The Struggle this Time is the Struggle for Our Independence: A Critical Discourse Analysis of Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman’s Historic 7th March Speech

Shakila Nur


Political speeches are not mere linguistic texts encoded in verbal or written form. They also carry covert ideologies which are embedded in a country’s social, political and cultural context. Critical discourse analysis (CDA) can be used to investigate such interaction between discourse (speech/text), its covert ideology and the context. This paper sets out to analyse the historic 7th March, 1971 speech of Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, which has lately been recognised by UNESCO as part of the world’s documentary heritage. Based on the work of Fairclough (1989, 1992, 2001) and Halliday (1978, 1994), a shared, discursive analytical framework within the CDA paradigm was employed to carry out the investigation. The analysis of 94 clauses identified a mutual existence of multiple linguistic and ideological patterns and strategies including the personal pronouns, mood blocks, modality and tense, the reference of the then-socio-political situation as well as the depiction of power relations between the speaker and the audiences. These strategies were intertwined in a wholesome way, thus revealing the ingenuity of Sheikh Mujibur Rahman’s leadership and his rhetoric skill. The study, by analysing the selected speech, attempts to fill the gap in CDA-based linguistic studies of political texts in the Bangladeshi context. The author believes that this attempt, in tandem, will act as a motivation and centre of attention for further scholarly endeavor in this field.


Bangladesh, CDA, Discourse, PD, Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, SFL

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