Today is International Mother Language Day.
The 2020 International Mother Language Day theme is “Languages without Borders”. The theme focuses on cross-border languages and helps to preserve indigenous heritage.
The Bangladeshi people around the world and the Nation itself is set to observe ‘Amar Ekushey’, the Language Martyrs’ Day (Shaheed Day) and the International Mother Language Day on Friday, marking the supreme of the sacrifice of the language heroes for upholding the right to speak mother tongue Bangla.
The day will also be observed around the world as the UNESCO recognized the Ekushey February as the International Mother Language Day on November 17, 1999.
People from all walks of life will pay glowing tributes to the memories of language movement martyrs, the valiant sons of the soil who made supreme sacrifices to establish the rights of the mother tongue, Bangla, in 1952in a befitting manner.
On February 21 in 1952, Salam, Rafique, Shafique, Jabbar, and Barkat embraced martyrdom in police firing in front of the Dhaka Medical College and Hospital (DMCH) as they took to the street to intensify the campaign to establish Bangla as the state language of the then Pakistan, sowing the seeds of subsequent movements for the country’s independence.
They were killed as police opened fire on students, demonstrating under the All-Party Students Action Committee against conspiracies of Pakistani rulers to declare “Urdu” as the only state language.
The movement for Bangla, however, did not stop and the Pakistan government on February 29, 1956, was compelled to recognize Bangla as one of the state languages besides Urdu.
The decision, however, could not stop the movement against repression and misrule of the Pakistani government and subsequently led to the War of Independence and ultimately the emergence of Bangladesh.