The nation on Thursday observed Amar Ekushey and the International Mother Language Day in a befitting manner, paying rich tributes to the language martyrs.
People from all walks of life placed floral wreaths at the Central Shaheed Minar in the capital and elsewhere in the country, recalling the supreme sacrifice of the language heroes, who laid down their lives for the mother tongue ‘Bangla’ in 1952.
Different socio-political organisations chalked out various programmes to mark the day. The day is observed as a national holiday and recongnised as Shaheed Dibosh.
The day is also being observed in 192 other countries across the world as the International Mother Language Day, declared by the UNESCO on November 17, 1999.
Singing Abdul Gaffar Choudhury’s magnificent song ‘Amar Bhaier Rokte Rangano Ekushey February’ (My Brothers’Blood Spattered February 21), people from all strata swarmed at the Central Shaheed Minar to pay their deep respects to the language martyrs.
As the clock struck one minute-past zero hour, President Abdul Hamid and Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina placed wreaths at the Central Shaheed Minar.
They stood in solemn silence for some time as a mark of profound respect to the memories of supreme sacrifice of the language heroes.
Jatiya Sangsad Speaker, chiefs of three services, Dhaka city mayors, Police and Rab chiefs, the ambassadors and high commissioners of different countries and the heads of international organisations placed wreaths at Shaheed Minar.
Afterwards, DU teachers and staff, led by DU Vice-Chancellor (VC) Prof Akhtaruzzaman, Dhaka University Teacher’s Association (DUTA), and the members of Dhaka University Journalists’ Association placed wreaths at Shaheed Minar in the capital.
Different political parties, students’ bodies and socio-political organisations also paid tributes there.
Salam, Barkat, Rafique, Shafiur, Jabbar and some other brave sons of this motherland, embraced martyrdom when police opened fire on the procession in front of the Dhaka Medical College and Hospital (DMCH). Later, the Pakistan government on February 29, 1956 was compelled to recognise Bangla as one of the state languages of Pakistan besides Urdu.
The District administrations, different socio-cultural organisations and all the educational institutions chalked out different programmes to mark the International Mother Language Day.
The programmes include placing wreaths at Shaheed Minar, hoisting national flags at half-mast atop all public and private buildings, Dawn March (probhat feri), discussion, and cultural and literary function.
In the early morning, the Dhaka University family, led by its VC Prof Akhtaruzzaman, brought out a dawn march from the Aparajeya Bangla premises.
After offering fateha to the martyrs of the historic Language Movement at capital’s Azaimpur Graveyard, the procession marched towards Central Shaheed Minar to place floral garlands.
Apart from the Banglaees, foreign nationals also came to Shaheed Minar with flowers to show their respects to the language heroes.
“These people who sacrificed their lives for their language set an extraordinary example for Bangladesh as well as the people of other countries,” said Iyad Alam of Switzerland.
Holding the spirit of the Language Martyrs’ Day in hearts, the people across the country showed their deep respect to the language heroes who sacrificed their lives for achieving the recognition of Bangla as the state language of erstwhile Pakistan.
Special prayers were also offered for the martyrs at the mosques and other religious places across the country.