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International Mother Language Day

The Shaheed Minar Monument Badarkhali UP office compound, Chakaria, Cox's Bazar by Salim Khandoker


The method by which people communicate with one another, express their minds and understand each other is called language. In another way, we can say language is an expression of people's minds for communicating with each other.

There are 195 countries in the world and 6500 languages are spoken. But some of them are commonly used and known by everyone. Every country has their language. It is important to have a mother tongue to communicate with their people, community and country.

In this world, Bangladesh is the only nation that had fought for its language and won its independence on the 21st February 1952. After Indian independence in 1947 West Pakistan and East Pakistan, together called Pakistan, are completely different states.

The governor-general of Pakistan Muhammad Ali Jinnah declared that Urdu would be the official language of both countries. The people of East Pakistan (Bangladesh) were not allowed to speak or write in their native tongue. But the students and intellectuals did not accept the declaration and they demanded that only Bengali would be the official state language for East Pakistan (Bangladesh).

On February 21st 1952 a large number of those students and academics of the University of Dhaka started a peaceful protest. But the government gave curfew and banned any public gatherings of more than 4 people. Police fired tear gas and killed several students and general people. By their sacrifice, Bangla remains the mother tongue of Bangladesh. Thereafter Bangladesh won independence in 1971, and the new government declared 21st February a national holiday. Also, the government built a monument of martyrs called the Shaheed Minar.

In November 1999, the United Nations Educational Scientific and Cultural Organisations (UNESCO) officially recognised February 21st as International Mother Language Day. Since then several countries around the world have started to celebrate the day.

Written by MunMun

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