March 7 is, no doubt, a red-letter day in the history of Bangladesh.
If we were to point to a day when the spirit of an independent Bangladesh was born, it would be March 7, 1971, when Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman’s rousing speech created a fire in the hearts and minds of the Bangladeshi people.
The march towards freedom that began that day would culminate in the victory and birth of Bangladesh as a proud sovereign nation.
The rousing speech, delivered at the Ramna Race Course, captured the imagination of millions of people, and gave full voice to the aspirations of a nation.
And it was that speech that prepared the Bangladeshi people for the struggle that was to come, and gave them the hope and belief that history was on their side.
After March 7, there was no turning back.
Bangabandhu’s speech is a rare example of the kind of speech that resonates throughout the decades, and can be placed alongside other masterpieces of oratory, like Lincoln’s Gettysurg Address, or Mather Luther King Jr’s I Have a Dream speech.
Today, 46 years on, we can once again hear those memorable words “Ebarer shongram amader muktir shongram, ebarer shongram shadhinotar shongram,” and still find it inspirational.
Let us take a bit of time to listen to this speech again, and marvel at its eloquence and statesmanship.
It still has the power to move us, and give us a jolt of courage and conviction after all these years.
March 7 is an indelible part of the history of Bangladesh -- we must continue to honour its legacy.