Non-Cooperation Movement, 7th March Speech and Preparations for Liberation War

7marchAwami League’s landslide victory in the 19790 elections frightened the Pakistani rulers. They could well smell that the Bangalees would now wield the state-power and introduce a new constitution based on the 6-point charter. So, the West Pakistanis started conspiring immediately after the results were out.

Yahaya Khan had convened the opening session of the National Assembly on the 3rd of March; but on the 1st of March, he postponed the session for an indefinite period. The people of East Pakistan turned furious in protests chanting Joy Bangla; educational institutions, offices closed down, general strikes were enforced ignoring curfews. The army opened fire on the protesters killing many and wounding hundreds. On March 2, in a student-mass-gathering in front of Dhaka University Arts Building, the new national flag of Bangladesh was hoisted. Independent Bangladesh Central Student’s Action Committee was formed; an all-out non-cooperation movement against the Pakistani rulers started under the direct command of Bangabandhu, who became the virtual ruler of the province. All government and non-government offices, the Secretariat, autonomous bodies, the High Court, the police, radio and television, banks and insurance companies and transport authorities- everything was running as per the directives of Sheikh Mujib.
On March 7, Bangabandhu addressed a massive rally in the Race Course Maidan with about a million people gathering from across the country. In his speech, Bangabandhu announced, “Our struggle this time is the struggle for freedom; our struggle this time is the struggle for independence”. This electrifying declaration by Bangabandhu was virtually the declaration of the independence of Bangladesh.

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