February 21: Bangladesh commemorates Language Movement, fight against Pakistan's assault against its language, culture

Dhaka (Bangladesh):

On the occasion of International Mother Language Day (February 21), Bangladesh recalled with horror the role of Pakistan in subduing the Bangla language and culture.

Different socio-cultural organizations and civil society platforms took part in processions-cum human-chain programmes, street plays, bicycle rallies and seminars in Dhaka and other divisional towns in Bangladesh. While paying homage to the brave-hearts who lost their lives, speakers recalled with horror the role of Pakistani forces in suppressing the movement and brutal crackdown on innocent citizens.

In Jessore, Narayanganj and Satkhira, a human chain rally was organized followed by a photo exhibition and movie screening of ‘Falguni Howya’ and a candlelight vigil. Meanwhile, a signature campaign was organised at Mymensingh.

In Dhaka, a voluntary organization — Media Forum for Human Rights and Environmental Development (MADE)– organized a seminar-cum-discussion meeting at National Press Club to mark 70 years of the language movement.

Speakers including chief guest Harun Habib, Secretary-General of Sector Commanders Forum and Liberation War-1971 freedom fighter; Omar Farooq, President BFUJ (Bangladesh Federal Union of Journalists) among other intellectuals, took part to discuss the importance of Language Day and how Pakistan tried to impose ‘Urdu Only’ policy and continues to harbour similar sinister plans.

The speakers under the title ‘Twenty-One to Seventy-One’ spoke about the conspiracy of Pakistan to destroy the country by destroying its language and its culture.

Separately, Open Dialogue Bangladesh (OPD) organized a street play titled ‘Rokte Lekha Bangla Bhasha’ (Bangla language written in blood) in front of the National Press Club to pay tribute to the language martyrs.

A team of artists led by Samad Bhuiyan highlighted the role played by the Pak forces to erase the Bengali culture and subjugate the intellectuals and liberals during the period. The artists depicted the Pak brutalities through drama and role play.

Bharat-Bangladesh Sampriti Sangsad (BBSS) Welfare Association organized a bicycle rally in protest against brutality by the Pakistan Army and Pakistan-backed forces during Language Movement in 1952.

Around 160 persons took part in the rally led by Taufiq Ahmed Tafsir, President of the organization; Jatiya Swechchha Sebak Party Central leader Emdadul Haque Chalek, Bangladesh Jasdar central leader Mohiuddin Ahmed, eminent journalist Mustafizur Rahman, social activist Hafiz Shambhutak also took part among others.

The rally started from Nikunja (Police Plaza) and travelled to Pakistan High Commission before ending at Hatirjheel followed by addressing the gathering. Speaking at the program, Taufiq Ahmed Tafsir stated that Pakistan used force to suppress the language movement.

He said that the Pak regime never accepted the people of Bangladesh as friends but has always tried to exploit and torture the Bengalis.

They added that a conspiracy by some agents of Pakistan is still active to destabilize language and cultural harmony in the country.

They urged the ruling government to sever all kinds of bilateral relations with Pakistan, the killer of 30 lakh Bangladeshis and demanded justice in the International Court of Justice for the Pakistani massacre.

The Pakistan Army had killed three million Bengalis and raped about 400,000 Bengali women and girls during the 1971 genocide. This is the second biggest genocide after the Holocaust that needs to be recognized as such by the global community.


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