• Tuesday, Apr 07, 2020
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They will never be forgotten

  • Published at 11:59 pm February 20th, 2020
Shaheed Minar
Photo: Mahmud Hossain Opu/Dhaka Tribune

It has never been more important to understand the value of the language we speak

Ekushey February is one of the most important dates in the history of our country.

On this day, 68 years ago, students gathered at the Dhaka University premises, not only bravely defying the oppressive Pakistani regime and their attempts to impose Section 144, but also taking a stand for Bangla, our mother tongue, demanding that it be recognized by the state. 

Many of the students who stood in defiance that day lost their lives as the Pakistan police open fired, but their sacrifice is not forgotten -- every day that we speak Bangla, we remember their spirit and it lives on in every Bangladeshi’s heart. 

The sacrifice made that day remains at the heart of Bangladesh’s birth -- it cemented our identity as Bengalis, and catalyzed the revolution that would lead to the Independence War. 

It is also the reason that today, the world celebrates International Mother Language Day, promoting the importance of not only the Bengali mother tongue, but languages all across the world. 

In this globalized world, it has never been more important to understand the value of the language we speak, and are able to speak. And, as such, it has never been more important to remember the martyrs of Ekushey February, and uphold the values for which they sacrificed their lives. 

We must take this occasion to strive to ensure that the sanctity of Bangla is preserved, and continue to celebrate the diversity present in languages across Bangladesh, and across the globe. 

On this day, let us celebrate our freedom to speak our language in all its beautiful forms, and honour the sacrifice of those who died for this freedom.