- how did we get this word’ Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, the proverbial man of Bengal, recited the immortal poem to the nation in a thunderous voice while standing in the crowd at Suhrawardy Udyan (then Racecourse Maidan) on March 7, 1971. He made the unarmed Bengalis armed. He called for building forts from house to house to resist the Pakistanis. In the course of time, today is Sunday, that historic day. Historic March 7 today. A unique day in the history of the Bengali nation written in gold letters. Recognized as a ‘UNESCO World Heritage Site’ by the United Nations, that historic speech is an inextinguishable flame of inspiration for the Bengali nation. On the auspicious occasion of ‘Mujib Year’ and ‘Golden Jubilee of Independence’, the birth centenary of Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, the historic 7th March flowed like a blazing flame in the minds and thoughts of Bengalis.
History speaks: Fifty years ago. In the historic elections of 1970, the Awami League led by Bangabandhu won an absolute majority in the votes of the people of Bengal. But the Pakistani ruling party has been delaying the transfer of power to the Awami League. The Pakistani military junta began preparations for a military operation behind talks with the then undisputed leader of East Pakistan, Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman. Even after gaining an absolute majority in the elections, the reluctance of the Pakistani ruling class to hand over power angered the freedom-loving people of Bengal. The strike and non-cooperation movement continued till March 6 demanding the transfer of power to the elected representatives and the return of the military to the barracks. Announcing the agitation program at a platoon rally on March 3, Bangabandhu said that if the government did not change its position by March 7, the full program of the agitation would be announced at a public meeting at Racecourse Maidan on March 7. On the morning of March 8, people from all around came to the racecourse ground called Dhal. ‘Padma Meghna Jamuna is my address’ ‘Your country is my country Bangladesh Bangladesh’, the slogan was chanted at the racecourse ground. At the end of a long period of subjugation, the whole nation was anxiously waiting for independence. All that is needed is an announcement, a call. Finally came that announcement. On this day in Agnijhara Ekattar, the declaration of independence was sounded from the thunderous voice of Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, the poet and creator of the great poem called Independence of Bangladesh. It was from this historic speech of Bangabandhu that he stood in the ocean of liberated people on the racecourse ground of Dhaka that the germination of independence began in Bengal. The thousand-year-old dream of the Bengalis of their own country is moving towards the inevitable consequence of becoming a reality.
Apparently, the age of the independent state called Bangladesh has reached 50 years. In the evolution of time, many things have been lost in the womb of time. Many histories of independence have been tried to change the atmosphere of the worst conspiracy of perversion. But even though many things have changed, only 19 minutes of Bangabandhu’s historic speech could not be changed. There are some immortal speeches of many thinkers or leaders in the world. This is the only speech in the world that has been ringing for generations, year after year, year after hour – but the appeal of the speech has not diminished. On the contrary, whenever generation after generation hears this historic discourse, the glorious moments of freedom-movement-struggle float in their minds, becoming self-confident in the ideals of patriotism.
This year’s struggle is the struggle for freedom: Thirsty people rushed from all over the country for freedom. On this day in 1971, there was a massive explosion around the racecourse ground. The rally was scheduled to start at 3 pm but the racecourse lost its ability to hold sesame seeds in the morning. The Pakistani military junta, armed with heavy weapons, patrols around the capital Dhaka with bloodshot eyes. The warplanes of the invaders are flying in the sky. The liberated Bengalis do not have the slightest frown. Everyone is just waiting – when will the undisputed leader Bangabandhu come. Bangabandhu delayed coming to the public meeting. Leaders are still holding closed-door meetings on whether independence will be declared or not.
When Bangabandhu, dressed in white pajamas-Punjabi and Mujib coat, took to the stage at 3.15 pm, the heroic people of Bengal greeted him with thunderous applause and slogans. Then the immortal poem of Bengali was created. This radiant declaration of Bangabandhu was the basis of our independence. Bangabandhu called for independence on the same day before the heroic Bengalis took up arms, ignoring the hundreds of persecutions of the West Pakistani rulers. Bangabandhu started the best and historical speech of his life for 19 minutes in this way, ‘My brothers, today I have appeared before you with a sad heart. You all know and understand, we have tried with our lives, but sadly today in Dhaka, Chittagong, Khulna, Rajshahi, Rangpur, the highways are stained with the blood of my brothers. Today the people of Bengal want to live, the people of Bengal want liberation, the people of Bengal want rights. ‘ Afterwards, Bangabandhu announced the program of the next movement, highlighting the events of the previous few days, the ineffectiveness of the talks with the ruling class and the history of the long struggle of the Bangladeshis for liberation. On that day, standing in the sea of people, Bangabandhu called upon the freedom-loving people of Bengal to build forts in every house, saying, ‘Then if a shot is fired, then if my people are killed – you have my request, build forts in every house. You have to deal with the enemy with whatever you have. If I can’t give you orders, you will stop. Soldiers, you stay in the barracks. None of you will say anything. But don’t try to shoot anymore. We can’t keep seven crore people under control. When we have learned to die, no one can keep us under control. I will give more blood when I have given blood. I will release the people of this country InshaAllah. This time the struggle is for our liberation, this time the struggle is for our freedom. ‘
The blood of the liberated Bengalis was shed by Mujib’s call for freedom. At that moment, the sea of people became overwhelmed. The sky of Bengal shook with the slogan Muhurmuhu. Their proud red-green flag fluttered in the palm of their hand, the map of Bangladesh painted in gold inside the flag. Although the historic speech of Bangabandhu Mujib was supposed to be broadcast live on the radio that day, the Pakistani military junta did not allow it. But word of mouth spread through Sheikh Mujib, ‘From today, courts, courts, criminal courts, educational institutions will be closed indefinitely. The strike will not continue till tomorrow so that the poor do not suffer, so that my people do not suffer. Rickshaws, bullock carts, trains will run. Secretariat and Supreme Court, High Court, Judge Court, Semi-Government Office, WAPDA – nothing will work. We will kill in rice, we will kill in water. When we have learned to die, no one will be able to keep us under control. ‘
Immersed in the infallible mantra of Bangabandhu, the whole nation jumped to liberate the country by risking their lives in a hard struggle. Only with indomitable morale did the unarmed Bengalis, under the direction of Bangabandhu, face the modern armed, trained army of Pakistan. The brave freedom-loving Bengalis jumped into the battle of death and defeated the mighty Pak invaders in just 9 months of 1971 and snatched independence. In return for the self-sacrifice of 3 million martyrs, the sacrifices of heroic freedom fighters, adventure and the respect of 2 lakh mothers and sisters, Bengalis got their own map, red-green flag.
Source: Bhorer Kagoj by www.bhorerkagoj.com.
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