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** Excessive fuel price hike causing terrible hardship yet govt admits no regret ** Bangladesh received $732m loan from IMF as balance-of-payment aid for Covid ** A group of students holds a sit-in programme by tying black clothes over their faces in front of the Petrobangla building at Karwan Bazar on Wednesday to protest against the fuel price hike and demand the resignation of Bangladesh Petroleum Corporation (BPC) Chairman ABM Azad. NN photo ** ‘Hike in fuel price could have been avoided’ ** Finance minister warns on BRI loans from China ** The major rivers in Barishal division flow over the danger level that causes inundation in most of the areas of Barishal city. The photo was taken from Vola Kheyaghat area of Tetulia River on Wednesday. NN photo ** BD did not ask Swiss banks for its citizens' deposited money : Swiss envoy ** Dollar soars to record Tk 119 in kerb market ** Dysfunctional referral system creates anarchy in medical services ** Health ministry's TC law strengthening initiatives welcomed ** Forget western sanctions on Myanmar, instead, think of an emergency govt to save us from impending catastrophe ** Young man set his motorcycle on fire after getting angry with traffic sergeant ** Vehicles get stuck on Dhaka-Chattogram Highway at Gouripur, Daudkandi Upazila in Cumilla on Monday morning as a long tailback was created on the road due to heavy pressure of vehicles, causing immense sufferings to the commuters. NN photo ** Dollar rate hits all time high at Tk 115 in kerb mkt ** RMG sector loses bargaining power ** US Senate clears landmark climate change bill ** Rape, robbery in running bus on the rise ** Holy Ashura today ** Country takes on more reserve fattening World Bank loans ** Launches remain anchored at Daulatdia ferry ghat in Rajbari on Saturday due to lack of passengers. NN photo ** City buses overcharge passengers defying govt order ** NBR yet to receive any instruction for tax cut on fuel import ** People to bear the brunt ** Low, middle income earners puzzled to bear family cost ** Gang raped on running bus: 5 held in Gazipur **
POEMS

Ekushey February

21 February 2020


-Mohammad Nurul Huda :
This is the Ekushey day-recalling the 21st of February
 The day when a stirred-up race erupted incandescently
And till now, that day in Bengali minds shines brilliantly.
It's a day for morning processions and bare-feet walks
For crimson-lined white saris and pinned black badges
For grieving people with bosoms bearing history's burdens.

The day is all about the mother tongue and mother earth's gifts
It is all about promoting harmony and humanity's happiness
 And reminding people everywhere about loving languages.

This is the day when all mothers won-their children as well
A day of condolence meets, silence and of victory eternal
Ekushey is the day of victors and of champions one can tell.
Ekushey is the day when Bengalis witnessed a spring mutiny
It's the day when Barkat and Salam were killed cold-bloodedly
 But the day when revolutionary hearts could take fire eternally.

Ekushey is all about fatherly affection and motherly love
It's the day when brothers wear shawls their sisters' think of
 Ekushey is a spring day crimsoned in the blood-red of Bhador.t

Ekushey is when freedom came through a language for which blood was spilled
A day when independence came to a nation in whose people compassion flowed
It's the day when egalitarianism became in the hearts of all people the proper creed.

tBhador is the first month of autumn symbolizing the loneliness of a person who is missing
his beloved.

Translation: Fakrul Alam
 21st February - our identity’s core
-Hasan Hafiz

Ekushey-you’re the day when passions flamed and made history
 You’re the bountiful sky glowing with comet-like daring
You don’t belong only to Bengalis anymore; this precious gift
 Bestowed from blood spilled from love of one’s mother tongue
Is now for the world’s people; it’s the gift of indomitable youths
Who sacrificed their lives for civilization, Ekushey-
Your auspicious immortal melody is no longer the possession
 Or heritage of Bengalis alone! Even in far-off Sierra Leone
 In another part of the globe, one can hear your melody
 In the ankle bells of its belles. The Bengali language’s classy cadences
 Resound in newfound cultural pride. A sacrifice made at great cost
Now inspires others speaking other neglected mother tongues.
A once slighted but invincible language has ascended to glory,
Step by step, self-propelled, through movements and a liberation war
Fluttering of stringed dotaras, shapla flowers and doyel birds
And fierce roars came together to drive the tyrant to oblivion.
Ekushey is in truth the name of a freely-flowing river
And it's this truth that we’ve been able to etch worldwide.
You enable languages spoken even by tiny communities to flourish,
Spread, be respected and conserved. You provide inspiration
To rebel against tyrants; you offer succor for one’s identity formation.

                                                                                                        Translation: Fakrul Alam

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