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Homage to Language Martyrs

Amar bhaiyer roktey rangano Ekushey February Ami ki bhulitey pari' song fill the horizon

Amar bhaiyer roktey rangano Ekushey February Ami ki bhulitey pari' song fill the horizon
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By STAFF REPORTER
21st-Feb-2014       
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Today is Ekushey February [February 21], "Shaheed Dibas". The nation will pay homage to the valiant sons of the soil who made supreme sacrifices to establish rights of the mother tongue in 1952.People belonging to all strata of life walking barefoot placed wreaths at the central Shaheed Minar in Dhaka and elsewhere in the country after a minute past midnight. They were  singing 'amar bhaiyer rokte rangano ekushey February ami ki bhulite pari' showing deep respect to the language martyrs.In observance of the day, the Central Shaheed Minar in the capital city Dhaka has been decorated tastefully with paintings, portraits and patriotic slogans. In Bangladesh, today is a national holiday. The national flag will hoist half-mast to show tribute to the martyrs of the language movement. Also black flags will be hoisted to express mourning.For Bangladesh, it represents the day in 1952 when students Salam, Barkat, Rafiq, Jabbar and others-- were shot and killed by police in Dhaka when demonstrating for recognition of Bangla.On this day in 1952, after the "Principles Committee of the Constituent Assembly of Pakistan" announced that Urdu would be the only state language of East (now Bangladesh) and West Pakistan, a huge wave of protests erupted in Bangladesh.Politicians joined students in their demonstrations and the Pakistani Government responded by violently cracking down on the protesters. After bloody struggle, Pakistan added Bengali as the second official state language after Urdu on February 29th, 1956.President Abdul Hamid and Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina placed wreaths at the Central Shaheed Minar a minute past midnight. They also stood in silence for a few seconds at the monument altar.After them, the Speaker of the Jatiya Sangsad, cabinet members, lawmakers and leaders of the ruling Awami League also placed wreaths at Central Shaheed Minar.On the day, the President and PM gave separate message motioning significance of the event. Besides, BNP Chairperson Khaleda Zia also gave a message marking the day.Leaders of political parties, including the Bangladesh Nationalist Party, will also pay tributes to the martyrs of language movement. The language movement heroes, all diplomats, chiefs of the three services will also place wreaths at the Shaheed Minar. Social, cultural, academic and professional bodies and individuals will also pay homage to the martyrs at the venue. Different organisations will hold programmes marking the day.Meanwhile, tight security has already been enforced around the main altar of the Shaheed Minar as streams of people are set to pour into it to place wreaths there for expressing their heart- felt respect to the 1952 language martyrs.Marking the day, the state-run BTV, Bangladesh Betar and private TV channels will air special programmes while newspapers will bring out special supplements highlighting the significance of the event.The day is also globally recognized as International Mother Language Day and it will be observed today by millions of people all over.Since 2000, the day is observed as International Mother Language Day worldwide also to promote linguistic and cultural diversity and multilingualism.The day [February 21] was proclaimed by the General Conference of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) in November 1999. Its observance was also formally recognized by the United Nations General Assembly in its resolution establishing 2008 as the International Year of Languages.On 16 May 2009 the United Nations General Assembly in its resolution called upon Member States "to promote the preservation and protection of all languages used by peoples of the world". By the same resolution, the General Assembly proclaimed 2008 as the International Year of Languages, to promote unity in diversity and international understanding, through multilingualism and multiculturalism.

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