Bangla Academy paid tributes to the martyrs of the Language Movement, marking ‘Amar Ekushey’, the Language Martyrs’ Day and International Mother Language Day, on Wednesday.
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.
On this very day in 1952, many youths sacrificed their lives to establish the right of Bangla as a state language in then Pakistan.
Some special events were organised as part of the month-long Amar Ekushey Book Fair, paying rich tributes to the Language Movement heroes. The book fair which usually runs from 3 pm to 8:30 pm except for holidays opened at 8 am today.
A Bangla Academy team, led by its Director General Shamsuzzaman Khan, placed wreaths at the Central Shaheed Minar in the early hours.
A self-composed poetry recitation on Amar Ekushey was held at 7:30 am at the main stage on the Bangla Academy premises while poet Kamal Chowdhury presided over the event.
A special event ‘Amar Ekushey Speech’ was held at the main stage in the afternoon where eminent professor and literary critic Prof Serajul Islam Choudhury presented the keynote speech.
The lecture focused on setting the goals of Amar Ekushey and means of reaching the goals.
Bangla Academy Director General Shamsuzzaman Khan delivered the welcome speech with its President Prof Anisuzzaman in the chair.
On February 21, 1952, Salam, Barkat, Shafiur, Rafiq, Jabbar and others, mostly students, laid down their lives to establish Bangla as one of the state languages of then Pakistan. Since then, the day has been being observed as the Language Martyrs’ Day.
In November 1999, Unesco declared February 21 as the International Mother Language Day.
The day is being observed from February 21, 2000 throughout the world each year to commemorate the martyrs who sacrificed their lives on this day Dhaka in 1952.unb