Today June 7 is the the historic Six-Point Day, marking the demand for autonomy for erstwhile East Pakistan, now Bangladesh, is being observed across the country in a befitting manner.
On June 7, 1966, Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman launched a massive movement with the focus on the Six-Point Demand, considered the Magna Carta for the self-rule of then East Pakistan’s Bengali population.
Eleven people, including Manu Mian, Shafique and Shamsul Haque, were shot dead by the police and the paramilitary East Pakistan Rifles troops in Dhaka and Narayanganj on June 7, 1966.
They were demonstrating during a general strike called for the release of Sheikh Mujib and other leaders detained for launching the Six-Point Movement against the Pakistani oppression.
Sheikh Mujib announced his six-point political and economic programme in Lahore on February 5, 1966, aimed at attaining autonomy for the eastern wing of Pakistan amid the exploitation and discrimination by the then Pakistani rulers.
The key point of the Six-Point Demand was creation of a constitutional provision for a federation of Pakistan, based on the 1940 Lahore Resolution, in which the federal government would deal with only defense and foreign affairs.
The other demands consisted of an 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 of a separate militia or paramilitary force for East Pakistan.
President Md Abdul Hamid and prime minister Sheikh Hasina on Monday issued separate messagess on the eve of the day, Bangladesh Sangbad Sangtha reported.
The president in his message paid tributes to Sheikh Mujib and others who embraced martyrdom to implement the Six-Point Demand.
Prime minister Sheikh Hasina in her message said that the historic June 7 was an unforgettable and vital day in the history of Bangladesh.
‘The historic movement for the Six-Point Demand, declared by Bangabandhu, the greatest Bengali of all time, produced an important turn on June 7, 1966,’ she said.
She vowed to materialise the dream of the martyrs of June 7 by turning the country into a middle-income one by 2021 and a developed one by 2041.
To mark the day, different socio-political organisations including ruling Awami League, its associate bodies and like-minded socio-cultural organisations have taken elaborate programmes. The Awami League's programmes include hoisting of the national and party flags at 6:30am atop Bangabandhu Bhaban at Dhanmondi and central office in the capital and all unit offices across the country today.
The party and its associated organisation leaders placed floral wreaths at the portrait of the country’s founding president Sheikh Mujib at the Bangabandhu Bhaban at Dhanmondi at 8:00am.
The ruling party will also hold a discussion meeting at the party’s central office at 11:00am, where party president Sheikh Hasina will address virtually.