PM calls for sinking difference with Ekushey spirit

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DHAKA :  Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has called for getting rid of petty difference with the spirit of the Amar Ekushey and for development of the country and upholding democratic values.

“Let us join our hands with the spirit of the immortal Ekushey sinking all petty differences for the development of the country and upholding the democratic values. Let us build a non-communal, hunger-poverty free and happy-prosperous ‘Sonar Bangla’ as dreamt by Father of the Nation,” the prime minister said in a message on the eve of the Martyrs’ Day and the International Mother Language Day.

The premier said that the greatest Ekushey is the symbol of our democratic values, Bangali nationalism, spirit of liberation struggle and secularism.

“Awami League government has relentlessly been working to develop the country being imbued with the spirit of the great Ekushey and the Liberation War,” Sheikh Hasina noted.

She 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.

“I pay my deep homage to the memories of the martyrs. I also pay my deep respect to all language veterans, including the greatest Bangali of all time,
Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, who had led the language movement from the forefront,” the premier said.

Government had taken initiative to make Bangla, spoken by about 25 crore people of the world, as one of the official languages of the United Nations, she added.

“I have already placed the demand before the United Nations General
Assembly (UNGA). We have established International Mother Language Institute to preserve the languages of the world and carry out research on those, the prime minister said.

Referring to the development in the last eight years in various sectors that made Bangladesh a “Role Model” for development in the world, she hopped that her government would turn Bangladesh into a middle-income country by 2021 and a developed one by 2041.

In the message, the prime minister also referred to the history of the language movement. She said, in 1948, State Language Movement Council was constituted comprising Tamaddun Majlish, Student League and other student bodies as per a proposal of Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman.

The council called a general strike on March 11 to realise the demand for recognising Bangla as the state language. Bangabandhu along with a number of student leaders was arrested on the day from in front of the Secretariat. They were released on March 15. Father of the Nation chaired a public meeting at Amtola on the Dhaka University (DU) campus on March 16. The movement spread all over the country.

On September 11, 1948, Bangabandhu was arrested from Faridpur and released on January 21, 1949. He was again detained on April 19 and released at the end of July. On October 14, Bangabandhu was again arrested from Dhaka and confined to jail. His undaunted inspiration from inside the jail provided new impetus to the people’s movement. In continuation of the movement, the language martyrs sacrificed their precious lives on February 21, 1952 while breaking Section 144 imposed by the rulers.

“The resonance of the pride of immortal Ekushey is now resounded in the hearts of the people of 193 countries surpassing the boundary of Bangladesh,” Sheikh Hasina said.

She said the day has been reached to a new height when the UNESCO gave recognition to February 21 as the “International Mother Language Day” on November 17, 1999 at the initiative of the then Awami League government and with the help of some expatriate Bangladeshis, including Salam and Rafiq. The International Mother Language Day is now a source of inspiration to all people of the world in establishing the truth and justice.

The premier extended her good wishes to the Bangla-speaking people and people of all languages and cultures across the world on the occasion of the glorious Martyrs’ Day and International Mother Language Day.

She prayed to the Almighty Allah for salvation of the departed souls of the Language Martyrs.

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