Dhaka – The nation paid glowing tribute to the heroes who laid their lives 66 years ago to establish rights on the mother tongue.
Hundreds of thousands people thronged to the central Shaheed Minar after the midnight to remember the heroes by placing floral wreaths to the memories of the 1952 language movement martyrs.
Salam, Barkat, Rafique, Shafique, Jabbar and some others were killed after police fired their guns on a procession demanding Bangla as state language on this day in 1952. The people burst into protest when the then Pakistani government wanted Urdu will be the only state language of the undivided Pakistan, which eventually recognized Bangla as one of the state languages of the country besides Urdu.
President Abdul Hamid and Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina led the nation in paying the respect to the heroes as they placed wreaths at the Shaheed Minar in Dhaka at one minute past midnight last night.
People in other parts of the country placed floral wreaths on locally made mausoleums in the districts and sub-districts across the Bangladesh. The day is being in other parts of the world as International Mother’s Language Day after the United Nations recognized the movement for mother language.
President Hamid and Prime Minister Hasina proceeded to the altar of the Central Shaheed Minar together in slow pace as the theme song of the Amar Ekushey–“Amar Bhaiyer Rakte Rangano Ekushey February”– was playing over the loudspeaker.
They stood in solemn silence for some time as a mark of respect to the memories of the language heroes.
Ministers, advisers to the prime minister, parliament members, chiefs of the military services, diplomats, senior Awami League leaders, freedom fighters, and civil and military officials were present on the occasion.
Speaker of Jatiya Sangsad Shirin Sharmin Chaudhury, Deputy Speaker Fazley Rabbi Mia and Leader of the Opposing in Parliament Rowshan Ershad placed wreaths at the Shaheed Minar.
Hasina, also the President of ruling Awami League party, later placed another wreath along with the leaders of her party.
Other social, cultural and political parties also paid tribute to the martyrs at the central Shaheed Minar.
The day is also being observed in 192 other countries across the world as the International Mother Language Day declared by the UNESCO on November 17, 1999.
The national flag was flown at half-mast in all educational institutions, government, semi-government and autonomous offices and private buildings across the country.
The day is a public holiday.