Updated  
February, 20 2014 09:43:25

Bangladeshis fought for cultural survival

Tomorrow, February 21 is International Mother Language Day, Bangladeshi Ambassador Supradip Chakma has reminded the Viet Nam News:

February 21, 1952, was a hard-earned event in Bangladesh's history. It marked the struggle for the right of the people to speak and use their own language ‘Bangla' - and to preserve their own culture and identity. Languages are the most powerful instruments of preserving and developing the heritage of any societies, especially in multi-ethnical societies of nationhood.

International Mother Language Day has been observed all over the world since February 21, 2000, to promote linguistic and cultural diversity. On that day in 1952, students of the then East Bengal demonstrating for recognition of Bangla as one of the two national languages of the then Pakistan, were shot and killed by police in Dhaka.

The Bengali Language Movement evolved into a political movement to press for the continued use of Bangla in government affairs, education, the media, on currency and stamps - and to maintain the Bengali script.

When Pakistan was formed by the partition of India in 1947, it was composed of various ethnic and linguistic groups, with the geographically non-contiguous East Bengal province (renamed in 1956 as East Pakistan) having a mainly Bengali population.

In 1948, the Government of Pakistan ordained Urdu as the sole national language, which sparked extensive protests among the Bengali-speaking majority of East Pakistan. Facing rising sectarian tension and mass discontent with the new law, the government outlawed all public meetings and rallies.

Students of University of Dhaka and other political activists defied the law and organised mass protests on February 21,1952. The movement reached its climax when police killed student demonstrators. The deaths provoked widespread civil unrest led by the Awami Muslim LeaugeAfter years of conflict, the central government granted official status to the Bengali language in 1956.

In 1999, UNESCO declared February 21 as International Mother Language Day, in tribute to the Language Movement and the ethno-linguistic rights of people around the world. — VNS


Send Us Your Comments:
Name:
Your E-mail address:
Title:
 

VietNamNews may edit your comments and not all emails will be published.

Highlight

Commando recalls sinking of US aircraft carrier Commando recalls sinking of US aircraft carrier

Seventy-nine-year-old former Vietnamese commando Lam Son Nao still feels uncomfortable whenever he thinks about the moment he tried to recover 84 kilos of explosives that had been left near the USNS Core aircraft carrier.

When festivals lose sight of the people 1    When festivals lose sight of the people

Last year I visited George Town in Penang, Malaysia. I was excited to find a lot of similarities between it and my hometown, Hue.

Cultural events lead to fireworks competition 1    Cultural events lead to fireworks competition

An International cuisine event will be held in the central city as a lead up to this weekend's scheduled seventh Da Nang International Fireworks Competition, a contest between teams representing five countries.

Da Nang to monitor trees with GIS 1    Da Nang to monitor trees with GIS

Da Nang plans to use the geographic information system (GIS) in the city's public tree management work, the municipal People's Committee spokesman Vo Van Thuong said.

Man detained for trafficking 15 monkeys Man detained for trafficking 15 monkeys

The Nghe An Province's environmental crimes division said this morning that it has detained a man for allegedly trafficking monkeys following a tip-off.