Unesco recognises Bangabandhu’s 7th March speech

#bangabandhu : The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation has recognised the historic 7th March Speech of the country’s founding president Sheikh Mujibur Rahman as part of world’s documentary heritage. The historic 7th March speech of Sheikh Mujibur Rahman has been included in the memory of the World International Register, a list of world’s important documentary heritage maintained by UNESCO, according to a press release of Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

The director general of UNESCO, Irina Bokova, announced the decision on Monday, at the UNESCO Headquarters in Paris, said the release. ‘The world will now get to know more about our father of the nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman and our glorious Liberation War’, said foreign minister Abul Hassan Mahmood Ali.

The 7th March speech of Sheikh Mujibur Rahman provided inspiration to the Bengali people in their quest for freedom and emancipation. The speech also energised the entire nation and prepared the people for the forthcoming liberation struggle. It also served as the ultimate source of inspiration for the countless freedom fighters who joined the Mukti Bahini.

Sheikh Mujib’s speech is played throughout the country during the various national occasions and continues to reverberate in hearts and minds of the Bengali people. This speech continues to enthrall our people and will continue to inspire succeeding generations.

The International Advisory Committee is responsible for recommending whether or not a document qualifies for inclusion on the Memory of the World International Register. The International Advisory Committee during its meeting from October 24 to 27 in 2017 recommended the 7th March speech for inscription on the Memory of the World International Register. The Memory of the World Register now includes a total of 427 documents and collection from all continents.

The Declaration of Independence

The 7th March speech of Bangabandhu was the definitive commencement of Liberation war.

“Ebarer sangram amader shadhinoter sangram”-----The historic address at the Race Course ground, March 7, 1971.

“Ebarer sangram amader shadhinoter sangram”—–The historic address at the Race Course ground, March 7, 1971.

The independence of Bangladesh was declared by Sheikh Mujibur Rahman through a message on 26 March 1971 just before he was arrested at about 1:30 a.m. This declaration of independence marks the beginning of the Liberation War.
“This may be my last message, from today Bangladesh is independent. I call upon the people of Bangladesh wherever you might be and with whatever you have, to resist the army of occupation to the last. Your fight must go on until the last soldier of the Pakistan occupation army is expelled from the soil of Bangladesh and final victory is achieved.”
Bangabandhu spread the declaration and was reached to many. The wife of M.R. Siddiqi was given an urgent message over telephone from Bangabandhu received through the wireless operators of Chittagong. [ Sheikh Mujib: Triumph and Tragedy by S. A. Karim]


Soon after the Pakistani army crackdown on the night of March 25, 1971,the first declaration of independence was made over the radio by M. A. Hannan. According to the English language newspapers from around the flashed around the world on news wires on the evening of March 26, 1971 and the world came to know about the independence of Bangladesh from Sheikh Mujibur Rahman’s original message received in Calcutta on the morning of March 26 and from broadcasts from Swadhin Bangla Betar Kendro on the evening of March 26.

The following world press also reported on 26th March:

The Statesman and The Times of India from India; Buenos Aires Herald from Argentina; The Age, The Sydney Morning Herald from Australia; The Guardian from Burma; The Globe and Mail from Canada; Hong Kong Standard from Hong Kong; The Jakarta Times from Indonesia; Asahi Evening News from Japan; The Rising Nepal from Nepal; The Manila Times from the Philippines; The Straits Times from Singapore; The Pretoria News from South Africa; The Bangkok Post from Thailand; The Daily Telegraph, The Guardian, The Times of London from the United Kingdom; and, Baltimore Sun, The Boston Globe, Chicago Tribune, Christian Science Monitor, Los Angeles Times, The New York Times, The Philadelphia Inquirer, San Francisco Chronicle and The Washington Post from the United States.

Bangabandhu dictated the declaration through telegram, A telegram containing the text of Sheikh Mujibur Rahman’s declaration reached some students in Chittagong. The message was translated to Bangla by Dr. Manjula Anwar. The students failed to secure permission from higher authorities to broadcast the message from the nearby Agrabad Station of Radio Pakistan.

The Kalurghat Radio Station’s transmission capability was limited, but the message was picked up by a Japanese ship in Bay of Bengal. It was then re-transmitted by Radio Australia and later by the British Broadcasting Corporation.

Announcement of the declaration of independence:

Awami League leader M.A. Hannan aired the declared the independence on behalf of Bangabandhu : (Signed by Bangabandhu):
Abul Kashem Sandeep translated the message to broadcast.

“Today Bangladesh is a sovereign and independent country. On Thursday night West Pakistani armed forces suddenly attacked the police barracks at Razarbagh and the EPR headquarters at Pilkhana in Dhaka. Many innocent and unarmed have been killed in Dhaka city and other places of Bangladesh. Violent clashes between EPR and Police on the one hand and the armed forces of Pindi on the other, are going on. The Bengalis are fighting the enemy with great courage for an independent Bangladesh. May God aid us in our fight for freedom. Joy Bangla.”

Pakistani sources:

Siddiq Salik had written that he heard about Mujibor Rahman’s message on the radio while Operation Searchlight was going on. [ “Witness to Surrender” ]

The Statesman published from New Delhi on March 27, 1971 and explained the two messages received on March 26:

Sheikh Mujibur Rahman made two broadcasts on Friday following the Pakistani troops move to crush his movement, says UNI.
Announcement of the declaration of independence by Major Zia on behalf of Bangabandhu

There are Major Zia declared the independence on behalf of Sheikh Mujibur Rahman.

# Maj. Gen. Hakeem A. Qureshi in his book The 1971 Indo-Pak War: A Soldier’s Narrative, gives the date of Zia’s speech as 27 March 1971.
# MASSACRE by Robert Payne, Publisher : The McMillan Company New York.
# J. S. Gupta The History of the Liberation Movement in Bangladesh
# India, Pakistan, and the United States: Breaking with the Past By Shirin R. Tahir-Kheli ISBN 0-87609-199-0, 1997, Council on Foreign Relations. pp 37

Major Zia’s declaration of independence on behalf of Bangabandhu was made controversial over an Very few people heard this declaration and Major Zia’s famous “Ami Major Zia Bolchhi”.
“Our struggle is for our freedom. Our struggle is for our independence.” The speech is regarded as the de facto declaration of independence although a formal declaration came on March 26, 1971

Our history has undergone huge twist at the hands of vested quarters. Some people claim that Zia declared himself as provisional commander in chief. In fact Zia made two speeches. When this unauthorized speech created confusion among the people, the Awami League leaders asked Zia to read out a text prepared by A. K. Khan.

Zia followed the suggestion, and made a second speech, where he mentioned that he was speaking on behalf of our great national leader Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman.


The government of theSoverignStateon behalf of our great national leader, the supreme commander ofBangladeshSheikh Mujibur Rahman, do hereby proclaim the independence ofBangladesh. And that the government headed by Sheikh Mujibur Rahman has already been formed. It is further proclaimed that Sheikh Mujibur Rahman is the sole leader of the elected representatives of seventy five million people ofBangladesh, and the government headed by him is the only legitimate government of the people of the independent soverign state ofBangladesh….

It was impractical to think of the declaration of independence without mentioning name of Bangabandhu. His name carries more value than any political party. The sky is the limit to measure the popularity of Sheikh Mujib and the landslide victory of 70’s election was its reflection only.

Zia read out the declaration on behalf of Bangbanandhu. Formation of Mujib Nagar Government carries the historic significance.

Bangabandhu’s Declaration of Independence.
(Reserved in Liberation War Museum, Segun Bagicha, Dhaka)
Telex Copy of Bangabandhu’s Declaration of Independence

Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujib speaks on March 7 of 1971

Historic 7th March and Parents of our Nation

Historic 7th March and Parents of our Nation

Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujib speaks on March 7 of 1971, declaring the independence of Bangladesh.

Uploaded on Dec 20, 2009






Life of My Father : Sheikh Hasina

BANGABANDHU SHEIKH MUJIBUR RAHMAN DEDICATED his life to establishing a democratic, peaceful and exploitation-free society called “Sonar Bangla” – Golden Bengal. He sacrificed his life to liberate the Bangalee nation, which had been groaning under the colonial and imperialist yoke for nearly 1,000 years. He is the founding father of the Bangalee nation, generator of Bangalee nationalism and creator of the sovereign state of Bangladesh.

My father spent nearly half his life behind bars and yet with extraordinary courage and conviction he withstood numerous trials and tribulations during the long period of his political struggle. During his imprisonment, he stood face to face with death on at least two occasions, but never for a moment did he waver.

As a daughter of Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, I heard many tales about him from my grandfather and grandmother. He was born on Mar. 17, 1920 in Tungipara, in what was then the British Raj. During the naming ceremony my great-grandfather predicted that Sheikh Mujibur Rahman would be a world-famous name.

My father grew up rural – amid rivers, trees, birdsong. He flourished in the free atmosphere inspired by his grandparents. He swam in the river, played in the fields, bathed in the rains, caught fish and watched out for birds’ nests. He was lanky, yet played football. He liked to eat plain rice, fish, vegetables, milk, bananas and sweets. His care and concern for classmates, friends and others was well-known. He gave away his tiffin to the hungry, clothes to the naked, books to the needy and other personal belongings to the poor. One day, my grandfather told me, he gave his clothes to a poor boy and came home in his shawl.

At the age of 7, he began his schooling, though an eye ailment forced a four-year break from his studies. He married at the age of 11 when my mother was 3. He demonstrated leadership from the beginning. Once in 1939, he led classmates to demand repair of the school’s roof – just when the premier of then undivided Bengal happened to be in town. Despite a deep involvement in politics, in 1946 he obtained a BA.

Bangabandhu was blessed from boyhood with leadership, indomitable courage and great political acumen. He played an active role in controlling communal riots during the India-Pakistan partition. He risked his life for the cause of truth and justice. He rose in protest in 1948 against the declaration of Urdu as the state language of Pakistan and was arrested the following year. He pioneered the movement to establish Bangla as the state language. In 1966, he launched a six-point program for the emancipation of Bangalees. In 1969, my father was acclaimed Bangabandhu, Friend of Bengal. His greatest strength (and weakness) was his “love for the people.” He is an essential part of the emotional existence of all Bangalees.

BANGLA PM HASINA GARLANDS FATHER'S PORTRAIT.The appearance of Bangladesh on the world map in 1971 was the culmination of a long-suppressed national urge. On Mar. 7, 1971, my father addressed a mammoth public meeting in Dhaka and declared: “The struggle now is the struggle for our emancipation, the struggle now is the struggle for Independence.” He sent a wireless message, moments after a crackdown by the Pakistani army, declaring the Independence of Bangladesh in the early hours of Mar. 26. The world knows he courted arrest – and yet Bangabandhu emerged as the unquestioned leader of a newborn country.

But at a time when Bangladesh was emerging as an advocate for oppressed nations, his foes assassinated him on Aug. 15, 1975. My mother and three brothers were also killed. Even my younger brother Sheikh Russel, who was then nine, was not spared. The only survivors were my younger sister Sheikh Rehana and myself; we were on a trip to Germany. Consequently, the political ideals for which Bangladesh sacrificed three million of her finest sons and daughters were trampled, and Bangladesh became a puppet in the hands of imperialism and autocracy. By assassinating Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, the conspirators wanted to stop the country’s march to freedom, democracy, peace and development. The process of law and justice were not permitted to take their course; human rights were violated. It is, therefore, the solemn responsibility of freedom- and peace-loving people to help ensure the trial of the plotters and killers of this great leader, my father.

 Author/Editor : Sheikh Hasina

Bangabandhu faced more problems than contemporary leaders: Mark Tully

image_298_62817Celebrated BBC journalist Sir William Mark Tully, reputed particularly for his extensive coverage of the LiberationWar, believes Bangabandhu had to steer a new born nation facing more problems than any other leader of that time.“He (Bangabandhu) faced more problems than his contemporary leaders,” Tully said in an interview at his New Delhiresidence ahead of Bangabandhu’s 35th martyrdom anniversary.

Tully said, “He had bigger problems-the nation was broken, then there was global economic recession, coupled withrise of prices of petroleum products.””There was the open border withIndiamaking it impossible to stop smuggling . . . he had faced more problems thanany other leaders of his time,” added Tully.

While revisiting memory lanes recalling his personal acquaintance with Bangabandhu particularly after theindependence, the British journalist described him as a leader who was “extremely friendly and open, a man who lovedhis people most.”“I found him extremely friendly and open, he was a very friendly man, a very big person in every sense of the term ofthe word,” the elderly British journalist recalled.

He also recalled the memories of Bangabandhu’s public meetings, which he had attended and said, “He (Bangabandhu)had a wonderful voice that could mesmerise the crowd. I could feel from their reactions when Sheikh Shaheb used toaddress public meetings.”

Tully recounted that he was deeply saddened 35 years ago on hearing news of Bangabandhu’s assassination when hewas working at theLondonhead office of the radio service. He was expelled fromIndiasome time before following astate of emergency in 1975 proclaimed by then premier Indira Gandhi.

“I was working in the night shift when the news of his brutal assassination came. I was obviously very sad asBangabandhu had been very kind to me,” said Tully.”Personally I was sad because when I met him for the first time, I saw the high hopes and optimism he had for hispeople and his belief in the future ofBangladesh,” said the journalist.

During his visit afterBangladesh’s independence, Mark Tully was to make some reports on the new-born country andsought an interview with the charismatic leader of the new-bornBangladesh.“Of course I wanted to interview theBangladeshleader. But I never knew he would grant permission to actually seeme so soon. I was told Sheikh Saheb was interested to meet me. We had a long discussion and he spoke a great dealabout the new-bornBangladesh,” he added.“Sheikh Shaheb told me about his determination to establish secular democracy inBangladeshand all about hisdreams.”

Tully recalled that Bangabandhu, at the very outset of the interview, thanked him for his contribution to the LiberationWar while he replied saying “I merely reported the news, many other journalists had done like me.”But Bangabandhu would not agree and at the end of the conversation he presented him with a painting, which “is stillwith me.”“I was very much touched by this gesture (the gift) and you might be knowing we (BBC journalists) are not supposedto accept gifts.””I told my BBC head office inLondonabout the gift and informed them that I would put the painting in the BBCoffice inDelhi, which I did.”

At the end of the interview Sir Mark Tully showed the painting hung in his living room. It was a painting by artistMuzimul Azim, in 1973. Asked how he managed to do so, “I simply took it from the office,” Tully quipped with a smile as the rare gift fromBangabandhu would remain a treasure to him for a long time.

Tully, recipient of ‘Padmashri Award’ from the Indian Government in 1992, said he had met theBangladeshleaderseveral times after that. But he could not recollect the number of times that Bangabandhu told him that he was upsetwith the mountain of problems.

Author : Mark Tully, New Delhi