Historic Mar 7 speech recognised as one of the ‘world’s all-time best’
Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman’s historic Mar 7, 1971 speech that effectively declared Bangladesh’s independence has been selected as one of the most rousing and inspirational wartime speeches in the last 2,500 years.
The speech delivered at the Race Course Maidan (currently Suhrawardy Udyan) encouraged the Bengalis to start their nine-month long bloody struggle for freedom.
‘Ebarer Sangram Amader Muktir Sangram, Ebarer Sangram Swadhinatar Sangram’ (This time the struggle is for our freedom), is what the architect of the nation’s independence famously pronounced.
The much-talked-about inspirational speech is considered by many to be one of the world’s best.
“It is a matter of great pride,” an elated Bangla Academy Director General Shamsuzzaman Khan told bdnews24.com
“Finally Bangabandhu’s speech has been internationally recognised as one of the best speeches in the world,” he said.
The book, ‘We Shall Fight on the Beaches: The Speeches That Inspired History’ by Jacob F Field, is a collection of “extracts from the most rousing and inspirational wartime speeches of the last 2,500 years—Cicero to Churchill, Lincoln to Mao”, writes amazon.com.
Field is a historian and a contributor to ’1001 Battles that Changed the Course of History’ and ’1001 Historical Sites’. He has published articles in journals including Economic History Review, and Urban History, according to Amazon.
The 224-page paperback, published on Dec 1 last year, takes its title from British Prime Minister Winston Churchill’s WWII speech. Former US President Ronald Reagan’s ‘tears down wall’ is the last speech in the book.
Bangabandhu’s speech has been placed on page 201 under the title ‘The Struggle This Time Is The Struggle For Independence’.
The Bangla Academy Director General, Khan says there is no doubt that Bangabandhu’s historic speech is one of the best in the world. But it was not included before in any internationally published books on world speeches.
“It is the first time the March 7 speech has been included among the internationally recognised speeches.”
Khan said he would meet Bangabandhu’s daughter Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina with the book soon.
The book came into light on Monday at a memorial service for senior journalist and former parliamentarian AN Mahfuza Khatun Baby Maudud.
“Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, Baby Maudud and I always wanted that the speech be included among the best in the world.
“Today, I got a book that includes Bangabandhu’s speech among the great speeches,” he said.
Baby Maudud, who worked on the ‘Unfinished Memoir’ of Bangabandhu, would have been happy, he believed.
Liberation War Museum’s trustee and columnist Mofidul Haq said he collected the paperback during his Canada tour.
He declined to comment further as he did not have the chance to go through the book yet since he came back on Saturday.
“Many books have been written on best speeches,” Haq said. “But I didn’t find any book that lists Bangabandhu’s speech among the world’s best.
“It is the first time.”