Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman had talked about independence at a rally at Paltan Maidan on March 3 too ahead of his historic March 7 speech.
On the next day, the daily Ittefaq and daily Azad published details about the rally arranged by Chhatra League and Sramik League.
In the rally, Bangabandhu called upon the people to continue their struggle for independence even if he could not stay alive.
“Even if I die, the seven crore people will witness that the country becomes truly independent. This may be my last speech. If I do not stay alive, the movement cannot be stopped,” Bangabandhu had said.
As Bangabandhu talked about independence, the enthusiastic people reverberated with the slogan “Bir Bangali Astra Dharo, Bangladesh Swadhin Karo” (Brave Bangalis take up arms and free Bangladesh from occupation).
Chaired by Nure Alam Siddiqi, Tofail Ahmed, labor leader Abdul Mannan and DUCSU leader Abdul Quddus Makhan addressed the rally. ASM Abdur Rab did not address the rally for unknown reasons.
Dr Mohammad Hannan wrote elaborately in his book “Bangladesher Muktijuddher Itihas” (History of Bangladesh Liberation War).
According to the book, at the March 3 rally Bangabandhu said payment of taxes would be suspended until the government repressions stopped and urged the people to stop going to offices and courts.
General Yahya Khan had called a meeting of political leaders on March 10. Sheikh Mujibur Rahman from Awami League, Zulfikar Ali Bhutto from Pakistan People’s Party, Khan Abdul Wali Khan from National Awami Party, Khan Abdul Qayyum Khan from Pakistan Muslim League and Mian Mumtaz Daultana from Council Muslim League were among the invitees.
Bangabandhu refused General Yahya Khan’s invitation to the meeting of political leaders on March 10, by calling it a “cruel joke.”
About Bangabandhu’s speech on March 3 rally, Bangla Academy Award recipient writer, poet and journalist Abul Momen told BSS that as part of pre-planning, Bangabandhu brought the talk of independence in the rally though he vibrantly uttered it on his historic March 7 speech.
He said the issue of independence was being discussed in a scattered way from the previous periods, but the issue and expectations of independence came vigorously in different movements in the 1970s.
Realizing the people’s aspirations and expectations for independence, Bangabandhu brought the issue of independence in the public rally of March 3.
From the Paltan Maidan rally, Bangabandhu announced for observing hartal every day from 6:00am to 2:00pm from March 4 to 6.
Source: Bangladesh Sangbad Sangstha (BSS)