In news : Bangladesh is observing the 50th anniversary of the historic speech given by Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman in Dhaka on 7th March 1971.
About Sheikh Mujibur Rahman/Sheikh Mujib)
- He was a Bengali leader who became the first Prime Minister (1972–75) and later the President (1975) of Bangladesh.
- Birth: March 7 1920, Tungipara, Bengal, British India
- He is called the “Father of the Nation” in Bangladesh.
- Sheik Mujib, the son of a middle-class landowner, studied law and political science at the Universities of Calcutta and Dacca (now Dhaka).
- Although jailed briefly as a teenager for agitating for Indian independence, he began his formal political career in 1949 as a cofounder of the Awami League.
- The Awami League advocated political autonomy for East Pakistan, the detached eastern part of Pakistan.
- He played an important role in the six-point movement and the Anti-Ayub movement.
- His party secured an absolute majority in the Pakistani general elections in the 1970s, the country’s first, winning more seats than all parties in West Pakistan, including Zulfikar Ali Bhutto’s Pakistan Peoples Party.
- But these election results were not recognized by the Pakistan government and led to a bloody civil war, and Sheikh Mujib declared Bangladesh’s independence from Pakistan on March 26, 1971.
- India’ support: The Government of India under then Prime Minister Indira Gandhi provided full support to Rahman and Bangladesh’s independence movement, resulting in the creation of a sovereign government at Dhaka in January 1971.
- Death: On 15 August 1975, Rahman was killed in a military coup along with his wife and three sons, including 10-year-old Sheikh Russel.
- The current Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina and her younger sister Sheikh Rehana(his daughters), survived as they were abroad at the time.
His Historic speech
- Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman had delivered the historic speech on this day in 1971 at the then Race Course Maidan which is now known as Suhrawardy Udyan.
- He had declared before a huge crowd on that day that ‘Ebarer songram amader muktir songram, ebarer sangram swadhinatar sangram’ meaning ‘the struggle this time is for our freedom, the struggle this time is for our independence’.
- This was virtually a declaration of independence from Pakistan which had refused to acknowledge the victory of Awami League in the national elections held in late 1970 and continued with severe repression of the people of the then East Pakistan.
- UNESCO recognised this speech as part of World Documentary Heritage in 2017.
UNESCO Award on his name
- In 2020, the UNESCO has decided to launch an international prize in the field of ‘creative economy’ in the name of Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman
- Starting November 2021, the dollar 50 thousand award will be given away once in two years for global economic initiatives of the youth
- According to UNESCO, the international award will create a knowledge-sharing mechanism by capturing, celebrating and communicating best practice in the development of creative entrepreneurship.
- UNESCO has declared 2021 as ‘International Year of Creative Economy for Sustainable Development’.