Home Today's Paper Most Popular Video Gallery Photo Gallery
Subscription Blog Signin Register
Logo
Friday, April 19, 2019 05:18:34 PM
Follow Us On: Facebook Twitter Twitter Twitter Twitter

Ekushey February

By
20th-Feb-2015       
Comments
Share your thought
Post a comment »
Read all () »

Ahmed Rafique :
Ekushey February now also called just Ekushey, 21 February, Shaheed Dibas (Martyrs' Day) and, since 2000, International Mother Language Day. On 21 February 1952, corresponding to 8 Falgun 1359 in the Bangla calendar, a number of students campaigning for the recognition of Bangla as one of the State Languages of Pakistan were killed when police fired upon them.
Even before the creation of Pakistan in 1947, there had been demands that Bangla be made the State Language of Pakistan. In July 1947, Dr Muhammad Shahidullah suggested that, after the departure of the British, Bangla could be made the State Language of the new state. Shortly after the creation of Pakistan, at the first session of the Pakistan Legislative Assembly on 23 February 1948, Dhirendranath Datta proposed that Bangla be made one of the languages of the Assembly along with English and Urdu. The proposal was rejected.
In March 1948, Governor General Mohammed Ali Jinnah arrived in East Pakistan. On 21 March 1948, at a public meeting in Dhaka, he declared that Urdu alone would be the State Language of Pakistan. Subsequently Khwaja Nazimuddin, who had become Prime Minister of Pakistan following the assassination of liaquat Ali Khan, visited East Pakistan in January 1952. On 27 January, at a public meeting at Paltan Maidan, he reiterated Jinnah's pronouncement that Urdu would be the only State Language of Pakistan.
In protest, the Dhaka University National Language Committee called a token strike on January 30. A meeting was held on the day at Amtala, on the University campus, where students pledged to carry on the Language Movement. A decision was also taken to observe a strike in all educational institutions of the province on 4 February. The next day, an all-party meeting was held at the Dhaka Bar Library at which Maulana Abdul Hamid Khan Bhasani presided. At the meeting a 40-member All-Party National Language Action Committee was formed. The meeting supported the strike call on February 4.
Accordingly, a strike was observed in all educational institutions on February 4. A student meeting on the day called for a province-wide hartal on 21 February. The government, on its part, invoked Section 144 on 20 February, banning public meetings, rallies and processions. Opposition politicians were unwilling to get involved in a clash with the government just before a general election. The All-Party National Language Action Committee, which met that night, decided by a majority vote not to violate Section 144.
The student community, however, refused to accept this decision. At a meeting on the morning of 21 February on the campus of the Arts faculty of the University (now Dhaka Medical College and Hospital), the students unanimously agreed to stick to the earlier decision to defy Section 144. After the meeting, they started gathering on the premises of the Medical College hostel. From there they tried to proceed towards the Provincial Assembly where a session of the East Bengal Legislative Assembly was about to begin. The policemen on duty tried to disperse the students by firing blanks. When this failed, the police fired into the crowd. In the firing Abul Barkat, a university student, Rafiq Uddin Ahmed, a student of Debendra College, Manikganj, and Abdul Jabbar, a young farmer from Gaffargaon, were killed. Abdus Salam, a bank employee, was injured in the firing and died in hospital later. At least two others are also believed to have been killed in the firing that day.
The reaction to the police killings was immediate. People began to gather on the premises of Dhaka Medical College Hospital. All over the country, schools and colleges held protest meetings, rallies and processions.
To bring the situation under control, the government enforced a curfew and deployed the army in Dhaka. Defying the curfew, on 22 February, students alongside common people came out on city streets to protest the killings. They participated in a gayebi janaza (funeral prayer held without the dead body) on the Medical College campus.
On the night of 23 February, the students constructed a Shaheed Minar (martyrs' memorial) on the spot where the students had been killed. Three days later, the police demolished the memorial.
Nevertheless, the movement for the recognition of Bangla as a State Language gained momentum. After the resounding victory of the united front in 1954, Bangla was recognised as one of the State Languages of Pakistan at a session of the National Assembly on 9 May 1954.
Till 1971, the Day was observed spontaneously, and served as an occasion to revive the feelings of nationalism and Bengali nationhood. After Liberation, the day became a national holiday and the university of Dhaka took over the maintenance of the Shaheed Minar and the surrounding area and the responsibility of organising the commemoration. Colourful alpana designs are painted on the ground, and Bangla verses and prose passages about Bangla are written on the walls facing the Shaheed Minar.
At one minute past midnight on 21 February, the President of Bangladesh arrives at the Shaheed Minar to pay homage to the language martyrs. He is followed by the Prime Minister, members of the Cabinet, Opposition leader staff of diplomatic missions in Dhaka, political leaders, representatives of various institutions and organisations etc. Throughout the day, people of all ages and from all walks of life visit the Shaheed Minar to pay tribute to those who gave their lives for Bangla. Walking slowly, they sing the mournful notes of the elegy, 'Amar bhaiyer rokte rangano Ekushey February ami ki bhulite pari' (Can I forget 21 February reddened with the blood of my brothers?). Apart from this famous song, many poets have written poems on 21 February. In commemoration of the Day, Bangla Academy holds a month-long book fair and organises literary and cultural events throughout the month.
Special programmes are broadcast and telecast highlighting the importance of the Day. Different cultural organisations also arrange various functions. Newspapers publish special supplements.
Ekushey February played an important role in making Bengalis aware of their cultural and national heritage and ultimately led to the creation of Bangladesh in 1971. Since 2000, 21 February is also being observed as International Mother Language Day in tribute to those who sacrificed their lives for their mother tongue.
-Banglapedia

Tariff
Add Rate

News Archive

Inside The New Nation

Cricket »

Sri Lanka dump Chandimal, bring back Thirimanne for World Cup


AFP, Colombo :Sri Lanka Thursday dumped established stars including former captain Dinesh Chandimal to hand batsman Lahiru Thirimanne and leg-spinner Jeffrey Vandersay a place in their World Cup squad.Chandimal, who was one-day captain until last October, wicketkeeper-batsman Niroshan Dickwella, off-spinner Akila Dananjaya, openers Danushka Gunathilaka and Upul Tharanga were all ...

Cricket »

Senior players need to take the responsibility: Faruk Ahmed


Former chief selector Faruk Ahmed insisted on the performance of the senior players, stating that they need to take the onus if Bangladesh want to do well in the upcoming ICC Cricket World Cup.According to Faruk, the condition should give Bangladesh a confidence, given that they stormed into the semifinal ...

Entertainment »

Mehazabien’s Boishakhi works create viewers’ attention


Sheikh Arif Bulbon :For the last few years, Mehazabien Chowdhury established her strong position in media by virtue of her acting quality and skill. She is now getting positive response for acting in two Boishakhi plays. Afran Nisho was her co-actor in these two plays - Tom & Jerry and ...

International »

Turkish opposition takes control of Istanbul, re-run appeal still pending


Reuters, Istanbul :Turkey's main opposition candidate took office as Istanbul mayor on Wednesday after a stunning victory over President Tayyip Erdogan's AK Party, but the new head of the country's largest city still faces an appeal for the vote to be re-run.The final result of the March 31 local elections ...

Editorial »

Power politics in Egypt


A HUGE majority of Egypt's MPs on April 16 approved constitutional amendments to allow President Abdel-Fattah al-Sisi in power until 2030. The amendments were initially introduced in February, however after lengthy debates and discussions favouring the Egyptian society it was updated earlier this week. "The president's current term shall expire ...

Football »

Iniesta's J-League club Kobe part ways with coach Lillo


AFP, Tokyo :Barcelona legend Andres Iniesta's Vissel Kobe have terminated the contract of manager Juan Manuel Lillo following a poor run of results, the Japanese club said on Wednesday.The 53-year-old former Real Sociedad and Zaragoza boss won just two of six games since taking charge last October as star-studded Vissel ...

International »

US waging 'financial war' against Palestinians


AP, Ramallah, West Bank :The new Palestinian prime minister on Tuesday accused the United States of declaring "financial war" on his people and said an American peace plan purported to be in the works will be "born dead."In his first interview with international media since taking office over the weekend, ...

City »

Various organisations formed a human chain in front of Jatiya Press Club on Wednesday marking the International Krishok Sangram Dibash-2019.


Entertainment »

Priya Bapat to take up a web series


Web Series are surely the in thing nowadays and so many actors, irrespective of their stardom, are being seen in them. Marathi superstar Priya Bapat has also bagged a web series called City Of Dreams. Sharing her experience of being part of the series, she says, “Web series are now ...

Editorial »

Urgent steps needed to check outbreak of diarrhoea


AT the advent of summer this year, the number of diarrhoea patients has already crossed the recent records. International Centre for Diarrhoeal Disease Research, Bangladesh, and the other city hospitals are struggling to tackle the surge in diarrhoea patients. The diarrhoea patients admitted to the ICDDR,B has crossed the number ...

Cricket »

Tearful Taskin vows to make a strong comeback


Fast bowler Taskin Ahmed vowed to make a strong comeback after being snubbed from the 15-member World Cup squad, announced by the Bangladesh Cricket Board (BCB) on Tuesday.Chocked with emotions as tears were rolling down from his cheek Taskin shared his disappointments with media."Its' ok just pray for me," Taskin ...

Editorial »

Save the state-owned jute mills


WORKERS of state-owned jute mills across the country withdrew their 96-hours strike last night after the Bangladesh Jute Mills Corporation (BJMC) agreed to some of their demands. The decision came after a meeting between worker leaders and top BJMC officials on Monday night, following the first day of the second ...

International »

World leaders stunned by Notre-Dame fire, urge rebuilding


AFP, Paris :Global leaders and institutions shared the international shock at seeing Paris's Notre-Dame Cathedral consumed by flames.They stressed the unique and iconic place the monument has in human history and expressed solidarity with France. Pope Francis "is praying for French Catholics and for the people of Paris in face ...

City »

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina visiting a stall at Bangabandhu International Conference Centre after the inauguration of National Health Service Week 2019 at Bangabandhu International Conference Centre yesterday.


Entertainment »

What motivated Priya Bapat to take up a web series?


Web Series are surely the in thing nowadays and so many actors, irrespective of their stardom, are being seen in them. Marathi superstar Priya Bapat has also bagged a web series called City Of Dreams. Sharing her experience of being part of the series, she says, `Web series are now ...

 
Items that you save may be read at any time on your computer, iPad, iPhone or Android devices.
 
Are you new to our website? Do you have already an account at our website?
Create An Account Log in here
Email this news to a friend or like someone
Email:
Write a comment to this news