Tuesday, March 20, 2018 | ePaper
Amar Ekushey today
Nation pays homage to language heroes
M M Jasim :
The nation will observe the Language Martyrs and the International Mother Language Day today (February 21), commemorating the language heroes of 1952.
They will offer a moment of silence, bowing their heads, to remember the sacrifices of those brave hearts who sacrificed their life for Bangla Language.
On this day in 1952, Barkat, Salam, Rafiq, Shafiur and Jabbar made their sublime sacrifice in support of making Bangla as a state language of the then Pakistan. The Language Movement inspired the people to fight against injustice and economic exploitation of a region by another.
In recognition of the Language Movement in Bangladesh, UNESCO has declared 21st February International Mother Language Day to promote linguistic and cultural diversity in the UN member-states.
The declaration came on November 17, 1999. A total of 188 countries across the world observed the day with the commitment to promote linguistic diversity and multilingual education and raise awareness of cultural traditions based on understanding, tolerance and dialogue.
Different political and cultural organisations have chalked out programmes to observe the day across the country.Â Â
Bangla Academy, Bangladesh Shilpakala Academy, Nazrul Institute, Jatiya Grantha Kendra, National Museum, International Mother Language Institute and Shishu Academy have also taken special progarmmes on the day.
On the day, the national flag will fly half-mast in all educational institutions, government, semi-government and autonomous offices and private buildings across the country.
In line with the national programmes, the day would be observed by all educational institutions, city corporations, pourasabhas, the district and the upazila administrations.
The Bangladeshi missions abroad will also observe the day in a befitting manner. In observance of the day in a befitting manner, the Central Shaheed Minar premises has been redecorated with paintings, graffiti, buntings and selected verses on the mother language as the nation awaits the clock to strike one-minute past zero hours (midnight) yesterday to start paying homage to the martyrs of the great Language Movement. Tight security has already been enforced around the main altar of the Shaheed Minar and the Azimpur graveyard of the language martyrs as streams of people are set to pour into these places to lay wreaths to express their heart-felt respect to the language martyrs.
Meanwhile, President Abdul Hamid and Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina issued separate messages on the eve of the day, paying glowing tributes to the martyrs of the historic Language Movement of 1952.
In his message President Md Abdul Hamid on Tuesday greeted people of all languages across the globe on the occasion of Shaheed Day (Language Martyrs Day) and the International Mother Language Day 2018, to be observed today with profound respect to the martyrs of the Language Movement of 1952.
On the eve of the day, the President, in a message, extended his 'warm congratulations and sincere felicitations' to the people of all languages across the world along with the Bangla-speaking people.
He recalled with deep reverence all language martyrs, including Shaheed Salam, Barkat, Rafiq, Jabbar, Shafiur, and all language heroes for their farsightedness, unmatched valour, bravery, able organizing capacity and rapid steps in this regard that facilitated the Language Movement to reach its ultimate culmination on February 21, 1952.
Terming the great Language Movement as a historic and significant event in the national history, Abdul Hamid said, "This movement aimed at establishing the right of our mother tongue as well as protecting self-entity, and culture and heritage".
The spirit of Amar Ekushey is now the source of incessant inspiration for the protection and preservation of own languages and culture of multilingual people of the world, the President said, adding, "Keeping the inspiration for Ekushey in mind, let the people of multilingual be united, let the almost defunct languages of the world be revived in their respective communities and let the globe be coloured with diverse languages and cultures".
In her message, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on Tuesday called for getting rid of all differences with the spirit of the 'Amar Ekushey' for sustaining the country's development and democratic values.
Â "Let us work together with the spirit of the immortal Ekushey keeping aside all differences for the development of the country upholding the democratic values and build a non-communal, hunger poverty-free and happy-prosperous Sonar Bangladesh as dreamt by the Father of the Nation," the Prime Minister said in a message on the eve of the Martyrs' Day and the International Mother Language Day.
She also said the greatest Ekushey is the symbol of grief, strength and glory in the life of every Bangali. On this day in 1952, many valiant sons of the soil, including Rafiq, Shafique, Salam, Jabbar and Barkat sacrificed their lives for protecting the dignity of the mother tongue.
Â "The resonance of the pride of Amar Ekushey is now resounded in the hearts of the people of 193 countries surpassing the boundary of Bangladesh," Sheikh Hasina said, adding that the day has reached a new height when the UNESCO gave recognised to the 21 February as the International Mother Language Day on 17 November 1999, at the initiative of the then Awami League government and with the help of some expatriate Bangladeshis, including Salam and Rafiq.
Terming the greatest Ekushey as the symbol of the nation's democratic values, Bangali nationalism, spirit of liberation struggle and secularism, the Prime Minister said Awami League government has been working to develop the country being imbued with the spirit of the great Ekushey and liberation war.
Meanwhile, marking the day, ruling Awami League (AL) has taken a two-day programme that includes placing of wreaths at the central Shaheed Minar at one-minute past zero hours tonight, hoisting half-mast the national and party flags at its offices across the country and Bangabandhu Bhaban, wearing black badges and hoisting of black flag in the morning as a mark of respect to the Language Movement martyrs. The party will hold a discussion meeting at the Krishibid Institution Bangladesh (KIB) auditorium at 3 pm in the city on February 22. Prime Minister and AL President Sheikh Hasina will chair the discussion. Authorities of Dhaka University (DU) have taken a series of programmes to observe the Amar Ekushey.
The programmes include placing wreaths at the Central Shaheed Minar, bringing out Provat Feri (Dawn March) led by DU Vice-Chancellor Dr Md Akhtaruzzaman at 6: 30 am from the foot of Aparajeya Bangla and offering Fateha at Azimpur Graveyard.
DU will also arrange special prayers for the martyrs at all the masques of the campus including DU Central Mosque Masjidul Jamia after Zohr prayer.
Islamic Foundation (IF) will hold Quran Khwani, doa and Milad Mahfil at Azimpur graveyard mosque in the city at 7.30 am tomorrow seeking salvation of the departed souls of the martyrs of the Language Movement. Later, another Quran Khwani, doa and Milad Mahfil will be held at the Baitul Mukarram National Mosque. Senior Pesh Imam of the mosque Hafez Moulana Muhammad Mizanur Rahman will conduct the milad and munajat.