Home Today's Paper Most Popular Video Gallery Photo Gallery
Subscription Blog Signin Register
Logo
Sunday, March 24, 2019 11:47:04 AM
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

Football »

England, France win big, Portugal held as Euro defense opens


AP, London :Big and slick wins for France and England. Not even a goal for Portugal.Even with Cristiano Ronaldo returning to the Portugal side for the first time since last year's World Cup, the European champions could only begin their title defense with a 0-0 home draw against Ukraine.The goals ...

Sports »

Serena survives scare to advance in Miami


AFP, Miami :Serena Williams survived an "irresponsible" second set lapse on Friday to see off Sweden's Rebecca Peterson 6-3, 1-6, 6-1 in her second-round opener of the WTA and ATP Miami Open."I wasn't really happy with my performance," admitted the 23-time Grand Slam champion, who is playing in just her ...

Entertainment »

I was lucky that it wasn't a dance-off - Alia Bhatt


An Abhishek Varman directorial, Kalank starring Alia Bhatt, Madhuri Dixit, Varun Dhawan, Aditya Roy Kapur, Sonakshi Sinha, and Sanjay Dutt has been making headlines ever since its announcement. It was just yesterday when the makers of the film dropped in the first song, titled Gharore pardesiya, featuring Alia and Madhuri ...

International »

Pope replaces Santiago bishop after abuse cover-up claims


Reuters, Vatican City :Pope Francis has accepted the resignation of Cardinal Ricardo Ezzati, the archbishop of Santiago and the highest ranking member of the Catholic Church in Chile, who has been caught up in the country's sex abuse scandal.A Vatican statement on Saturday said the pope had named Bishop Celestino ...

International »

May makes final push for Brexit deal with new timetable


Prime Minister Theresa May returns to Britain on Friday vowing to make "every effort" to win over MPs opposed to her EU divorce deal, hours after securing a delay to Brexit from European leaders in Brussels.The embattled premier faces daunting odds to persuade recalcitrant British lawmakers to back a plan ...

City »

Gonoforum President Dr. Kamal Hossain speaking at a press conference organised by Gonoforum at the Jatiya Press Club on Saturday demanding safe road.


Editorial »

Modernise the railways and make it corruption-free


BANGLADESH Railway has been showing less importance and interest to recover its grabbed lands though thousands of acres of land are now illegally possessed by a section of influential people and some organisations. It has also no visible plan to use many unused lands across the country too. An initiative ...

Editorial »

Save Halda from dying


DEPARTMENT of Environment has revealed that waste from a housing estate and some factories are polluting the Halda river in Chattogram to the extent that it caused dying of fish. Currently, the pollution of the Halda is severely affecting the livelihood of adjacent people, in particular the fishermen. In June ...

International »

Prince Charles heads to Cuba amid US tensions


AFP, Havana :Britain's Prince Charles and his wife Camilla will make the first royal visit to communist-run Cuba on Sunday at a time when ally Washington is seeking to ramp up sanctions against the island.The 70-year-old prince was asked by the British government to add Cuba to a long-planned tour ...

Football »

US beat Ecuador 1-0 in int’l friendly soccer


AP, Orlando :Gregg Berhalter's vision for the U.S. national team started to unfold as the Americans passed the ball from side to side, played diagonal balls long and short. Possession is his key to success.The style was more pleasing. But the only goal of night was pretty weird.Gyasi Zardes's shot ...

Entertainment »

Homayra Himu wants to give direction


Sheikh Arif Bulbon :Five years ago, popular TV actress Homayra Himu produced a telefilm titled Bhalobashi Othoba Bashi Bhalo. But producing that telefilm she faced financial crisis during that time. She was sufferer for this and later decided not to produce any work. But she is interested to give direction ...

Sports »

Russia's Natalia Zabiiko and Alexander Enbert perform their pairs free skate during the ISU World Figure Skating Championships at Saitama Super Arena in Saitama, north of Tokyo on Thursday.


Football »

Trinidad and Tobago's Aubrey David (left) and Wales' Ryan Hedges battle for the ball during the International Friendly soccer match between Wales and Trinidad and Tobago, at the Racecourse Ground, in Wrexham, Wales on Wednesday.


Entertainment »

Deepika Padukone checks all ticks in list over a week


Bollywood’s leading lady Deepika Padukone has had an eventful last week as the actress unveiled her prestigious Statue of Purpose at Madame Tussauds and graced the Vogue International cover as the Global Talent. Both the events are key and one of the major highlights in the life of the actress. ...

City »

Holi festival celebrated with enthusiasm, fanfare


Thousands of devotees on Thursday celebrated the Holi, a Hindu religious festival of colours, across the country with due religious fervour and much enthusiasm."Marking the festival, a large number of devotees thronged the Dhakeswari National Temple in the morning to offer abir, a pink colored powder, at the foot of ...

 
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