“Dedicate to the cause of the nation”
Prio Deshbashi, my colleagues in the Government of Bangladesh, before my return had declared March 17 as a public holiday on account of my birthday. At that time as you may remember I was a captive in the fascist prison. I wish to thank my colleagues and others who in token of their love for me had made this arrangement.
Now that I am back to my people to live with and work for them both in their hardship and for their glory, I do not think that March 17 should be a closed holiday. On the contrary, because of the hard task ahead, I consider that this day should be a day of dedication for harder work and greater glory.
I have, therefore, decided that in future March 17 shall not be observed as a closed holiday. But the March 17, this year, shall be observed as a public holiday, as a token of our love and admiration for the great Prime Minister of India Sreemati Indira Gandhi who will be in Dacca on a state visit to Bangladesh on Friday (March 17,1972).
On this happy occasion I call upon my countrymen to rededicate themselves to the cause of the nation. I love my people and I know that they pray for me so that I can devote myself fully to the task of building Sonar Bangla – our dream land – where everybody will have food, cloth and shelter.