Introduction: every nation of the world has certain particular day of its own to remember, we have also some days of historical importance which we observe with great honor and solemnity. The Shaheed day or the language day or the international mother language day amounts to one of the most striking days of our national life. The 21st February is known as the Shaheed day or, language day or, international mother language day.
A historical day: this day bears the great memory of the historic language movement of 1952. We all know that the Pakistani rulers conspired to introduce their mother tongue Urdu as the as the state language of Pakistan. They declared, ‘Urdu and only Urdu shall be the state language of Pakistan’. But our heroic sons did not let this barbaric attack on the mother tongue go unchallenged. They stood up in time, revolted and laid down their lives for the cause of mother tongue. Since then, this day is being observed as the ‘shaheed day’ or the ‘martyr’s day’. Later on, this day was declared as the international mother language day by the UNESCO in 1999. This year we observed the day in our school with every sanctity and solemnity of our heart. Earlier, a strong committee was formed to observe the day in a befitting manner. The committee was headed by our assistant headmaster. Mr. Abul kasem. They chalked our day long programme for the purpose that follows below:
Mornings programme: we the students got up very early in the morning and got together in the school compound as we were directed the previous day. All the teachers also attended in time. Then we all went out on a ‘PROBHAT FARRI’ and walked bare-footed along the main roads of the town singing Ekusher gan. We sang in chorus,
‘mar bhaiyer rakte rangano ekushe February, amiki bhlite pari?’ then we got together at the foot of the central shaheed minar. There we paid homage to the martyrs of ekushe February, by offering floral wreaths at the pulpit of the minar. We stood there in solemn silence for a few minutes and prayed to Allah for the salvation of the beggars and the destitute children who thronged at the school gate.
Mid-day’s programme: we held a seminar on the Bengali language and literature in the school auditorium at 11a.m. The seminar was presided over by the headmaster. Many among the present read out papers dealing with the past history and future prospects of Bengali. They all stressed the need of the use of Bengali in every sphere they all stressed the need of the use of Bengali in every sphere of our life. Some students and teachers including some local gentle meant participated in the discussion that followed. Rounding up the discussion, the president of the seminar delivered a nice speech. He instructed us to use Bengali in every sphere of our life. He advised us to speak in Bengali, think in bangle and dream in Bengali. He asserted that our love to Bangladesh and the martyrs would be proved only when we should be able to use Bengali in all walks of life. In his speech, he cited to example of modhu-sudan’s repentance for preferring English to Bengali as rich literature. He then mad a clarion call to us all to do everything best for the enrichment of our Bengali literature.
Evenings programme: we arranged a cultural performance in the school compound in the evening. It was attended by a large number of people of all ages. They were entertained with jarigan, kabigan and ekusher gan by some of our students and local artists. Then we staged the well-known drama ‘kabar’ by shaheed munr chowdhury. The performance could leave a deep impression upon the mind of the audience.
Significance of observing the day: it is needless to speak of the significance of observing the day. It is not merely a day of ceremonies. It is actually a day of an eternal source of inspiration to us. It is a day of discovering ourselves and renewing our pledge to rise against all sorts of oppressions and injustices. We can learn a great lesson from the observance of the day as uttered by dr. Enamul haque, ‘the 21st February is neither a day nor a moment or an incident but a living history of a nation.’ We can also learn about the enduring values of language as remarked by UN secretary. Kofi anan. ‘This day will help to raise awareness among to nations of the world about the enduring values of their language.’ This day reminds us of our history, our cultural heritage and our national identity. This day of 1952 gave rise to Bengali nationalism among the Bengalese and shaped our destiny. The seeds of our independence in 1971 were actually sown in the language movement of 1952. This is why, we remember the day with great honor,
‘O’, February, great February,
We remember you from
Our very sanctuary.’
Conclusion: the observance of the day fills our heart with great pride and glory for the supreme sacrifice made by our heroic sons. Let me express my heart-felt feelings for them,
“There is music in the midst of desolation,
And a glory that shines upon our tears.”