Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on Monday blasted BNP leaders for their remarks that they do not get any message of independence from the historic 7th March speech.
Sheikh Hasina said it is normal that they will not understand the essence of the historic speech as its founder Ziaur Rahman killed many Bangalees in Chattorgram on March 25 and 26 in 1971.
"The person, who started the massacre against people, who was going to release arms from the (Pakistani) Swat ship, killed the Father of the Nation, declared himself as the President of the country through grabbing power by violating the Constitution, formed a political party. So, it's very normal that leaders of the party won't understand the language and essence of this speech. There's nothing to be surprised or to be discussed," she said.
The Prime Minister was addressing a discussion on the historic 7th March Speech of Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman. Bangladesh Awami League arranged the discussion at its central office at the city's Bangabandhu Avenue.
Sheikh Hasina, also the AL president, joined the event virtually from her official residence Ganobhaban.
The Prime Minister said BNP leaders do not find any message of independence from the speech as they cannot yet forget their old habit of flattering Pakistanis.
"This why they (BNP leaders) are still searching for 'but' in the speech and don't get the message of independence. But those who had taken preparations (for the war) rightly understood it. The people of Bangla understood it and they took preparations accordingly," she said.
"Yes, BNP doesn't understand it. There is also a reason (behind it)," she said and then mentioned how Ziaur Rahman as a Pakistani army officer participated in genocide against Bangalees.
Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman issued the directive to take preparations for the war with whatever they had.
As per the directive of Father of the Nation, Sangram Parishad men and general people put barricades on the roads in Chattogram on March 25, 1971.
"Pakistani occupation forces fired shots at those who were putting barricades on roads in Chattogram on that day. Ziaur Rahman was a person among those who fired shot at people. Ziaur Rahman as a Pakistan Army officer shot to death many of those who were putting barricades on that day," she said.
"Not only that, Ziaur Rahman also carried out the killings for two days – March 25 and 26," she said adding that many freedom fighters of Chattogram know facts.
Sheikh Hasina said then Ziaur Rahman was going to release arms from the Swat ship (of Pakistan). But Sangram Parishad men and general people hindered him to release the arms from the ship and caught him.
AL senior leaders Obaidul Quader, Jahangir Kabir Nanak, Abdur Rahman, Mahbubul Alam Hanif and AFM Bahauddin Nasim, among others, spoke at the discussion meeting.
Besides, former Vice-Chancellor of Dhaka University Prof Dr AAMS Arefin Siddique, AL leaders AL central leaders Habibur Rahman Siraj, Dr Mostafa Jalal Mohiuddin, Sujit Roy Nandi and Prof Marina Jahan Kabita, AL's Dhaka South unit president Abu Ahmed Mannafi and its North unit President Sheikh Bazlur Rahman also spoke at the programme.
Earlier, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina unveiled the cover of a book, "Muktir Dak", on the historic 7th March speech.
Edited by Dr AAMS Arefin Siddique, the book was published by Yeasin Kabir Joy.
Mentioning that everyone understood the essence of the historic 7th March speech, Sheikh Hasina, the eldest daughter of Bangabandhu, said another person, Serajul Alam Khan, a student leader at that time, might have also failed to understand the speech.
When Sirajul Alam Khan had told Bangabandhu that all the people returned from the rally being frustrated over what he (Bangabandhu) said in his speech, Sheikh Hasina protested the views asking Serajul Alam Khan why did he tell a lie.
Then Sheikh Hasina, who along with her younger sister Sheikh Rehana joined the historic 7th March rally, told Serajul Alam that while she was coming back home from the rally, people were seen pleased and returning with the message for taking preparations for the war.
"The people were seen jubilant that they would take preparations for a war and fight…. The people were saying that we got whatever we wanted. They were chanting the slogan "Bir Bangali Ostro dhoro, Bangladesh Swadin Koro," she said.
Hearing the remarks of some BNP leaders today and the remarks of Serajul Alam and others they made on that day in 1971, it is seems that they were actually with collaborators of Pakistani occupation force, said Hasina.
"Still, they (BNP) couldn't forget that misdeed. They still couldn't forget flattering them," she said.
Describing those who fail to understand the essence of the 7th March speech as 'stupid', the Prime Minister said British journalist Jacob F Field selected the speech of Bangabandhu among 41 most inspirational speeches across the world from 431 B.C to 1987.
On October 30, 2017, the historic 7th March Speech of the Father of the Nation was included in the Memory of the International World Register, a list of the world's important documentary heritage maintained by the United Nations Education, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO), she said.
Pointing at her party leaders and workers, she said BNP leaders would not find the declaration of independence in the 7th March speech as Pakistani occupation force didn't get as they are the flattering group of the force.
She said it was learnt from biographies of the Pakistani generals who worked in the then East Pakistan at that time that the Pakistani force had taken all-out preparation to launch bomb attack on the millions of people gathered at the erstwhile Race Course Maidan (now Suhrawardy Udyan) to hear the 7th March speech of Bangabandhu.
But the Father of the Nation knew that which language the people could understand but would take time for foes to understand. He delivered the speech in that language, she said.
Hasina said Bangabandhu declared the country's independence in that way out of his war strategy as Bangabandhu was not only a good politician but also a good war strategist.
The Prime Minister also blasted BNP leaders for their remarks over Covid-19 vaccines saying they had to take shots of Covid-19 finally.
"They said many things when the Coronavirus came (got detected in the country). They even scolded (Katukti koreche) over Covid-19 vaccine. But they had to take the vaccine finally," she said.
Sheikh Hasina said her government provides Covid-19 vaccine for free procuring that spending money. "They (BNP leaders) took the free vaccine, didn't they? All have taken," she said pointing at the BNP leaders.