When Bengali Citizens Laid Down Lives For Recognition Of Mother Language
The world marked International Mother Language Day on Sunday with world leaders and activists emphasising on the importance of preserving regional languages. The history behind this day is linked to Bangladesh’s Language Movement which began when the then government of Pakistan refused to given an official status to the Bengali language.
The movement for Bengali language to be given a national status too, started in 1952. Several activists took part in protesting against Pakistan’s leaderships decision that only Urdu and English are the official languages of the country. These activists were killed in the protests and on February 21 Bangladesh commemorates their death and honours them as martyrs by the Shaheen Minar in Dhaka.
The Language Movement Day celebrated in Bangladesh is significant to the history of both Pakistan and Bangladesh as it was the catalyst for Bangladesh’s separation from Pakistan.
In 2000 United Nations announced a special day to celebrate mother languages. The international body said that besides cultural preservation and educational advantages, spreading mother tongue also inspires solidarity.