Bangladesh pays tributes to language martyrsFebruary 21st, 2010 - 7:08 pm ICT by IANS
Dhaka, Feb 21 (IANS) All roads in Bangladesh Sunday led to the Shaheed Minars, the memorials to commemorate the language movement, as thousands paid floral tributes to the students who fought the then Pakistani regime to get official status for Bengali language 58 years ago.
The Amar Ekushey February (My February 21) is also the International Mother Language Day that Bangladeshis observe each year.
President Zillur Rahman and Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina laid wreaths at the Central Shaheed Minar three minutes past midnight.
Flanked by party colleagues, opposition leader and BNP chairperson Khaleda Zia also placed wreaths.
Areas adjacent to the Shaheed Minar on Dhaka University campus have had a facelift on the occasion, while roads and medians have been festooned with Bangla alphabets and the national flag.
Members of various political, socio-cultural and professional bodies and the general public paid their homage. The day is a public holiday. The national flag has been hoisted at half-mast atop all government, autonomous and private buildings.
On this day in 1952, Salam, Barkat, Rafique, Jabbar and some other brave hearts laid down their lives for recognition of Bangla as an official language.
The language movement was the forerunner of the nationalist movement that culminated in the Liberation War in 1971 and won the nation independence.
The government of the then Pakistan granted Bangla the status of official language in 1956.
In 2000, the UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (Unesco) declared Feb 21 as International Mother Language Day.
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Tags: bengali language, brave hearts, dhaka university, ekushey february, flag members, floral tributes, jabbar, khaleda zia, language day, language movement, liberation war, medians, minister sheikh hasina, mother language, national flag, nationalist movement, opposition leader, party colleagues, private buildings, shaheed minar