• Monday, December 17, 2018

Historic Mar 7 speech recognised as one of the 'world’s all-time best'

Discussion in 'Bangladesh Defence Forum' started by BDforever, Aug 19, 2014.

  1. BDforever

    BDforever ELITE MEMBER

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    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.

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    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.

    source: Historic Mar 7 speech recognised as one of the 'world’s all-time best' -
    bdnews24.com


     
  2. extra terrestrial

    extra terrestrial FULL MEMBER

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    It was indeed quite an inspirational speech. I have been always under the impression that Bangabandhu was a great activist but not a great leader!
     
  3. khair_ctg

    khair_ctg FULL MEMBER

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    did he really declare any war on March 7?

    or his program was about giving more rights to East Bengal within the national framework that he himself worked to achieve in 1947?

    he contested in elections to be PM of United Pakistan and was still in talks with military long after March 7

    why does it seem there is so much bending of facts and so much disconnection with reality among BAL supporting people? why do you have to keep repeating illogical stuff and keep maintaining the narrative of the Indian invasion force?
     
  4. scholseys

    scholseys SENIOR MEMBER

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    Love him or hate him, It was one hell of a speech!
     
  5. third eye

    third eye ELITE MEMBER

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    A great speech, very moving & inspirational.
     
  6. khair_ctg

    khair_ctg FULL MEMBER

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    the speech was a loud one. however treacherous it might be considered, it was anything but a declaration of war as BAL has since propagated. the annexation of East Pak by India started through its paid and trained far-left people creating mass agitation, and the military (which happened to be Punjabi-dominated) going for an ill-advised crackdown. that provided the grounds, that India itself instigated, with which India could create further trouble inside East Pakistan and eventually invade it. Sheikh Mujib probably right until his arrest half-wanted to feed East Pakistan to India and half-wanted to be PM of United Pakistan. Sheikh Mujib started his political life as a gunda in the 1940s Pakistan Movement, and that is what we as a lowly nation deserve.
     
  7. kalu_miah

    kalu_miah SENIOR MEMBER

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    The loud mouth Gunda who handed the keys to our land and people to India on a silver platter. The biggest Mir Jafar our land has seen after Mir Jafar himself.
     
  8. idune

    idune ELITE MEMBER

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    That is how Mujib and Awami League deceived people of Bangladesh for last 50 years - Mujub gave fiery speech for gullible class and told Indira Ghandhi and Pakistanis that he does not want independence of east Pakistan. Bongo boltu cult live to do business with deception.

     
  9. Mattrixx

    Mattrixx BANNED

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    Salute to him. He is the great man. It was a better option for him to be the prime minister of Pakistan. But Pakistan would never accept a PM from East. He never declared independence. Because he knew unity is the strength but its the superior race Pakistanis make this happen to annex east. It was clever move by him to prepare Bengal, if they are under attack they should go for war. More of that if he ever declared independence first; Pakistani Generals would get a cause to attack Dhaka and other city with mass murder.
     
  10. idune

    idune ELITE MEMBER

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    Even in 1971, Awami League wasn't stating it wanted independence: Srinath Raghavan

    With elections approaching amidst violence, Bangladesh's future looks uncertain. Some of this is rooted in a past marked by enduring clashes. Srinath Raghavan , senior fellow at the Centre for Policy Research and senior research fellow at King's College, London, spoke with Ashish Yechury about why Bangladesh's creation was a global affair, influences shaping this — and how even Israel apparently got involved:

    Your book is called 1971: A Global History of the Crea-tion of Bangladesh — why global?

    Well, the creation of Bangladesh is generally seen as a subcontinental affair; in default mode, it's seen as the second partition. This seems to me a very narrow view. It doesn't take into account a wider international context in which this happened and which decisively shaped the outcome. This was a global event — participants themselves thought they had to secure global support. In a sense, the struggle on the ground was matched by a struggle for global opinion. That's central in understanding these events.

    You argue Bangladesh's creation wasn't inevitable — but you list conditions in the build-up to 1971 which played a key role. How do you reconcile these?

    The deterministic reading of Bangladesh primarily comes from the view that united Pakistan was an unsustainable entity. The arguments are on geography, with two wings of the same country separated by India. There are arguments about economic disparity, cultural differences between the Bengali and West Pakistani elite and the lopsided power-sharing arrangement between the two.

    What i argue is that you don't really need to look at the background to understand how the quest for autonomy transformed into a demand for freedom. We need a wider perspective.

    Is your view that if the Pakistani response wasn't so heavy-handed, there would not have been an independent Bangladesh?

    You might have had a loose confederation which, in some ways, is what the Awami League and Sheikh Mujibur Rahman wanted — even as late as March 1971, the Awami League was not stating it wanted outright independence.
    They were asking for a loose confederation with devolution of political and economic autonomy to East Pakistan.

    There was hope that with a looser confederation set-up and fair elections, the Bengalis' numerical superiority would kick in and they could get greater power, a fairer share.

    Why link this to the 'spirit of 1968'?

    To me, the student movements of 1968 are the turning point in the history of Pakistan. Ayub Khan had been in power for 10 years and Pakistan was doing well economically, despite growing disparity and concentration of wealth. Student movements in East and West Pakistan precipitated change.

    Student movements were a global phenomenon and i quote a CIA document where they say that this was a global movement. In Pakistan, these students were from a different generation. Sheikh Mujibur himself was a student leader in the 1940s, he had fought for Pakistan with different aspirations. The radicalisation of this student movement forced the Awami League to make their negotiating position far less flexible.

    Meanwhile, amidst all this, you mention Israel getting involved — can you tell us more?

    The Israelis have a history of supplying weapons to India. In 1962 and 1965, they sent some weapons despite the US embargo on India in 1965. So India had a secret backchannel with the Israelis — there is no indication that the Americans knew about them giving arms in 1971.

    Full diplomatic recognition from India was important for Israel as they were feeling extremely isolated at that time — they thought this would help.

    Even in 1971, Awami League wasn't stating it wanted independence: Srinath Raghavan - The Times of India
     
  11. Sulman Badshah

    Sulman Badshah STAFF

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    I always considered that it was primarily bhutto's fault (he lost the election and want to be prime minister as well) .... the sheikh mujib ur rehman party had right to form the govt of Pakistan at that time
     
  12. scholseys

    scholseys SENIOR MEMBER

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    My comment was from a PR perspective, I did not take the historical facts into account. It was a charismatic speech and connected with the masses.
     
  13. idune

    idune ELITE MEMBER

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    Sheikh Mujib is a brand for looting Bangladesh, period.
     
  14. kalu_miah

    kalu_miah SENIOR MEMBER

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    Home | Neamat ImamNeamat Imam | Author of The Black Coat

    The book that begins right with its cover
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    It is the 1970s. After a bloody struggle, Bangladesh is an independent nation. But thousands are pouring into Dhaka from all over the country, looking for food and shelter. Amongst them is Nur Hussain, an uneducated young man from a remote village, who is only good at mimicking a famous speech of the prime minister’s. He turns up at journalist Khaleque Biswas’s doorstep, seeking employment. He is initially a burden for Khaleque, but then Khaleque, who has recently lost his job, has the idea of turning Nur into a fake Sheikh Mujib. With the blessings of the political establishment, he starts cashing in on the nationalist fervour of the city’s poorest. But even as the money rolls in, the tension between the two men increases and reaches a violent climax when, after watching the severity of the famine of 1974, Nur refuses to stick to the script.

    Intense yet chilling, this brilliant first novel is a meditation on power, greed and the human cost of politics.

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    Wanted: Reviewers
    Although reviewers in India hailed my novel The Black Coat as “extraordinary… a fine work of fiction,” “…one of the best to come out of the subcontinent in the recent past” and “the gold standard for any book which seeks to engage with South Asian politics or history,” I cannot find anyone in Bangladesh to review it.

    Bangladeshi papers do not have official reviewers to review books. They often depend on journalists, university professors, writers and freelance contributors for this. I was a university faculty member myself at one time and I know many of these reviewers. But most of the reviewers I approach to write on my book refuse to do so, citing various excuses. That is why, in the last three months only the Daily Star has reviewed the book although there are over 50 different Bengali and English papers and magazines in the city of Dhaka alone.

    Some of the writers, who have not lost their sanity totally, tell me in private conversations that The Black Coat will not be reviewed unless there is a change in the government because it explores the present Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina’s father Sheikh Mujib’s time in office from 1972 to 1975. That period is politically a taboo subject in Bangladesh and my book presents him as an autocrat instead of what he is publicised as by Sheikh Hasina’s government and her party the Awami League – Father of the Bengali Nation.

    Sheikh Mujib banned all opposition newspapers and opposition political parties during his time. Sheikh Hasina has also created a climate of intense fear among the newsmen by arresting an editor and shutting down his newspaper recently. These writers tell me that no paper would like to put their publication at risk by reviewing my book even if it speaks the truth about Sheikh Mujib.

    In the meantime, the Fictionists, the only e-zine on Bangladeshi writing in English, removed from their site my book’s excerpt and cover artwork which they published early in July with much enthusiasm. Although they publish the full covers of books written by other Bangladeshi writers, they decided not to show my book’s cover to their readers – not even the thumbnail version of it. They put a disclaimer in this regard saying they decided to do so following dissent from their readership.

    They are a new site, and as far as I can surmise from their emails, they are also a group of polite people with a strong sense of personality. Keeping an e-zine is a thankless job but they do it out of their passion for Bangladesh and out of their pride in Bangladeshi writing in English. I do not think they would like to be drawn into a controversy for any reason.

    But it is not unprecedented to satirise a public figure’s photograph. Satirical publications do this all the time, as do many serious publications including the Guardian. As my book is also partly satirical, and Sheikh Mujib was a public figure, I do not think any reader of the Fictionists should have made a complaint about it. If there was a complaint, Fictionists editors could stick to their editorial policy of not giving preference to any writer and also of not deceiving any writer of an opportunity to showcase their work on their site. They could also consider the fact that while Sheikh Mujib offended a whole country of Bangladeshi people with his political short-sightedness, I covered his photograph only partly in the cover of my book.

    Amarblog.com, which is a platform of the new generation Bangladeshis famous for the Shahbagh Uprising in Dhaka, has also shown extreme hostility to my writing. They removed my latest blog on the relations between Sheikh Mujib and fundamentalism in Bangladesh from their site and also restricted me from contributing to it. I wrote that Sheikh Mujib disregarded Bangladesh’s constitution by seeking the membership of the Organisation of Islamic Conference in 1974 for the country. One of the four core principles of Bangladesh’s constitution is secularism. How can a country call itself secular by being and remaining a member of the OIC? Don’t OIC countries introduce themselves as “Islamic” countries?

    My latest blog particularly focused on Sheikh Mujib’s use of Khuda Hafiz instead of Joy Bangla at the end of his speeches. Joy Bangla was his signature slogan. He used it in 1971 to motivate Bangladeshis of all walks of life to fight against Pakistan. The result was excellent. Joy Bangla was a secular slogan, to spring from Bengali culture and heritage, whereas Khuda Hafiz was foreign, i.e., completely Islamic. I also cited the research publication’s name and its author’s name in support of my blog. I said that by using Khuda Hafiz Sheikh Mujib proved that towards the end of his rule he was leaning towards the Islamic fundamentalists of the country, who at that time were accused of slaughtering innocent Bangladeshis and collaborating with the occupying military of Pakistan. He leaned towards them, seeking their support for his government because he had proved himself immensely unpopular with the common people of the country with his failure to tackle the ruthless famine of 1974 which claimed hundreds of thousands of lives.

    There is no email, telephone or earth address to reach the amarblog editors. I used the only contact form available on their site seeking a clarification from them regarding why I was not allowed to post a blog any more. So far I have not heard back from them.

    The latest blow came from the Hay Festival Dhaka. On June 7, I received a mail from a Hay Dhaka co-producer congratulating me on the publication of my book. “Your book is already being talked about and making waves,” the mail said. “…. We would love you to launch your book in Bangladesh at Hay Festival Dhaka, and … would be great if you could participate.”

    The Hay Dhaka festival is supposed to take place in November. I live abroad and considering the fact that launching the book in Dhaka would need some preparation, I needed to plan my visit ahead of time. The Fictionists and amarblog gave me a lot of stress. Upon that I already had the stress and the fear of being a debut novelist. I thought Hay Dhaka would be the perfect opportunity for me to speak about my book in Bangladesh. I would have an audience ready to hear why I wrote the novel and why it was so important for our country and its democratic future. The Black Coat too would receive some coverage in the Bangladeshi press which it was not receiving now.

    On 16 July, I received another mail from Hay Dhaka. “We are trying to arrange funding for this year’s Hay,” it said. “…. At the moment, we are not able to find funding for you. Also, we are having to change the themes of the festival slightly so am trying to construct the current panels. It looks like our theme of novels based on historical writing (like your book) may be pushed back to next year, as some people that we had expected to come, cannot come till next year. A lot of people that were to be on that panel would prefer to come next year after the elections” (parenthesis original).

    They invited me and then un-invited me as they pleased. It was not supposed to happen like this.

    Although I thanked them instantly for considering me for their festival, I believe Hay Dhaka has lost its conscience. It is not innocent any longer. It has compromised its mission. Hay Festival of Hay-on-Wye in Wales says it is a “programme of debates and conversations.” But Hay Dhaka has surrendered to the popular political demands of the country instead of serving the cause of literature and culture. It has not stopped a debate; it has not allowed it to begin.

    It is highly possible that Hay Dhaka officials were not aware of the content and scope of The Black Coat when they invited me. Then, when they read the novel, they behaved the way any individual in the country who is afraid to critique the legacy of Sheikh Mujib would do. It is the election year this year in Bangladesh. So what? Literature is not in terms of politics of a country. It is because it has to be. I did not expect this kind of behaviour from Hay Dhaka. They were supposed to be on my side but they chose to be on the side of the political establishment.

    With this article I want to draw the attention of my country’s intellectuals to my book. I want them to read it and talk about it. I want to tell them that we need to create a culture based on the values of liberalism, transparency and tolerance in our country, without which we cannot create a successful democratic future for it. Gross mistakes were made in the past. Wrongs cannot be considered right only because they were done by a mighty leader like Sheikh Mujib whose leadership was indispensable for the creation of Bangladesh. Our nation will benefit if we can understand what mistakes he made and what prompted him to make them. The Black Coat may open our society to ask questions, to recognise mistakes, to admit limitations. It may begin a debate to make the next forty years of our national life completely different from the last forty years of its passage through misunderstanding and misinterpretation. We will be truly independent only when we all agree to leave behind the cult of the leader.
     
  15. idune

    idune ELITE MEMBER

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