The historic Six-Point Day, marking the demand for autonomy for the then East Pakistan, now Bangladesh, is going to be virtually observed today across the country in wake of the fatal coronavirus outbreak.
On June 7 in 1966, Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman launched a massive movement against the misrule of the Pakistanis on the basis of the 6-point demand, the Magna Carta of the Bengalis demanding autonomy for the then East Pakistan.
Eleven people, including Manu Mian, Shafique and Shamsul Haque, were gunned down by the police and paramilitary EPR on June 7, 1966 in Dhaka and Narayanganj during a hartal called for the release of Bangabandhu and other leaders detained for launching the Six-Point Movement against the then barbaric ruling clique.
Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman launched his historic six-point political and economic programme in Lahore on February 5 in 1966, aiming at attaining greater autonomy for the then East Pakistan in the backdrop of exploitation and discrimination by the then Pakistani rulers.
The six-point demands were – creating provision in the constitution for a Federation of Pakistan in its true sense based on the Lahore Resolution, the federal government will deal with only two subjects: Defence and Foreign Affairs, introduction of two separate, but freely convertible currencies for East and West Pakistan, vesting the power of taxation and revenue collection with the federating units, maintaining two separate accounts for the foreign exchange earnings of the two wings and creation a separate militia or paramilitary force for East Pakistan.
Marking the day, ruling Awami League (AL) urged all to pray for eternal peace of departed souls of all martyrs, including the martyrs of June 7 in 1966 and Liberation War in 1971, who embraced martyrdom for achieving independence and establishing freedom, democracy and progress, maintaining the health guidelines issued to slow down the spread of COVID-19.
The Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman Birth Centenary Celebration National Implementation Committee will organise a virtual discussion and an online quiz competition for youths today to mark the day.
Chief Coordinator of the committee Dr Kamal Abdul Naser Chowdhury said that Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina gave consent to preside over the virtual discussion.
President M Abdul Hamid and Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina have issued separate messages on the eve of the six-point day.
In his message, President Hamid paid rich tributes to the memories of Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman and all who embraced martyrdom to implement the six-point demand.
Terming the historic six-point demand as the milestone in the country’s long struggle for independence, he said through the six-point demand, Bangabandhu presented political, economic, social and cultural interests of East Bengal.
President Abdul Hamid said the independence of Bangalee nation had not been achieved in a single day.
He said the movement, which was initiated with the demand for recognition of Bangla as a state language, had successfully culminated through the 1952 Language Movement creating the foundation of Bangalee nationalism.
Later, Bangabandhu placed the historic six-point demand in Lahore in 1966 for autonomy of Bangalee nation in continuation of formation of Juktofront in 1954, movement against autocratic rule in 1958 and 1962 Education Commission movement.
The historic six-point is not only the charter for emancipation of Bangalees rather it is the source of inspiration for movement for emancipation of the repressed and persecuted people all over the world, he added.
The President said the six-point demand contained the framework of independence and autonomy of Bangalee nation.
After the announcement of the six-point demand, the President said the Pakistani rulers repeatedly arrested Bangabandhu and tortured him inhumanly, which could not deter him from the path of movement.
In her message, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina said the present government is firmly committed to keep intact the democratic rights of the people imbued with the spirit of all democratic movements and struggles, including the historic June 7.
She said the historic June 7 is an unforgettable and significant day in the history of Bangladesh.
“The historic movement for six-point demand, declared by the greatest Bengali of all time Bangabandhu, took an important turn on June 7, 1966,” she said.
The premier said police and the then EPR had opened fire on unarmed people during the movement announced by Awami League to realize the six-point demand, the charter of freedom of Bangalee nation.
Eleven people including Manu Mian, Shafique and Shamsul Haque in Dhaka and Narayanganj had embraced martyrdom on that day, she added
The Prime Minister showed profound respect to the memories of all martyrs of the struggle for independence including those of the June 7.
She vowed to materialise the dream of the martyrs of June 7 turning the country into a middle income one by 2021 and developed one by 2041.