Bangladesh paid homage to 1952 Language Movement martyrs at Central Shaheed Minar

Feb 22, 2016 14:09 IST

Central Shaheed Minar in Dhaka: Place were several sacrificed their lives for the recognition of Bangla as the state language

Central Shaheed Minar (or Martyr’s Monument) of Dhaka was in news on 21 February 2016. It came in news, as Bangladeshi nationals paid their homage to the martyrs of the historic 1952 Language Movement.

The Shaheed Minar is a national monument, which was designed and built by Hamidur Rahman a Bangladeshi sculptor in collaboration with Novera Ahmed.

The monument was demolished completely during Operation Searchlight that took place during Bangladesh Liberation War in 1971. After Bangladesh gained independence, it was rebuilt.

21 February marks the Language Martyrs Day in Bangladesh. On this day police shot dead several people protesting against the then Pakistan government's decision to impose Urdu as the sole state language on the people of erstwhile East Pakistan.

Language Martyrs Day observed on 19 May in Barak Valley, Assam

The day is celebrated by declaring a national holiday in the country. To honour the martyrs, the national flag also flies half-mast on this day.

Apart from this, people from all walks of life gathered at Shaheed Minars across the country singing 'Amar Ekushey February’ (21 February), paying respects to those who sacrificed their lives for the recognition of Bangla as the state language of then East Pakistan.

Besides, 21 February is also observed across the world as the International Mother Language Day. UNESCO in 1999 declared 21 February as International Mother Language Day. The day is observed every year since February 2000 to promote linguistic and cultural diversity and multilingualism.

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