Amar Ekushey observed with due respect

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DHAKA : The “Amar Ekushey and International Mother Language Day” was observed across the country today amid paying glowing tributes to the Language Movement martyrs.

President Abdul Hamid, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, Speaker Dr Shirin Sharmin Chaudhury and Deputy Speaker Advocate Fazley Rabbia Miah placed wreaths at the Central Shaheed Minar one minute past the zero hour amid tight security to pay homage to the Language Movement heroes.

President Abdul Hamid and Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina proceeded to the altar of the Central Shaheed Minar together in slow pace just one minute past twelve as the immortal song on Amar Ekushey — “Amar Bhaiyer Rakte Rangano Ekushey February” — was playing.

The president first laid the wreath at the Central Shaheed Minar. Just after a while, the prime minister placed the wreath there.

They stood in solemn silence for some time as a mark of profound respect to the memories of the Language heroes who made their supreme sacrifices in the 1952 Language Movement to establish the Bangla-speaking people’s right of their mother tongue that subsequently gained respect of the people of all languages across the world.

Later, Sheikh Hasina again placed wreath along with the Awami League leaders there as the president of Bangladesh Awami league (AL).

Members of the cabinet, advisers to the prime minister, members of parliament (MPs), senior Awami League leaders, were also present there.

Later, leader of the opposition in parliament Begum Raushan Ershad, Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP) led by its Chairperson Begum Khaleda Zia also placed wreath there.

Mayors of Dhaka South City Corporation (DSCC) and Dhaka North City Corporation (DNCC ) respectively Syed Khokon and Annisul Huq also laid wreaths at the Shaheed Minar.

Leaders of the Awami League -led 14-party combine, Workers Party Jatiya Samajtantrik Dal (JSD), Communist Party of Bangladesh (CPB), Bangladesher Samajtantrik Dal (BSD), Bangladesh Samajtantrik Dal (BSD), Dilip Barua of Bangladesher Samyabadi Dal (Marksbadi-Leninbadi), Attorney General Mahbubey Alam, members of diplomatic corps, chiefs of the three services, and high military and civil officials, foreign diplomats, Sectors Commanders Forum (SCF), language veterans and Dhaka University Vice-Chancellor Professor AAMS Arefin Siddique placed wreaths at the Shaheed Minar.

Besides, thousands of barefooted people from all walks of life placed wreaths at the Central Shaheed Minar to pay tributes to the Language Movement martyrs. They gathered near the Central Shaheed Minar before the president and prime minister arrived at the venue mid night.

Different political, socio-cultural bodies placed wreaths at the Shaheed Minar after the departure of the president and the prime minister in the early hours of today. The organizations which placed wreaths at the Shaheed Minar included Dhaka University Teachers’ Association (DUTA), Gano Forum, Awami Juba League, Swechchasebak League, Mohila Awami League, Juba Mohila League, Bangla Academy, Jatiya Press Club, Bangladesh Federal Union of Journalists (BFUJ), led by its president Manjurul Ahsan Bulbul and secretary general Omar Faruk, Dhaka Union of Journalists (DUJ), led by president Shaban Mahmud and general secretary Sohel Haidar Chowdhury,

Dhaka Reporters Unity (DRU), led by its president Shakhawat Hossain Badsha and general secretary Mursalin Nomani, Dhaka-based Patuakhali Journalist Forum (PJF), led its president Hasan Arefin and general secretary M Sahidul Islam Rana, Dhaka University Journalists Association (DUJA), Youth Journalists Forum, Muktijoddha Foundation, led by its president Principal Gazi Delwar Hossain and Bangabandhu Jatiya Peshajibi League.

Besides, Shilpakala Academy, Udichi Shilpa Gousthi, Kendrio Khelaghar, Amra Muktijoddhar Sontan, Bangladesh Chhatra League (BCL), Bangladesh Chhatra Union, Chhatra Front, Chhatra Federation, Bangabandhu Sangskritik Jote, Ganotantri Party, Shahbag Ganojagaron Manch, University Grants Commission of Bangladesh (UGC), Bangladesh University of Professionals (BUF), Jahangirnagar University (JU), Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujib Medical University (BSMMU),

Institution of Diploma Engineers, Bangladesh Red Crescent Society (BRCS), Swadhinata Shikkhak Parishad, Bangladesh Open University (BOU), Bangladesh Online Activist Forum (BOAF), among others, also paid rich tribute to the language movement heroes by placing wreaths at the altar of the central Shaheed Minar since 12 midnight to the whole day.

With bare footed and wearing black badges, they paid their homage to language movement heroes on the day.

They were singing the first four lines of the immortal song “Amar Bhayer Rakte Rangano Ekushey February….Ami Ki Bhulitey Paari” while scores of mikes were replaying the same spreading an emotional touch in and around Shaheed Minar area.

Bangladesh Television, Bangladesh Betar and private TV channels aired live the midnight Ekushey ceremony while cultural personalities added extra flavour by reciting poems on immortal Ekushey February.

In observance of the day, the Central Shaheed Minar premises were tastefully redecorated with paintings, graffiti, buntings and selected verses on the mother language as the nation paid homage to the martyrs of the great Language Movement when clock struck one-minute past zero hours (midnight) last night.

Tight security was enforced around the main altar of the Shaheed Minar and the Azimpur graveyard of the language martyrs as streams of people were set to pour into these places to lay wreaths to express their heart-felt respect to the 1952 language martyrs.

The Amar Ekushey and International Mother Language Day was also observed in all divisional, district headquarters and at grassroots across the country amid holding different programmes.

The programmes included placing floral of wreaths at the altar of the Shaheed Minar, Provat Ferry (mourning procession), discussion, recitation programme and cultural function.

Our Correspondents report: Amar Ekushey and International Mother Language Day was observed in Chittagong, Khulna, Rajshahi, Sylhet, Barisal, Comilla, Rangpur, Mymensingh, Narayanganj, Chapainawabganj, Gazipur, Manikganj, Khagrachhari, Kurigram, Sirajganj, Kishoreganj, Jhenaidah, Meherpur, Chuadanga, Gaibandha, Brahmanbaria, Habiganj, Rangpur, Dinajpur, Rangamati, Panchagarh, Netrakona and other parts of the country with various programmes.

The Amar Ekushey and International Mother Language Day was also observed in all Bangladesh missions in abroad with due respect.

On this day in 1952, students and people from all strata of the society took to the streets in Dhaka to protest the then Pakistan government’s refusal to recognize Bangla as one of the state languages and imposition of Urdu as the only official language of Pakistan. Salam, Barkat, Rafiq, Shafiur, Jabbar and some other brave sons of the soil made their supreme sacrifices their lives on this day to establish their mother tongue Bangla as the state language.

The Language Movement is indeed the most important turning point in the history of Bengalee as its spirit led to the Independence of Bangladesh through a bloody nine-month war in 1971 under the farsighted and charismatic leadership of Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman.

The day is also being observed as the International Mother Language Day declared by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO).

On November 17, 1999, the UNESCO declared February 21 as the International Mother Language Day.

Countries across the globe have been observing the day since then to promote linguistic diversity and multilingual education and raise awareness of cultural traditions based on understanding, tolerance and dialogue.

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