The nation is paying glowing tribute today to the Language Movement martyrs, who laid down their lives for the mother tongue in 1952, amid countrywide ongoing blockade.
Ekushey February, or the International Mother Language Day as we call it now, is an occasion to ponder the significance of the sacrifices made by language martyrs 63 years ago.
The day is not just to remember their sacrifices and contributions by placing wreaths at the Central Shaheed Minar, but to treasure the significance of such bravery.
People from all walks of life are swarming to the Shaheed Minar to pay their respects to the martyrs today.
Singing 'Amar bhaiyer rokte rangano Ekushey February', people are paying their deep respects to the heroes of the Language Movement who sacrificed their lives for achieving the recognition of Bangla as the state language of erstwhile Pakistan in 1952.
As the clock struck one minute-past zero hour, President Abdul Hamid led the nation to paying respect to the martyrs as he placed a wreath at the altar of the Central Shaheed Minar followed by Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina.
After placing the wreaths, they stood there in solemn silence for a while as a mark of respect to the martyred language movement heroes.
Prime Minister and president of Awami League, Sheikh Hasina, along with her cabinet members, advisers, lawmakers and party leaders also placed another wreath on behalf of her party.
Speaker Dr Shirin Sharmin Chaudhury, Speaker of the House of Lords of the United Kingdom Baroness D’ Souza and Paschimbanga Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee also placed wreaths at the Shaheed Minar to pay their tributes to the language martyrs.
Besides, different political parties and their front organisations as well as socio-cultural organisations have been paying their homage to the language martyrs placing wreaths all day long.
Meanwhile, the Central Shaheed Minar and adjoining areas went under a security blanket to ensure smooth observance of the Amar Ekushey.
The law enforcers have taken the security measures amid the ongoing blockade enforced by BNP-led 20-party alliance since January 6.
In November 1999, the General Conference of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) proclaimed Ekushey February as the International Mother Language Day, which has since been observed every year to promote linguistic and cultural diversity and multilingualism.
In Bangladesh, out of about 40 languages used by different communities including the ethnic minority groups, only Bangla has made it to the education system and the digital world.