Thursday, May 23, 2019 | ePaper

My brothers’ blood spattered 21 February

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Literature Desk :
amar Bhaier Rokte Rangano (My brothers' blood Spattered) is a Bengali song written by Abdul Gaffar Choudhury to mark the Bengali Language Movement in 1952 East Pakistan. It was first published anonymously in the last page of a newspaper with the headline Ekusher Gaan (the 21st’s song), but was later published in Ekushey’s February edition.
The song was initially written as a poem at the bedside of an injured language movement activist who was shot by the Pakistani military police. The Cultural Secretary of the Jubo League gave the poem to Abdul Latif to put to a tune, which Latif Atikul Islam first sang. The students of Dhaka College also sang the song when they attempted to build a Shaheed Minar on their College premises, getting them expelled from the College. Altaf Mahmud, a renowned composer and a martyr of the Bangladesh Liberation War, recomposed the song using Abdul Latif’s version, which is now a quasi-official tune.
The song is often recognized as the most influential song of the Language Movement, reminding numerous Bangladeshis about the conflicts of 1952. Every 21 February sees people from all parts of the Bangladesh heading to the Shaheed Minar in the 'Probhat Feri,' a barefoot march to the monument, paying homage to those killed in the Language Movement demonstrations by singing this song. It is regarded by the listeners of BBC Bengali Service as the third best song in Bengali. The English translation below was rendered by Kabir Chowdhury.
My brothers’ blood spattered 21 February
Can I forget the twenty-first of February?
incarnadined by the love of my brother?
The twenty-first of February, built by the tears
of a hundred mothers robbed of their sons,
Can I ever forget it?
Wake up all serpents,
wake up all summer thunder-storms,
let the whole world rise up
in anger and protest against the massacre of innocent children.
They tried to crush the demand of the people
by murdering the golden sons of the land.
Can they get away with it
at this hour when the times are poised
for a radical change?
No, no, no, no,
In the history reddened by blood
the final verdict has been given already
by the twenty-first of February.
It was a smooth and pleasant night,
with the winter gone nearly
and the moon smiling in the blue sky
and lovely fragrant flowers blossoming on the roadside,
and all of a sudden rose a storm,
fierce like a wild horde of savage beasts.
Even in the darkness we know who those beasts were.
On them we shower the bitterest hatred
of all mothers brothers and sisters.
They fired at the soul of this land,
They tried to silence the demand of the people,
They kicked at the bosom of Bengal.
They did not belong to this country.
They wanted to sell away her good fortune.
They robbed the people of food, clothing and peace.
On them we shower our bitterest hatred.
Wake up today, the twenty-first of February.
do wake you, please.
Our heroic boys and girls still languish in the prisons of the tyrant.
The souls of my martyred brothers still cry.
But today everywhere the somnolent strength
of the people have begun to stir
and we shall set February ablaze
by the flame of our fierce anger.
How can I ever forget the twenty-first of February?

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