Each recipient will get a gold medal, a certificate and a cheque for Tk2 lakh
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on Thursday stressed the need for paying a special attention to further spread Bangla literature and culture in the world arena.
“We’re Bengalis. Our cultural practices will also continue. We’ve to pay a special attention so that our literature and culture could be spread further to the international stage,” she said, reports UNB.
She made the remarks while addressing an event where she handed over the Ekushey Padak 2020, the country’s second highest civilian award. The ceremony was organized by the Cultural Affairs Ministry at the Osmani Memorial Auditorium in Dhaka.
The awardees, cabinet members, prime minister’s advisers, judges, MPs, foreign diplomats, litterateurs, poets, academics, writers, poets, journalists, Ekushey Award laureates of previous years, and high civil and military officials attended the function.
The prime minister said though there was need to learn other languages, the mother language should not be forgotten. “Many people have to stay abroad for many reasons, but they will always have to respect the mother tongue.
“Ekush [February 21] has taught us not to bow down. Ekush taught us the sense of self-esteem,” she said.
Noting that the bloodshed on February 21, 1952 paved the way for Bangladesh’s independence in 1971, she said: “Ekush is a very glorious day for us. We want our next generation to know this glorious history.”
The Ekushey Padak winners
On February 5, the Cultural Affairs Ministry had announced the names of this year’s recipients of the Ekushey Padak, introduced in memory of the martyrs of the 1952 Language Movement.
On Thursday, Prime Minister Hasina handed over the prestigious award among 20 eminent personalities and an organization in recognition of their contributions to various fields.
Aminul Islam Badsha (posthumous) was given the award for his role in the Language Movement.
Begum Dalia Nowshin, Shankar Roy and Mita Haque were recognized for their contributions to music, while Golam Mostafa Khan, SM Mohsin and Prof Dr Farida Zaman in dance, performing arts and fine arts, respectively.
Hazi Akhter Sarder (posthumous), Abdul Jabbar (posthumous) and Dr AAM Mesbahul Haque (posthumous) were given the award for their roles in the 1971 Liberation War; while journalist Zafar Wazed (Ali Wazed Zafar) for his contribution to journalism; Dr Jahangir Alam, Hafez Qwari Syed Saifur Rahman Nizami Shah and Bangladesh Fisheries Research Institute for their roles in research; and Prof Dr Bikiran Prasad Barua for education.
Prof Dr Shamsul Alam and Sufi Mohammad Mizanur Rahman received the award for making contributions to economy and social service, respectively; while Dr Nurun Nabi, Sikder Aminul Haque (posthumous) and Nazmun Nesa Piari for their contribution to language and literature; and Prof Dr Sayeba Akhter for contributing to the medical science.
Each recipient will get a gold medal, a certificate and a cheque for Tk2 lakh.
For the mother language
Focusing on the contributions of Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman to the 1952 Language Movement, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina told Thursday’s event that Bangabandhu had to face imprisonment and harassments again and again for going to wage this movement.
Following Bangabandhu’s proposal, the ‘Sorbodolio Rashtrabhasha Bangla Sangram Parishad’ was formed, comprising Chhatra League, Tamuddin Majish and several other progressive student organizations, at the Fazlul Huq Hall of Dhaka University on March 2, 1948 for the movement to get the recognition of Bangla as a state language, she said.
Then the 11th of March had been announced as the Bangla State Language Demand Day, she said, and added that day had initially been observed as the Language Day.
“But unfortunately once attempts were made to erase his [Bangabandhu] name completely from the Language Movement,” she said.
Assuming power in 1996, Hasina said, Awami League government placed a proposal before the United Nations and sent necessary papers to the UN members to get the international recognition of the February 21, supporting an initiative taken by late Rafiqul Islam and Abdus Salam as well as some others expatriate Bangladeshis.
“As a result, Unesco on November 17, 1999 unanimously recognized February 21 as the International Mother Language Day,” she said.
She said her government also established the International Mother Language Institute to conduct researches on the genesis and development of all languages in the world, and preserving these as many mother tongues around the globe are getting lost.
The prime minister said her government wants to build Bangladesh as a developed and prosperous “Sonar Bangla.”
“We’re Bengalis. We, being Bengalis, will move ahead raising our heads in the world arena,” she said.