‘March 7 speech one of the best in world’

DHAKA, March 7 (BSS) – Mass communication experts and psychologists said a perfect match of people’s desire and incredible manifestation of modern communication concepts made Bangabandhu’s March 7, 1971 speech one of the world’s most notable addresses.

“A lucid and detailed explanation about the events unfolding at the time made this speech withstand the test of logic for all times to come . . .(it) was not only the greatest speech in Bengali language, it is one of the best in the entire world,” Dhaka University vice chancellor Professor Arefin Siddiqui said as the nation recalled the address delivered on this day 41 years ago.

He said Bangabandhu completed his timeless speech in 19 minutes by uttering between 58 and 60 words per minute while in broadcasting theory, 60 words per minute is considered to be an ideal.
“There were no annoying repetitions in the speech of 1,107  words. There were no unnecessary articulations – only the gist or  core points. However, repetition at one or two places had reinforced the inner meaning of the speech . . . this was an amazing event in the context of theoretical application of communication science,” he said.

His comments came as BSS sought to analyse the address from the perspective of mass communication science and psychology coinciding with the 40th anniversary of the event.

Siddiqui said the Bangabandhu quite adeptly adopted a conversational style while delivering this speech in order to attract the audience and he raised questions at different stages of the speech and the ‘speech idioms’ appropriate for mass communication were correctly applied in this address.

“The fluent and extempore speech delivered in a lucid language and style was the principal document of our liberty . . . It was a dialogue between the people of Bangladesh and their undisputed leader on the eve of Bangladesh’s birth,” said the professor of mass communication of Dhaka University.

He said according to communication theorists the audience orientation and recent happenings should be highlighted in the opening words and “this reference to the audience found marvelous  expression in his epoch- making speech”.

“It was possible for Bangabandhu alone to deliver such an  ostentatious, direction giving, poetic speech without any break  and without taking any help from notes while standing in the middle of a sea of people. That is why, the international periodical ‘Newsweek’ termed Bangabandhu as a ‘Poet of Politics’ in the cover story of its 5 April 1971 issue,” Siddiqui recalled.

Professor of psychology Dr Azizur Rahman of Dhaka University said the political events since 1952 had largely set the people’s mind while the nationalist movement under Bangabandhu’s leadership largely set the stage for the historic speech.

“The language of the speech was easy and lucid . . . it was  well thought-out, organized and logical . . . this was an incomparable speech in the world history,” he said.

Professor of contemporary history Dr Anwar Hossain said the  colloquial words Bangabandhu used in his speech created a bridge  between him and his audience

He used body language raising his forefinger, colloquial words evading the pure accent to be connected with the people . . . The speech of only 19 minutes was a superb specimen of his statesmanship,” Hossain said.