International Mother Language Day was celebrated in Agartala on Wednesday through various programmes along with the whole world.
At the Bangladesh Assistant High Commission Office here hundreds of students, teachers, poets, officials from India and Bangladesh gathered and paid floral tribute in the temporary memorial of the language martyrs of 1952 who scarified their lives in the language movement of East Pakistan that ultimately gave birth to a new nation – Bangladesh.
The national flag of Bangladesh was flown half mast to mourn the death of those sacrificed their lives for the demand of recognizing Bengali as the official language in East Pakistan where the ruling government tried to forcefully impose Urdu on the Bengali speaking population.
Sekhawat Hussain, Bangladesh Assistant High Commissioner Office, Agartala said, “On February 21 of 1952, students and common people of Bangladesh (then East Pakistan) came out to protest on the streets defying 144 CRPC implemented by the Pakistan government and imposition of Urdu and hence the security forces indiscriminately sprayed bullet on them. There Salam, Juber, Rafique and Jabbar and many others died. Later the Pakistan government expressed regret for the incident and was compelled to declare Bengali as official language.”
He also recalled the language martyrs of Bangladesh, Assam and Tripura who sacrificed their lives for the cause of their mother tongue.
The day, February 21, represents the date in 1952 when students from East Pakistan (now Bangladesh) demonstrating for recognition of their language, Bangla, as one of the two national languages of the then Pakistan, were shot and killed by police in Dhaka, the capital of what is now Bangladesh.
A programme was also held in the Rabindra Shatabarshiki Bhavan premises where Tripura’s Finance Minister Bhanulal Saha along with other dignitaries recalled the sacrifice of the 1952 language martyrs.
International Mother Tongue Day, announced by UNESCO Nov 17, 1999, has been observed February 21 every year worldwide to promote awareness of linguistic and cultural diversity and multilingualism.