By Mizan Rahman/Dhaka
Bangladesh paid rich tributes to the martyrs of the 1952 historic Language Movement with the clock striking 00.01am yesterday marking ‘Amar Ekushey’ (Immortal Ekushey February), the Language Martyrs Day and International Mother Language Day.
The great Language Movement, a significant event in the nation’s history, was aimed at establishing the right of the mother tongue as well as protecting self-entity, and culture and heritage.
President Abdul Hamid and Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina led the nation in paying the homage by placing wreaths at the Central Shaheed Minar at one minute past midnight.
On February 21, 1952, students and the common people in Dhaka took to streets in protest against the then government’s denial of Bangla as the national language and imposition of Urdu as the only official language.
Salam, Barkat, Rafiq, Jabbar and other language movement leaders were killed in police firings on this day in 1952 when students came out in a procession from the Dhaka University campus breaching section 144 to press home their demand for the recognition of Bangla as a state language of then East Pakistan.
Being a source of ceaseless inspiration, Amar Ekushey (Immortal Shaheed Day) inspired and encouraged the nation to a great extent to achieve the right to self-determination and struggle for freedom and the Liberation War.
With the passages of Language Movement, the nation got the recognition of Bangla as its mother tongue and attained its long cherished independence in 1971.
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