The House last night unanimously adopted a resolution aimed at giving thanks to the Unesco for recognising the historic March 7 speech of Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman as a world documentary heritage.
Commerce Minister Tofail Ahmed placed the resolution, which was adopted by voice votes at the Jatiya Sangsad.
“We along with the whole nation are proud of Unesco's recognition of the historic March 7 speech of Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman as a world documentary heritage and inclusion of it in the Memory of the World International Register. The Jatiya Sangsad, therefore, gives thanks to Unesco and everyone concerned,” reads the resolution.
Fifty-eight lawmakers took part in the five-and-a-half-hour-long discussion.
“One Bangalee [Bangabandhu] had delivered the March 7 speech. Now the speech is adorned across the world. It has been translated in 12 languages. It gives strength to realise rights of oppressed people,” Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina said during the discussion.
She said Bangabandhu has given us freedom. “After getting independence, he had started work for getting economic freedom but couldn't complete it as he was assassinated on August 15, 1975. It is our duty to complete his unfinished dream to build a sonar Bangla, free from hunger, poverty and economic disparity.”
In her half-an-hour-long speech, the PM thanked everyone who were involved in getting the recognition.
The PM came down heavily on those who had banned Bangabandhu's March 7 speech following his assassination.
She said Bangabandhu resurrected a sleeping nation and transformed it into a fighting force through his extempore speech. No other speech in the world was heard so many times like the March 7 speech of Bangabandhu.
Taking part in the discussion, the MPs said the Bangalee nation fully cooperated with Bangabandhu. All government offices in the then East Pakistan started to operate under his instructions. He thus became the de-facto ruler, they added.
Speaking on the resolution, ruling Awami League MPs lambasted BNP founder late president Ziaur Rahman, BNP Chairperson Khaleda Zia and Jatiya Party Chairman HM Ershad for banning the March 7 speech while they were in state power in different times following assassination of Bangabandhu in 1975.
Parliament adopted the resolution following Unesco's inclusion of Bangabandhu's March 7 speech in the Memory of the World International Register, a list of world's important documentary heritage maintained by the UN body.
Unesco Director General Irina Bokova announced the decision on October 30 at its headquarters in Paris.
On March 7, 1971, Bangabandhu in his fiery speech called on the freedom-loving Bangalees to wage a decisive struggle against the Pakistani oppressors. The speech set the tone for the Liberation War that would officially begin later that month on March 26.
While placing the resolution under section 147 (1) of the rules of procedure of parliament, Tofail said it is proved now that the March 7 speech of Bangabandhu is the best speech in the world.
“The 18-minute-long extempore speech of Bangabandhu served as the ultimate source of inspiration for the countless freedom fighters. The speech was a clear indication of the Liberation War. No speech in the world was cited so many times like the March 7 speech of Bangabandhu,” reads the resolution.
“Ebarer sangram amader muktir sangram, ebarer sangram amader swadhinatar sangram [The struggle this time is a struggle for emancipation, the struggle this time is a struggle for independence],” Bangabandhu proclaimed in a thunderous voice at a mammoth rally at the Racecourse Maidan (now Suhrawardy Udyan) that day.
“The March 7 speech of Bangabandhu sparked not only the Bangalee people but also the world's conscience. Unesco's recognition of Bangabandhu's March 7 speech has proved this,” Tofail said in the resolution.
Participating in the discussion, lawmakers highlighted various aspects and significance of the March 7 speech in creating a new nation -- Bangladesh.
They said the speech would remain as a milestone in the history of independence of Bangladesh.
The MPs also said Bangabandhu's March 7 speech is one of the few speeches that changed the course of history and created a new nation.
In her speech, Opposition Leader Raushan Ershad called upon the Awami League to spread Bangabandhu's spirit among all and not confine it to the limits of the party.