Prime Minister Narendra Modi will visit Dhaka to participate in celebrations marking 50 years of Bangladesh’s independence

Bangladesh today commemorated the historic March 7, 1971 speech of Bangabandu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman that called for East Pakistan’s independence from the tyranny of West Pakistan.

The fiery speech by Rahman has a special significance ahead of the golden jubilee celebrations of Bangladesh’s independence on 26 March.

Paying her tribute to Bangladesh’s Father of the Nation, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina laid a wreath at the portrait of Bangabandhu.

On the occasion, Hasina said the historic speech was the source of immense power for the people to motivate them in the struggle of Bangladesh’s independence.

The heroic struggle of the Bangalees and the direction of this speech of the Father of the Nation in the armed liberation war was the keynote of the thunderous national unity at that time, Prime Minister Hasina said in a message on the eve of the historic 7 March.

Sheikh Hasina, who is also daughter of Sheikh Mujibur Rahman and President of the ruling Awami League which her father had founded, will also join a ‘Historic March 7’ observance programme hosted by the Government of Bangladesh.

On 7 March, 1971, Bangabandhu in his speech at a rally at the Race Course Maidan in Dhaka had called Bengalis to wage a decisive struggle against Pakistan’s occupation forces.

He declared in the fiery speech, ‘the struggle this time is for our freedom; the struggle this time is for independence’, Bangabandhu’s words inspired the Bangalees to prepare for the War of Liberation.

Referring to the timelessness of Bangabandhu’s speech, the Indian High Commission in Dhaka in a tweet on Sunday said, “With its call for freedom Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman’s speech inspires the struggle for freedom and justice even today.”

The official Twitter handle of IHC in Dhaka also shared two news reports of coverage of Bangabandhu’s speech in the Indian press.

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi is set to visit Dhaka on 26 March and set to participate in celebrations marking 50 years of Bangladesh’s independence and the Golden Jubilee Year of bilateral relations between India and Bangladesh.

Assuring that Prime Minister Modi’s visit to Dhaka later this month will be a ‘very memorable’ one, External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar who was in Bangladesh on Thursday termed New Delhi’s strategic ties with Bangladesh, a truly ‘360 degree partnership’.

The two countries are also jointly commemorating Mujib Borsho, the birth centenary of Bangabandhu.

In December, Prime Minister Modi and Hasina during the India-Bangladesh virtual summit had jointly unveiled a commemorative postal stamp issued by India on the occasion of birth centenary of Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman.