Amar Ekushey observed

February 23, 2014

The nation observed Ekushey February on Friday renewing a pledge for the use of Bangla in all spheres of life. People paid tribute to the martyrs of the language movement walking barefooted, singing Amar Bhaiyer Rakte Rangano Ekushey February and placing wreaths and flowers shaheed minars on Martyrs’ Day. The prime minister, Sheikh Hasina, at a seminar urged all Bengalis living abroad to mobilise global opinions to make Bangla an official language of the United Nations.
She made the appeal as she inaugurated a four-day seminar at the International Mother Language Institute in Dhaka on Friday. Martyrs’ Day is also observed as International Mother Language Day.
Tens of thousands of mourners paid homage to the martyrs who made the supreme sacrifice for establishing Bangla as a state language of the then Pakistan in 1952 from Thursday midnight to Friday afternoon.
The president, Abdul Hamid, led the nation in paying tributes by placing a wreath at the altar of the Central Shaheed Minar one minute past midnight followed by the prime minister, Sheikh Hasina, who placed a wreath as head of the government.
The speaker, Shirin Sharmin Chaudhury, and the leader of the opposition in the parliament, Raushan Ershad, the Bangladesh Nationalist Party chairperson, Khaleda Zia, paid tribute to the martyrs by placing wreaths at the monument.
People in the capital streamed along the roads leading to the Central Shaheed Minar on the Dhaka University campus to place flowers at the altar.
The main altar of the Central Shaheed Minar was bedecked with wreaths as people paid tribute after standing in queues for several hours after midnight.
Political parties, students organisations, socio-cultural and professional groups paid tribute to the language movement heroes.
They placed wreaths at the monument and stood in silence for a few seconds in honour of Salam, Barkat, Rafique, Shafique and Jabbar who were shot down by police on February 21, 1952 when they, along with others, demonstrated for the recognition of Bangla as a state language of the erstwhile Pakistan.
The event later culminated into Bangladesh’s war for national independence in 1971.
Ekushey February has come to be observed as International Mother Language Day since February 2000 to promote linguistic and cultural diversity and multilingualism after a proclamation by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation’s general conference in November 1999.
People outside the capital also thronged monuments to pay tribute as Amar Ekushey was observed officially in all district and upazila headquarters.
Bangladeshis living abroad also observed the day, reports reaching Dhaka said.
A number of organisations across the country organised programmes including daylong free medical camps, blood collection programmes, discussions and cultural programmes, marking the day.

Courtesy of New Age

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