PV Desk : Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina today called for getting rid of all differences with the spirit of the ‘Amar Ekushey’ for sustaining the country’s development and democratic values.
“Let us work together with the spirit of the immortal Ekushey keeping aside all differences for the development of the country upholding the democratic values and build a non-communal, hunger poverty-free and happy-prosperous Sonar Bangladesh as dreamt by the Father of the Nation,” the Prime Minister said in a message on the eve of the Martyrs’ Day and the International Mother Language Day.
She also said the greatest Ekushey is the symbol of grief, strength and glory in the life of every Bangali. On this day in 1952, many valiant sons of the soil, including Rafiq, Shafique, Salam, Jabbar and Barkat sacrificed their lives for protecting the dignity of the mother tongue.
“I pay my deep homage to the memories of the martyrs. I also pay my deep respect to the greatest Bangali of all time, Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman who had led the language movement and all other language veterans,” the premier added.
In the message, the Prime Minister also referred to the history of the language movement. In 1948, State Language Movement Council was constituted comprising Tamuddin Majlish, Student League and other student bodies as per a proposal of Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman.
The council called a general strike on March 11 to realise the demand for recognising Bangla as the state language. Bangabandhu along with a number of student leaders was arrested on the day from in front of the Secretariat. They were released on 15 March. The Father of the Nation chaired a public meeting at Amtola in the Dhaka University campus on 16 March. The movement spread all over the country, she continued.
She said, on 11 September 1948, Bangabandhu was arrested from Faridpur. He was released on 21 January 1949. He was again detained on 19 April and released at the end of July. On 14 October, Bangabandhu was again arrested from Dhaka and confined to jail. His undaunted inspiration from inside the jail provided new impetus to the people’s movement. In continuation of the movement, the language martyrs sacrificed their precious lives on 21 February 1952 while breaking Section 144 imposed by the rulers.
“The resonance of the pride of Amar Ekushey is now resounded in the hearts of the people of 193 countries surpassing the boundary of Bangladesh,” Sheikh Hasina said, adding that the day has been reached to a new height when the UNESCO gave recognition to the 21 February as the International Mother Language Day on 17 November 1999, at the initiative of the then Awami League government and with the help of some expatriate Bangladeshis, including Salam and Rafiq.
She also said the International Mother Language Day is now a source of inspiration to all people of the world in establishing the truth and justice.
“We have taken initiative to make Bangla, spoken by about 25 crore people of the world, as one of the official languages of the United Nations. I have already placed the demand before the UNGA. We established International Mother Language Institute to preserve the languages of the world and carry out research on those,” the premier said.
Terming the greatest Ekushey as the symbol of the nation’s democratic values, Bangali nationalism, spirit of liberation struggle and secularism, the Prime Minister said Awami League government has relentlessly been working to develop the country being imbued with the spirit of the great Ekushey and liberation war.
Referring to the development in the last nine years in various sectors that made Bangladesh a “Role Model” for development in the world, she hopped that her government would turn Bangladesh into a middle-income country by 2021 and a developed one by 2041.
The premier extended her good wishes to the Bangla-speaking people and people of all languages and cultures across the world on the occasion of the glorious Martyrs’ Day and International Mother Language Day.
She prayed to the Almighty Allah for salvation of the departed souls of the Language Martyrs.