Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman captivated the people of Bangladesh with his unwavering humanity, indomitable spirit, organisational prowess and exemplary leadership.
Every word he uttered in his speeches stirred the hearts of Bangalis, igniting within them a resounding enthusiasm and an unwavering sense of patriotism for their beloved country. His speeches were akin to a powerful mantra, resonating deeply within the Bangali nation and fueling their fervent desire for freedom.
Bangabandhu, in his poignant speeches, often commenced with the endearing words, "Bhayera Amar" (my brothers), to connect with the audience in the local dialect of Dhaka and the greater Faridpur region. These words continue to reverberate within the depths of the Bangali soul, exemplifying the enduring impact of his oratory.
It is in homage to this profound connection that the editor of the compilation of Bangabandhu's speeches bestowed upon the collection the evocative title "Bhayera Amar."
The compilation, consisting of a remarkable assemblage of his speeches, was meticulously gathered, compiled, and edited by Nazrul Islam, speechwriter (secretary) of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina.
Published by Genius Publications, the book stands as a testament to the laborious efforts invested in preserving the eloquence of Bangabandhu's words.
To further enrich the collection, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, the daughter of Bangabandhu, contributed an introduction that serves as a fitting tribute to her father's legacy.
In her insightful introduction, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina eloquently observed that Bangabandhu's speeches could be discerningly categorised into three distinct periods based on their content.
The first period spans 1955 to 1956, encompassing his speeches delivered in the Constituent Assembly of Pakistan. The second period, covering the period 1966 to 1971, encapsulates his speeches during the seminal Six-Point movement and the elections of 1970, leading up to early 1971.
Lastly, the third period, spanning 1972 to 1975, focuses on the speeches delivered in the post-independence era.
Over time, a discernible transformation in both the content and delivery of Bangabandhu's speeches becomes evident. A notable example of this evolution can be observed in his address to the Constituent Assembly during the period 1955-1956.
During this time, he fearlessly advocated for the establishment of democratic governance and vehemently opposed any form of discrimination between West and East Pakistan. He astutely alluded to the potential ramifications that could arise from the exploitation, discrimination and manipulation of religion in politics.
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina writes in the introduction, "After the placing of the Six-Point demand in 1966, we see a different Sheikh Mujibur Rahman. A change in his diction and presentation style can be observed in the speech. This Sheikh Mujib is very determined and resolute."
However, not many speeches from this period remain as he was placed under arrest within a few months of the announcement of the Six Points. The most sensational statement we get at this time relates to the deposition in the Agartala Case in 1968.
"In pre-election speeches of 1970, we find him justifying voting for the Awami League. In November 1970, a devastating cyclone left the southern part of the country in ruins. Pakistan's military junta did not take any action to help the cyclone-devastated people. Sheikh Mujibur Rahman carried out massive relief operations in the cyclone-hit areas and vehemently attacked the inaction of the Pakistani rulers in various public gatherings," the introduction reads.
The Prime Minister further adds, "After the victory in the elections, we notice a change in the content of Bangabandhu's speeches. He understood the Pakistani junta's unwillingness to hand over power and continued to apply pressure in modest words. Then we see him at the Race Course on 7 March 1971. I do not feel the need to say anything here again about the speech of 7 March. It is now part of Unesco World Heritage."
In the early hours of 26 March 1971, Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman was arrested. However, before his detention by the Pakistan army, he declared Bangladesh's independence in wireless communication with the then-EPR forces. Subsequently, the Pakistani junta forcibly transported him to West Pakistan, where he was unjustly imprisoned.
After enduring more than nine months in captivity, Bangabandhu finally returned to his homeland on 10 January 1972. On this momentous day, he courageously addressed a vast gathering at the Race Course Maidan, delivering a powerful and inspiring speech.
In the months that followed the attainment of independence, Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman's speeches bore witness to a powerful juxtaposition of two themes: the harrowing accounts of the atrocities committed by the Pakistan military and his steadfast determination to lay the foundations of a prosperous and united nation.
In these seminal speeches, Bangabandhu fearlessly shed light on the heinous acts perpetrated by the Pakistan military. Concurrently, he emphasised the urgent need for nation-building, instilling a sense of collective responsibility and commitment among the populace.
The majority of speeches in this collection, particularly those delivered after 1972, have been transcribed from the preserved tapes or CDs at Bangladesh Betar. Another notable aspect of this compilation is the inclusion of 'highlighted' excerpts, where significant portions of each speech are presented separately.
Nazrul Islam, the editor of the collection, said, "None of the compilations available in the market includes all the speeches of Bangabandhu. We have tried to compile all the speeches published so far in the collection. For this, we have taken the help of almost all the books available in the market."
Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman was an exceptional orator, possessing a remarkable ability to captivate people. His deep voice resonated with authority, complementing his fluent language and precise diction, he added.
The title of this collection of speeches has faced criticism on social media. Some argue that it should have been titled "Bhaiera Amar," which is considered more formal and adheres to standardised Bangla, rather than "Bhayera Amar."
Nazrul Islam points out that Bangabandhu often incorporated the dialect of Greater Faridpur and Dhaka regions in his speeches. These vernacular words added vibrancy and a sense of liveliness to his presentations.
He notes, "If you listen carefully to every speech of Bangabandhu, he always addressed the common people collectively. He frequently used the words 'Bhayera Amar'."
Nazrul Islam further says that Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has chosen this title.
The book is available at Genius Publications stores and online platforms. It is also available through various online booksellers, including Rokomari.com.
Nazrul Islam has authored and edited several other books, including novels such as "Piaruler Jonnyo Bhalobasha" and "Robi." He has also written books, notably "Chhotoder Sheikh Hasina" and "In Search of Sustainability."
In addition to his literary contributions, Nazrul Islam has ventured into the realm of television, creating the collection of television dramas titled "Onoponeyo Kaal" and the television series "Borobari," which aired on Bangladesh Television.
His editorial prowess is evident in works like "Sheikh Hasina in World Media" and "Selected 100 Speeches of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina," which he has skillfully curated.
Furthermore, Nazrul Islam has showcased his talent in filmmaking, directing several documentaries and a full-length film titled "Chironjeeb Mujib."
As a member of the BCS 1984 batch information cadre, he has served in various capacities. From 2009 until the first week of January 2019, he held the positions of Deputy Press Secretary and Additional Press Secretary (Grade-1) to Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina.
In February 2019, he was appointed the Prime Minister's speech writer (secretary) and continues to serve in this role.