The nation on Monday paid homage to the martyrs of the 1952 Language Movement, marking ‘Amar Ekushey’ and International Mother Language Day.
The great Language Movement, a significant event in the nation’s history, was aimed at establishing the right of the mother tongue as well as protecting self-entity, and culture and heritage.
President Abdul Hamid and Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina paid tribute to the martyrs of the Language Movement at the start of day.
On behalf of the president, his Military Secretary Major General SM Salahuddin Islam placed a wreath at the Central Shaheed Minar at one minute past midnight.
On behalf of the prime minister, her Military Secretary Major General Naquib Ahmed Chowdhury placed a wreath at the Central Shahid Minar in Dhaka at one minute past midnight.
President Abdul Hamid and Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina paid rich tribute to the language heroes.
Sheikh Hasina also released a special commemorative postage stamp, an opening day cover and a data card marking 70 years of Amar Ekushey and Golden Jubilee of observing Amar Ekushey in the independent Bangladesh.
Dhaka University Vice-Chancellor Prof Dr Akhtaruzzaman paid tributes at the Central Shaheed Minar in the DU campus in the morning.
Walking barefoot to the Central Shaheed Minar with wreaths and flowers singing ‘Amar bhaiyer rakte rangano Ekushey February’, people from all walks of life paid rich tributes to the heroes of the Language Movement who laid down their lives for achieving the recognition of Bangla as the state language of erstwhile Pakistan.
However, the cleaners of Dhaka South City Corporation (DNCC) went to clean the Shaheed Minar area removing the flowers in the afternoon.
On February 21, 1952, students and the common people in Dhaka took to the streets in protest against the then Pakistani government’s denial of Bangla as the national language and imposition of Urdu as the only official language of Pakistan.
Salam, Barkat, Rafiq, Jabbar and a few other brave sons of the soil were killed in police firings on this day in 1952 when students came out in a procession from the Dhaka University campus breaching section 144 to press home their demand for the recognition of Bangla as a state language of then Pakistan.
Being a source of ceaseless inspiration, ‘Amar Ekushey’ inspired and encouraged the nation to a great extent to achieve the right to self-determination and struggle for freedom and the Liberation War.
With the bloodshed passage of Language Movement, the nation got the recognition of Bangla as its mother tongue and attained its long-cherished independence under the charismatic leadership of Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman in 1971.
The day is being observed across the world as Unesco recognised Ekushey February as the International Mother Language Day on November 17, 1999.
The national flag will fly half-mast on all major buildings of the university. Black flags will also be hoisted.
Cultural programmes all around
Meanwhile, cultural organisations observed the day with various programmes, commemorating the Language Movement martyrs.
Organisations including the Bangladesh Shilpakala Academy, Liberation War Museum, Chhayanaut, and others organised special programmes throughout the day, while government and private television channels, radio stations and other cultural units also organised special programmes on their respective traditional and online platforms.
The Liberation War Museum organised a cultural programme at its auditorium at 4pm, featuring a special lecture by Professor Mesbah Kamal.
At the event, recitations were presented by indigenous artists representing different indigenous communities living in the country, and the programme also featured song performances by the Garo Cultural Academy and dance recitations by indigenous dance troupe Colors of Hill.
Shilpakala Academy organised a seminar and cultural programme – “Bishwer Shob Desher Matrivasha Rokkha Korbe Bangladesh” – at its National Theater Hall at 6:30pm, featuring participation from different nationals around the world.
Chhayanaut, the country’s renowned cultural institution, will broadcast a special programme – “Fagun Masher Agun” – on Facebook and YouTube at 8pm, featuring songs, recitations and a special documentary presentation.
Dhaka University arranged the traditionally significant ‘Probhat Feri’ (Morning Procession) rally maintaining the safety protocols considering the covid situation, led by DU Vice-Chancellor Prof Dr Akhtaruzzaman at 6 o’clock.
Meanwhile, Amar Ekushey has been celebrated with various programmes, including placing flowers in the Shaheed Minar, in Faridpur, Kishoreganj, Cumilla, Rajshahi, Chattogram, Khulna, Bagerhat, Narail and other districts.
Besides, a get-together of the people of two Bangla, Bangladesh and West Bengal, was held at Benapole International Checkpost Nomansland area.
Source: United News of Bnagladesh