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International Mother Language Day: Bangladesh remembers students who sacrificed lives for Bangla

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New Delhi, Feb 21: The twenty-first day of the month of February is observed as the International Mother Language Day every year. Although it was first announced by the Unesco in 1999, the day's history dates back to 1952 when several students in the then East Pakistan were martyred in police firing when they protested imposition of Urdu as the national language.

International Mother Language Day: Bangladesh remembers students who sacrificed lives for Bangla

The erstwhile East Pakistan fought for their language and eventually a civil war saw it getting independence from the then West Pakistan or today's Pakistan with the help of India in 1971 to emerge as Bangladesh.

As it turned Thursday, Bangladeshi Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina and President Abdul Hamid paid tributes to the martyrs at Shahid Minar in Dhaka while in West Bengal, Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee tweeted recalling the occasion. In both Bangladesh and Bengal, the day is remembered as 'Bhasha Dibas' or 'Shahid Dibas'.

On this day, the song "Amaar bhayer rokte rangano Ekushe February/Aami ki bhulte pari... (My brothers gave their blood for 21 February/Can I forget...)" is sung to remember he sacrifice made for Bangla, the mother tongue for Bengalis.

The day is also observed as one to promote awareness of linguistic and cultural diversity and promote the idea of multilingualism.

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