The prime minister recalled the days of the Six-Point Movement in a recorded address to an event, organised by the committee on Bangabandhu’s birth centenary celebrations, to mark the Six-Point Day on Monday.
The Awami League, led by the Father of the Nation, presented the charter in 1966 for the greater autonomy of the then East Pakistan in a milestone in Bangladesh’s struggle for independence that culminated through the 1971 Liberation War.
“The Six-Point Charter actually consisted of one point that was independence. At least we, the family members, knew it. He (Bangabandhu) always told us that Six Points meant one point – independence. Now, we are an independent nation,” Hasina said.
She remembered the 11 martyrs killed in the Six-Point Movement that led to the 1970 general elections. The Awami League won the elections with absolute majority, but the Pakistani rulers refused to hand over power.
After a non-cooperation movement, Bangbandhu called for independence in his historic 7th March speech in 1971 before officially proclaiming independence on Mar 26.
“The Six Points reflected the thoughts he (Bangabandhu) nurtured to change the fate of Bengalis since the creation of Pakistan. And he got the opportunity (to forge the Six Points) when the 1965 India-Pakistan war laid bare the insecurity of the people of this land,” Hasina recalled.
The Pakistani rulers described the Six Points as a bid for separation. “But Bangabandhu actually talked about the rights of the people.”
He was the general secretary of the Awami League when he placed the Six Points in February 1966. The Father of the Nation took the helm of the party at a conference on Mar 19 that year. “There he said that he will never compromise over the Six Points,” the prime minister said.
He later spearheaded a campaign across the country to gain support for the charter in the build up to the movement.
Bangabandhu was also arrested and faced a number of cases during the movement.
Hasina remembered how her mother Bangamata Sheikh Fazilatunnesa Mujib helped organise a general strike on Jun 7, 1966 for Bngabandhu’s freedom and the Six Points by fooling Pakistani intelligence agents.