Feb 21, 2012 at 01:46 o\clock

Amar Ekushey & International Mother Language Day observed

Ekushey Padak 2012 Dhaka 21 Feb 2012: DHAKA: The nation Tuesady paid homage to the martyrs of the historic language movement of 1952 to mark the Language Martyrs Day and International Mother Language Day.

President M Zillur Rahman, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina and opposition leader Begum Khaleda Zia placed wreaths at the Central Shaheed Minar to lead the nation in paying floral homage to the martyrs.

The mournful immortal chorus ‘Amar Bhaiyer Rokte Rangano Ekushey February, Ami Ki Bhulite Pari’ was reverberated all around in memory of the language heroes.

President M Zillur Rahman first placed a wreath and then Premier Sheikh Hasina laid another on the altar of the memorial to the martyrs of the 1952 language movement after zero hour amid a tight security in and around the Central Shaheed Minar.

They stood in solemn silence for some time in respect to the memory of the martyrs, who won the last battle for establishing Bengali as a state language during the then exploitative Pakistani regime and paved the way with their blood for Bangladesh’s independence in 1971.

After the offerings made by the President and the PM, members of the cabinet, MPs, senior leaders of the ruling Awami League placed their floral wreaths on the martyrs’ altar.

Before the SSF security rolled up, opposition leader in parliament Begum Khaleda Zia along with the senior BNP leaders offered their tribute to the martyrs at Shaheed Minar.

Later, walking barefoot to the Central Shaheed Minar with flowers, and singing ‘Amar bhaiyer rokte rangano

Ekushey February’, commoners paid tribute to the language movement heroes, who sacrificed their lives for the recognition of Bangla as one of the state languages in erstwhile Pakistan. The day was a public holiday.

This day in 1952, students and people from all walks of life took to the street in Dhaka in protest against the then Pakistan government’s refusal to recognize Bangla as one of the state languages and imposition of Urdu as the only official language of Pakistan.

Salam, Barkat, Rafique, Shafique, Jabbar and a few other vanguards sacrificed themselves to establish Bangla as one of the state languages of the then Pakistan.

The day has since been observed as the Language Martyrs Day, which the UNESCO later declared as the International Mother Language Day on November 17, 1999.

In the early hours of the day, the entire diplomatic corps in Bangladesh placed wreaths on the altar of the Central Shaheed Minar in Dhaka to pay floral homage to the language martyrs.


Feb 20, 2012 at 12:18 o\clock

15 receive Ekushey Padak-2012

by: bangladesh   Keywords: Ekushey, padak, Masud, Munir

Ekushey Padak 2012 Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has urged all to remain alert about upholding the spirit of ‘Amar Ekushey’ (immortal 21st) and said that those who reject the four main pillars of the Language Movement and the independence are the enemies of Ekushey and our independence.

“To face them, we’ll have to infuse the spirit of Ekushey among the new generation and widely practice Bangla language and literature in every field and sphere of our social life,” she said.

The premier was addressing a function, marking the distribution of ‘Ekushey Padak’ for 2012, at the Osmani Memorial Auditorium in the city on Monday.

Hasina also urged all to establish a knowledge-based prosperous, peaceful and non-communal Bangladesh in line with the spirit of ‘Amar Ekushey’ as well as the ‘Sonar Bangla’ dreamt by father of the nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman.

Information and Cultural Affairs Minister Abul Kalam Azad presided over the function organised by the Cultural Affairs Ministry.

State Minister for Cultural Affairs Adv Promode Mankin was the special guest at the programme, which was conducted by Cabinet Secretary M Musharraf Hossain Bhuiyan.

The Prime Minister handed over the prestigious Ekushey Padak-2012 to fifteen distinguished personalities in recognition of their contributions in respective fields.

Each recipient got a gold medal and Tk 100,000 along with a citation.

The 15 recipients of Ekushey Padak-2012: Momtaz Begum (posthumous) for the Language Movement; artist Mobinul Azim (posthumous), filmmaker Tareq Masud (posthumous), artistes Dr Inamul Haque, Mamunur Rashid and Karunamoy Goswami for performing arts; Ehtesham Haidar Chowdhury (posthumous), Ashfaq Muneir Chowdhury (posthumous) and Habibur Rahman Milon in journalism; Prof Ajay Kumar Roy, Dr Mansurur Alam Khan and Dr AK Nazmul Karim (posthumous) in education, Prof Baren Chakraborti in science and technology; Srimat Shuddhanand Mohathero for social work; and late Prof Dr Humayan Azad for language and literature.

The Prime Minister said the language movement was the result of non-communal spirit of the Bengalis and bearing this spirit, father of the nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman in 1972 adopted secularism as one of the main principles in the constitution.

She alleged that after 1975, the military government had rehabilitated the anti-liberation forces in the country betraying the spirit of immortal Ekushey and also mutilated the constitution.

“We’ve restored the glorious tale of the Bengalis through the (15th) amendment of the constitution,” she added.

Hasina said that the Bangabandhu gave his speech in Bengali at the United Nations in 1974 to portray the tradition of Bangla and Bengalis in the world arena. “Following the father of the nation, I also gave my speech in Bengali at the UN General Assembly.”

She said the government, beginning this month, made it mandatory to install full-fledged Bangla key pad in basic mobile handsets of all brands. Besides, initiatives have been taken to formulate the 2nd country coded top level domain dotbangla apart from dotbd (.bd).

The premier said her government has established the International Mother Language Institute after enacting the International Mother Language Act for the preservation of and conducting researches in languages of different ethnic people of the world.

She said efforts are also on to gain recognition of Bangla as the official language at the United Nations and a proposal has already been placed before the UN General Assembly in this regard.

“The illustrious melody on bloodstained ‘Amar Ekushey February’ has now spread to 193 countries of the world,” she added.

Hasina recalled the contributions of language martyrs - Salam, Barkat, Rafique, Jabbar, Shafiur and others. She also recalled the contribution of father of the nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman during the language movement as he had been imprisoned several times while giving lead to the movement. —UNB

Feb 2, 2012 at 12:53 o\clock

Saydee-led rajakars raped my wife: Madhusudan Gharami

Rajakar Delwar Hossain Saydee DHAKA, February 2, 2012: A prosecution witness on Wednesday told the International Crimes Tribunal that his wife was raped by rajakars led by at his Hoglabunia village in Parerhat during the Liberation War in 1971.

Narrating the painful episode, prosecution witness No. 23 Madhusudan Gharami said rajakars along with some people had entered his house in his absence and gang-raped his wife.

“The man who converted you to Muslim had been here, you go away and I suffer unbearable pain as I’ve been raped by them, I can’t say anymore, don’t think about me,” Gharami quoted her wife as saying.

Lying on a comfortable rolled away bed beside the witness box flanked by an attending physician and a ward boy following his sickness, octogenarian Gharami, a carpenter, gave his deposition before the tribunal.

Raking the past up, Gharami burst into tears and the tribunal, both the prosecution and the defence counsel observed tears rolling down his cheeks. The attending ward boy was seen rubbing Gharami’s cheeks time and again pausing deposition repeatedly.

“Taking to a mosque, Saydee forced me, Krisna Saha and Ganesh to convert to Muslim from Hindu,” said Gharami, adding, “Saydee named me as Ali Ashraf and Krisna as Ali Akbar.

“Saydee had assured us that we would live in safety after converting to Muslim, otherwise not,” Gharami told the tribunal, adding that Krishna could not survive two days despite reciting the name of Allah.

In his deposition, Gharami said after the emergence of Bangladesh, he returned to his own religion without informing anybody.

“At the last phase of the Liberation War, my wife gave birth to a daughter and we named her Shandhya,” Gharami said. “But fearing public reproach my wife along with her daughter left for India leaving me alone and never returned to Bangladesh.” — UNB