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Nation pays deep homage to language martyrs

Nation pays deep homage to language martyrs

Staff Correspondent

Bangladesh has solemnly observed 'Amar Ekushey', paying homage to the valiant martyrs of the 1952 Language Movement, a pivotal event in the nation's history that championed the recognition of Bangla as a state language.

This day, also known as International Mother Language Day, underscores the country's commitment to linguistic and cultural preservation.

In a symbolic gesture of respect, President Mohammed Shahabuddin and Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina led the nation in tribute, laying floral wreaths at the Central Shahid Minar right after midnight.

The Prime Minister, arriving first, and shortly after, the President, were greeted by Dhaka University's vice-chancellor, marking a moment of unity and reverence under the echoes of the immortal song 'Amar Bhaier Rakte Rangano Ekushey February'.

The ceremony attracted ministers, diplomats, military chiefs, and citizens, all paying their respects to the heroes who sacrificed their lives for linguistic freedom.

People from various walks of life, in a poignant display of solidarity, walked barefoot to the monument, offering flowers while singing the movement's anthem, reflecting the deep-rooted significance of the day.

The events of February 21, 1952, when students and citizens of Dhaka protested against Urdu's imposition as the sole official language, mark a critical juncture in Bangladesh's struggle for self-determination. The brutal police response resulted in the deaths of several protestors, including Salam, Barkat, Rafiq, and Jabbar, galvanizing the nation towards eventual independence in 1971 under the leadership of Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman.

UNESCO's recognition of Ekushey February as International Mother Language Day in 1999 further elevated its global significance, promoting linguistic diversity and cultural heritage worldwide.

On this day, the national flag is flown at half-mast, and black flags are hoisted across major buildings, with Bangladesh missions abroad also taking part in the observances.

Various political, social, cultural, and professional organizations have organized seminars and cultural functions to observe the day's essence.

Both President Shahabuddin and Prime Minister Hasina released messages emphasizing the importance of linguistic diversity and cultural respect, aligning with the spirit of Amar Ekushey.

Curtain raises for Sammilita Sangskritik Jote's Amar Ekushey 2024 cultural tribute

As the nation reflects on its historical journey, the messages from the President and Prime Minister call for a reinvigorated commitment to preserving the Bengali language and culture, fostering mutual respect among diverse linguistic and cultural groups. This day's observance through special media programs, educational seminars, and cultural events highlights Bangladesh's enduring legacy of linguistic pride and cultural identity.

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