Bangladesh ready to celebrate Ekushe February | International Mother Language Day

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Spread non-communal spirit of immortal Ekushey: PM
Only one nation has fought for the freedom of the language. This is none other than Bangladeshi. Pakistan wanted to stop talking Bengali of Bangladeshi people. But Bengal fighters did not bow their head in front of Pakistani decision. Bangladesh was known as East Pakistan in that period back in 1952. A lot of people laid down their live to save the respect of mother tongue in 21st February, 1952  . Realizing the sacrifice of people for a particular language, United nation declared 21st February as International mother language day.
The whole nation is ready to celebrate International mother language day tomorrow. As like other years, a huge number of people are expected to be present in Shaheed Minar. Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina today called upon all concerned to spread the non-communal spirit of Immortal Ekushey among the new generation for building a secular Bangladesh.

The Immortal Ekushey February bears the spirit of Bengali nationalism, secularism and non-communalism, she said while distributing the prestigious Ekushey Award-2011 among the recipients at Osmani Memorial Auditorium here.

Ekushey Padak, introduced in memory of the martyrs of the Language Movement of 1952, is a national award of the country.

A total of 13 personalities were honoured with the award
this year for their outstanding contribution in the fields of
arts, culture, literature, language movement and social works.

Presided over by Information and Cultural Affairs Minister
Abul Kalam Azad, the function was also addressed by State
Minister for Cultural Affairs Advocate Promod Mankin. It was
conducted by Cabinet Secretary MA Aziz.

Speaking as the chief guest, Sheikh Hasina said Bangla is
the language of such a nation (the Bangalees), who had sacrificed
huge blood to protect and enhance their own language creating a
rare example in the world history.

She said language and culture of a nation first come under
huge blow in case of destroying the nation. The then Pakistani
ruler first attacked our language in a bid to destroy the
Bangalee nation, she added.

Giving a brief account of the country’s language movement,
the Prime Minister said the entire student community including
the “Tamuddin Majlis” demonstrated huge agitation when Khwaja
Nazimuddin in the then legislative assembly on February 23, 1948
proposed declaring “Urdu” as the state language.

But, after that, “Sarbodalio Rashtrabhasa Sangram Parishad”
(All-Party State Language Action Committee) was formed following
a proposal of Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur
Rahman against the proposal of Khwaja Nazimuddin, she added.

Sheikh Hasina said the student community of the country,
especially the students of Dhaka University, burst into anger and
discontent when Mohmamad Ali Zinnah in a public rally in Dhaka on
March 21, 1948 and subsequently at convocation of Dhaka
University declared that “Urdu and only Urdu shall be the state
language of Pakistan”.

She said Bangabandhu was arrested from Faridpur on September
11 and was released on January 21, 1949. Bangabandhu was arrested
again on April 19 when he was demonstrating for realizing the
right to the Bengali language as well as the demand of class-1V
employees.

The Prime Minister said the repeated arrest of Bangabandhu
by the then Pakistani ruler could not prevent him from waging the
movement for realising the right of Bengali language. He
(Bangabandhu) led movement against the government move to declare
“Urdu” as the state language of entire Pakistan.

“Not only that. Bangabandhu directed his party leaders and
activists to continue the language movement by writing letters
from the jail and the All Party Action Committee announced
“Demand Day” on February 21, 1952 to declare Bangla as state
language as per the directives of Bangabandhu,” she added.

Besides, he (Bangabandhu) with a demand to protect the
dignity of Bengali language started hunger strike on February 14
and continued the strike up to February 27.

The Prime Minister said the language movement was not only a
movement to protect the language, rather it was a movement to
protect Bengali nationalism and self-identity of Bengali nation.

Describing Bengali as a nation with fighting spirit and
courageous one, she said the immortal Ekushey sharpened our
fighting spirit and taught us to protest against any injustice in
society.

Regarding UNESCO’s declaration of February 21 as an
international mother language day, she said her previous
government in 1999 took prompt initiative to earn the UN
recognition that facilitated the rights of mother tongue of all
small ethnic groups in 192 UN countries across the world.

She called upon all to come forward for building a
knowledge- based secular society being imbued with the spirit of
Immortal Ekushey February.

The Prime Minister handed over the awards to the recipients
or their relatives. Each of the recipients was given Taka
1,00,000, a gold medal and a citation.

The 13 recipients are: Language hero Shawkat Ali (posthumous)
for Language Movement, language hero Mosharef Uddin Ahmed
(posthumous) for Language Movement, Ustad Akhter Sadmani
(posthumous) in Arts, Abdul Haque Chowdhury (posthumous) in
Research, Amanul Haque for Language Movement, Baul Karim Shah in
Arts, Jotsna Biswas in Fine Arts, Nurjahan Begum in Journalism,
Md Abul Hashem in Social Welfare, Md Hares Uddin in Social
Welfare, Md Delwar Hossain in Social Welfare, Shaheed Quadri in
Language and Literature, and Abdul Haque in Language and
Literature.

DHAKA, Feb 20 (BSS)
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Dipa Dola

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