Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has said that one can easily know the real history of the Language Movement of the country by reading the Pakistani intelligence branch reports’ from 1948 to 1971 which was made against Bangabandhu.
Hasina on Sunday said, “We remember the sacrifice of the martyrs for the Bengali language on February 21, 1952. We observe the Martyrs’ Day and pay homage to the language martyrs on this day. At the same time, we respect all the language lovers around the world.”
One-minute silence was observed as a mark of respect to the memories of the Language heroes while the immortal song on “Amar Ekushey Amar Bhaiyer Rakte Rangano Ekushey February” was also played at the outset of the function.
Mentioning that the country’s independence had resulted from the path of the Language Movement and Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman led the movements, the Premier said that many knowledgeable persons and intellectuals have opposed that Bangabandhu had started the Language Movement.
Hasina said that the Father of the Nation had been arrested time and again as he had started the Language Movement and conducted a huge campaign for it.
The Prime Minister said the intellectuals in their arguments said that how Bangabandhu did wage for the Language Movement as he was in jail at that time.
The Premier said many have criticised her when she first said Bangabandhu had initiated or led the Language Movement based on the intelligence branch reports of Pakistan.
Highlighting the importance of mother tongue education, Hasina said: “The language is very important for any nation. But unfortunately many languages are gradually being lost. Even then, the diversity of languages around the world needs to be preserved, practiced and developed.”
The Prime Minister said this while opening the four-day programmes marking the Shaheed Dibash and the International Mother Language Day, 2021 and distributing the International Mother Language Day Award, 2021, at the International Mother Language Institute (IMLI), joining virtually from her official residence the Gono Bhaban in the capital.
About the preservation of the languages of small ethnic minority groups in Bangladesh, she said, “We have given special attention to preserve the languages of ethnic minority groups or to make sure they can study in their native languages.”
Hasina added her government has been publishing the textbooks of the ethnic minority groups in their native languages and distributing those free of cost as they can learn and speak in their languages.
She said: “To communicate with international community, we must learn other languages, besides our mother tongue.” Sheikh Hasina also spoke about the efforts of her government to make it possible for all to learn other languages mentioning her government has been working to ensure that no language across the world faces extinction.
“We have established the International Mother Language Institute so that other languages in the world can be preserved. We have taken the measure to make sure that no language faces extinction and their existence can come out,” Hasina said.
The Prime Minister stressed the need for collecting history of the languages as the people who want to study or conduct research on those can easily do it.
National Professor Rafiqul Islam and Mothura Bikash Tripura have been conferred with the International Mother Language National Award, 2021 while Uzbekistani researcher Islaimov Gulom Mirzaevich and The Activismo Lenguan, a Bolivia-based organisation with the International Mother language Award, 2021, for their contributions to flourishing language. On behalf of the prime minister, the education minister handed over the awards.
Hasina added that the International Mother Language Institute (IMLI) has brought good rapport for us as it has done great works internationally.
Mentioning that a language museum has been established in the IMLI, Hasina said that the samples of languages currently existing in the world alongside those who have already faced extinction have been preserved in the museum.
The PM thanked UNESCO (United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization) for its recognition to International Mother Language Institute as a second-grade organisation.
Six children from separate ethnic minority groups through recorded video clips thanked the prime minister for publishing textbooks in their native languages.
Education Minister Dipu Moni, MP, Secretary of the Directorate of Secondary and Higher Education (DSHE) Mahbub Hossain, and UNESCO Representative to Bangladesh Beatrice Kaldun virtually spoke at the function from the IMLI and UNESCO office, Dhaka, respectively.
Hasina reiterated her commitment of establishing a developed and prosperous “Sonar Bangladesh” free from hunger and poverty as envisioned by the Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibor Rahman.