In March 1971, the visual modality of independent national sovereignty for people of this land became the politically dominant allele. March 7 in that year was a defining moment for Bangladesh's people and for Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman as well.
By this time, people knew there were in a special situation – it was definitely a determining point in Bangladesh's history. The National Election in 1970 resulted in a landslide victory for Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman's political party, the Awami League, making him the majority party leader in Pakistan.
Bangabandhu in his remarkable speech on March 7, 1971 at Dhaka's Race Course Ground (now Suhrawardy Udyan) spoke of a defining moment in our history in front of more than a million people, to their roaring approval.
The course of history forever changed after that moment. It was the unmasking of an underlying evil that took an ugly shape in the 1971 war.
As momentous as it was for the people of this country, the address is also one of the most memorable speeches of all time. It is worthy of lengthy study as we can all learn speech delivering skills from Bangabandhu's historic masterpiece; and it is recognised as one of the best speeches ever given.
If we look at what makes it so memorable: It is dramatically delivered ad-lib under the open sky for a million-odd live audience. His words proved to be a touchstone for understanding the social and political upheaval of the time and gave the nation a vocabulary to express what was happening.
He argued passionately and powerfully. Stylistically, the speech has been described as a political treatise, a work of poetry, and a masterfully delivered and improvised sermon, bursting with revolutionary language and imagery.
With his unique rhythm and alliteration, he drove home all the key points with ease. The format is simple – always an aid to memorability! This was no time to engage in the luxury of cooling off or to take the tranquilising drug of gradualism. It was the time to make real the promises of independence and democracy.
The million-strong people understood immediately: Now is the time to rise from the dark and desolate valley of segregation to the sunlit path of justice. Now is the time to open the doors of opportunity to all of Bangladesh's people. Now is the time to lift our nation from the quicksand of injustice to the solid rock of brotherhood.
He set off an atomic political bomb on March 7. It was like tearing down a wall that seemed very heavy, but when you realise what it means to demolish that wall, you begin to see it in a whole new light.
When the wall came down on that day, it signified the beginning of the end of the Pakistani oppression and birth of the voice of the people. The address had a very impregnable message for our people and hinted at a grand revolution.
The speech was remarkable because of Bangabandhu's delivery in terms of both voice and body; it was a fervent emotional sermon, forged out of the language and spirit of independence and democracy. His mastery of the spoken word, his magnetism, and his sincerity raised familiar platitudes from cliché to commandment.
The speech was included in the World International Register, a list of world's important documentary heritage maintained by UNESCO. It is a landmark event that has added to our glorious history.
Ultimately, the greatest achievement of the speech is that it gave birth to an independent nation: – Bangladesh.
Anwar A Khan is an independent political analyst who writes on politics, political and human-centred figures, current and international affairs