The Historic Six-Point Day will be observed on Thursday (Jun 7), marking the placing of the demand for autonomy of the erstwhile East Pakistan. On this day in 1966, Awami League under the leadership of Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman called for a daylong hartal throughout the East Pakistan pressing for the demand for autonomy to end the exploitation, deprivation, subjugation and tyranny let loose by the central government of Pakistan on the people of the eastern province.
At the call of Awami League, the people of the then East Pakistan joined the Six-Point Movement spontaneously and observed the dawn-to-dusk hartal (general strike) across the province. The law enforcers opened fire on the demonstrators at various places in Dhaka and Narayanganj, which left at least 10 killed, intensifying the movement for the provincial autonomy.
The six points included having a federal structure of government based on the spirit of the Lahore Resolution of 1940, with a parliament elected on the basis of universal adult franchise; central government’s authority only in defence and foreign affairs and vesting all other subjects in the federating units of the state of Pakistan; two freely convertible currencies for the two wings of Pakistan or two separate reserve banks for the two regions of the country; vesting power of taxation and revenue collection in the federating units; two separate accounts for foreign exchange reserves for the two wings of Pakistan; and a separate militia or paramilitary force for East Pakistan as a measure of its security.
The ruling Bangladesh Awami League, its associate bodies, other political parties and socio-cultural organisations have chalked out various programmes to observe the day.
Meanwhile, President Md. Abdul Hamid and Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina have issued separate messages recalling the sacrifices of the heroic Bangalees in the Six-Point Movement.
In his message, the President said: “The historic Six-Point Movement still inspires us to bolster and institutionalise our current democratic system and build a hunger -and poverty-free Bangladesh.”
The Prime Minister, in her message, said the present government, imbued with the spirit of all democratic movements and struggles, including the historic June 7, is committed to protecting people’s democratic rights.