Dhaka, Mar 07: Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on Saturday described the appeal of Bangabandhu’s March 7 speech as everlasting, saying that this historic address of the Father of the Nation will continue to energise the world people alongside the countrymen for ages.
“The March 7 speech of the Father of the Nation is only speech which has been keeping up its appeal in the entire world for the last 49 years and it won’t only continue to invigorate the countrymen, also the people of the globe for ages,” she said.
Sheikh Hasina, also the Bangladesh Awami League president, was addressing a discussion at Bangabandhu International Conference Centre (BICC) here this afternoon.
The prime minister reiterated her call to the party leaders and workers to supplement the government’s strides to ensure housing for all by the Mujib Borsho.
“We’ve ensured food security for the people and are reaching healthcare services to their doorsteps and giving scope for education. So, it cannot happen that a single person will remain homeless in the Mujib Borsho,” she said.
The AL organised the discussion on the occasion of the historic March 7 speech of Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman.
AL General Secretary and Road Transport and Bridges Minister Obaidul Quader delivered the introductory speech at the discussion.
AL Advisory Council Member Amir Hossain Amu, Presidium Members Begum Matia Chowdhury, Sheikh Fazlul Karim Selim, Mohammad Nasim and Muhammad Faruk Khan and former chairman of University Grants Commission and ex-vice chancellor of Chattogram University Professor Dr Abdul Mannan took part in the discussion.
Besides, AL Joint General Secretary and Information Minister Dr Hasan Mahmud, AL Joint General Secretary Mahbub-ul Alam Hanif, central committee member Parveen Zaman Kalpana, Dhaka South City AL President Abu Ahmed Mannafi and Dhaka North City AL General Secretary SM Mannan Kochi spoke.
AL’s Publicity and Publication Secretary Dr Abdus Sobhan Golap and Deputy Secretary Aminul Islam Amin conducted the function.
Eminent reciter Shimul Mustafa recited a poem of Poet Nirmalenda Goon on Bangabandhu.
Sheikh Hasina said the Father of the Nation had presented independence to the nation and he had united the people and encouraged them in the independence struggle through the March 7 speech.
“I had asked many people that can anybody calculate how many days, times and hours the speech was played and how many people heard it… (I think) they cannot do it,” she said.
The prime minister said through the speech, Bangabandhu had showed the dream to the frustrated nation and enabled the people to hear the message of hope.
She said the Father of the Nation had highlighted the history of the Bangalee nation as well as repression and torture of the then Pakistani rulers through the speech. “He also had given guidelines to the people as to what to do,” she said.
Sheikh Hasina said the Pakistani rulers were ready at that time to take action after listening to Bangabandhu’s speech. “It was kept in their mind to suppress the movement in the way the British rulers did through the Jaliwanbagh massacre,” she said.
The prime minister said the Pakistani rulers at that time conspired not to hand over power to the Awami League who got majority in the polls.
“Protesting this, the people of the country took to the streets and Bangabandhu at that time said that he will tell his words on March 7 and the people from across the country gathered at the then Race Course Maidan to listen to his speech,” she said.
Sheikh Hasina said Bangabandhu had given that guidelines through his speech and the biggest word of it was that all will have to take preparation for the war.
“Bangabandhu also clearly gave directives that what will have to be done for guerrilla war and whose work what,” she said, adding the non-cooperation movement he declared was an unprecedented incident.
The prime minister said a single Bangalee did not work without the directives issued from Dhanmondi 32. “Even when Yahiya Khan came to Dhaka, any Bangalee cook of the President House didn’t work,” she said.
In this connection, Sheikh Hasina said: “The President House was compelled to phone to Dhanmondi 32 that the President is not getting hot and cooked foods until you ask the cooks and they have to pass time by eating dried foods.”
The prime minister said the Bangalee nation is getting honour in the world only not for its socioeconomic development.
“We’re also getting dignity in the globe as the role of the Father of the Nation in the liberation and independence struggle is being unveiled further,” she continued.
Sheikh Hasina pointed out that any freedom struggle provides inspiration and strength to other nations and the people of the country received that encouragement and strength for ages.
“The people of the country will get it also in future,” she said.
The prime minister said most of the historic speeches which were given recognition by the world were written and prepared previously.
“But Bangabandhu delivered the historic March 7 speech from his own mind and there was a role of my mother in this regard,” she said.
The prime minister recalled that some student leaders insisted Bangabandhu at that time on declaring independence, arguing that otherwise the people will be frustrated,” she said.
“But just before the rally, my mother told Bangabandhu that many people will say many things, but you don’t need to hear all words … you will say that words which will come from your mind,” she said, adding that “My mother gave importance to this word time and again.”
The prime minister said the history of the Language Movement and the War of Liberation was distorted and the role of the Father of the Nation in the movements was wiped out after the assassination of Bangabandhu in 1975.
Pointing out the international recognition to Bangabandhu’s March 7 speech, Sheikh Hasina said in the speech Bangabandhu mentioned that none can suppress the seven crore people.
“In fact none can be suppressed, the truth must be unveiled and that truth has now become clear before the people,” she said.
The prime minister said the March 7 speech which was once banned in Bangladesh got recognition on the world stage.
“It has been selected as the greatest speech among all speeches of the 2500 years and also been placed in the World Documentary Heritage of the Unesco,” she said.
Sheikh Hasina said, “I don’t know whether those who wanted to erase this speech feel shame for banning it. But I think that they’ve no shame in this regard.”
The prime minister said the governments of General Zia, General Ershad and Khaleda Zia had banned playing of the speech. “But overcoming all hurdles, the Mujib soldiers played the historic speech on different occasions,” she said.
Sheikh Hasina said the Father of the Nation wanted to meet the basic demands of the people like foods, clothes, medicare and housing and he liberated the country with this aim.
“Bangabandhu had also clearly mentioned these fundamental rights of the people in the constitution he presented after independence and he ensured all the basic rights,” she said.
The prime minister said the Father of the Nation started rehabilitation of the homeless and landless people by establishing cluster villages.
“There are some people found in the country who are landless and homeless. We’re celebrating the Mujib Year and I want not a single person to remain homeless in Bangladesh by the Mujib Year,” she said.
In this connection, the AL president asked the party leaders and activists to inquire their respective areas that how many people remain homeless and landless.
“We will construct houses for them, if you don’t spend money, I’ll provide it. But we want to give houses to them and it’ll be our main aim,” she said.
She went on saying: “From the government, we’re implementing various programmes to this end. Then every leader and worker of the Awami League has a responsibility for the country and nation and if you can do it, it will be the great success for us.”