POST TIME: 21 February, 2019 00:00 00 AM
Immortal spirit of Ekushey February

Immortal spirit of Ekushey February

Today the nation is observing the historic  Amar Ekushey February–now celebrated all over the world as the International Mother Language Day– a monumental event in the history of the Bengali nation when 67 long years ago a number of brave Bangladeshi youths laid down their lives to protect the dignity of their mother tongue. With that cataclysmic event taking place, with young blood spilled on the streets of Dhaka, the seed of our nationhood was sown which sprouted and grew into a tree and gave us the strength and fortitude to press for self-determination and freedom from exploitation of the Pakistanis. The glorious event took place in the wake of the then Pakistani rulers’ first attempt to suppress the Bengali-speaking people’s unique identity with their own language, heritage, art and culture.

As a matter of fact the appeal of the day has transcended the national border and got global recognition, following the UNESCO's decision to commemorate it as the International Mother Language Day. On this day, the whole world pays homage to the martyrs of 1952, by celebrating their mother tongues and dwelling on the importance of preserving it. This is purported to help create consciousness among nations and communities about the importance of their respective languages. Scores of languages belonging to small communities or ethnic groups across the world have gone extinct over time, just because nobody ever cared to preserve them. If the spirit of immortal Ekushey is inculcated into the communities concerned -- no matter how small they are, there would be greater efforts to protect and preserve their own languages.

The struggle for the Bengali language escalated to the struggle for liberation. It can be said that 1952 was a firm stepping stone towards 1971. Every page of the glorious history of this struggle has been written in blood and tears. So, although language movement occurred about sixty seven years ago from today, it worked as forerunner to all Bangali national movements, including the emergence of self-rule consciousness in 1954 joint front election, students movements in 1962, six-point movement in 1966, mass uprising in 1969 and subsequently the Liberation War in 1971.