The Finest Hour of Bangabandhu
by Syed Badrul AhsanColumnist Syed Badrul Ahsan says Bangabandhu’s finest hour was when he spoke to millions of listeners at the Race Course in Dhaka on March 7, 1971. He writes, “IT was his finest hour.
As Bangaban-dhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman rose to speak before the million people gathered at the Race Course in Dhaka, indeed before the seventy five million people of Bangladesh on March 7, 1971, something of the electric was in the air. Over the preceding few days, reports and rumours had been making the rounds about an impending declaration of independence by the man whose party, the Awami League, had secured a clear majority of seats (167 out of a total of 313) in Pakistan's national assembly at the general elections of December 1970.
What should have been a journey to power as Pakistan's prime minister on Mujib's part had by early March 1971 been transformed into a movement for Pakistan's eastern province to prize itself out of the state created through the division of India in 1947. The reasons were all out there. They had to do with the intrigues which had already been set in motion to thwart the assumption of power at the centre by the Awami League.”