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Amar Ekushey observed with due respect

36Bangla Mirror Desk ::

People from all walks of life thronged Shaheed Minars across Bangladesh on 21 February to pay tribute to Language Movement martyrs marking Amar Ekushey. Programmes including discussions and coloruful cultural sessions nationwide and in Bangladesh missions abroad reminisced the supreme sacrifice made by Salam, Barkat, Rafiq, Jabbar, Shafiur and others for Bangla, say messages received on that day.
On this day in 1952, the Pakistani police had fired on peaceful protesters taking to Dhaka’s streets demanding that Bangla be made one of the state languages of the then Pakistan. The day is also observed across the globe with the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) on November 17, 1999 proclaiming February 21 as International Mother Language Day.
Covered with flowers, Dhaka Central Shaheed Minar donned a solemn look as a sea of people singing the Amar Ekushey anthem “Amar bhaiyer rokte rangano Ekushey February” paid their deep respects. Areas around the monument and Dhaka University (DU) wore a festive look with murals, graffiti and street paintings comprising Bangla alphabets and verses on mother languages. Amid tight security, President Abdul Hamid, followed by Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, placed a wreath at Central Shaheed Minar just as the clock struck one minute-past zero hour. Ministers, lawmakers, political party leaders, dignitaries and hundreds of social, cultural, political and professional bodies followed suit.
Tower Hamlets Council, in partnership with Kendrio Shaheed Minar Committee (KSMC), organised a special midnight memorial service to commemorate the killing of four students back in 1952. Londoners gathered at midnight on Saturday 20 February at Altab Ali Park in Whitechapel holding wreaths, festoons and banners in tribute. More than 1,000 people paid their respects by laying flowers and wreaths at the Martyrs’ Monument known as the Shaheed Minar.
At one stroke past midnight, the Mayor and Deputy Speaker of Tower Hamlets, and the High Commissioner for Bangladesh in the UK, were the first to place a wreath on the Shaheed Minar on behalf of the community. Members of the voluntary group Kendrio Shaheed Minar Committee, councillors and community leaders also paid their respect.
Bangladesh missions abroad have observed the International Mother Language Day with due solemnity and fervour. The national flag was kept at half-mast at all missions, special prayers were offered, floral wreaths were placed at the Shaheed Minar replica, discussions, cultural events, and receptions were held on Sunday. Expatriate Bangladeshis took part in most functions, according to messages received from different missions.
The Bangladesh High Commission in London observed the day in a multinational atmosphere.The Bangladesh High Commission in London said in a press release that they had organised a discussion marking the day at the chancery Journalist Abdul Gaffar Chowdhury, who wrote the immortal song ‘Amar Bhaier Rokte Rangano Ekushey February’ was the keynote speaker at the event. High Commissioner Md Abdul Hannan, Vice-Chancellor of Khulna University Prof Fayek Uzzaman, and senior officials of the high commission and representatives of the Bangladesh community were also present.
Different social and cultural organisations arranged various functions and television and newspapers presented special programmes and articles to mark the day.