Today we pay homage to those who had laid down their lives on this very same day, back in 1952, in defence of our mother tongue, setting an example the likes of which the world has never witnessed. Such endeavor to establish an innate and sacrosanct right to a people's mother tongue is a rarity in history.
However, their great sacrifice did not go in vain, as it was their call to the Bangalis to stand up for their right to speak their own language that had pushed the thorniest wedge between the Bengalis and the ruling class of West Pakistan. It was that power which eventually led to the birth of Bangladesh through the 1971 War of Independence. Thus it is logical that when world leaders wanted to select a day as a Mother Language Day, their choice would be February 21. This is because no other nation has ever sacrificed their lives in such a way as Bengali people did to defend their Mother language.
As we mourn our martyrs, let us remember that
the best way to pay them their due respect is by
establishing a society based on freedom and equality
It needs no emphasizing that language creates a sense of patriotism and nationalism in people's mind. The Language Movement of the people of this country proved this. The Pakistani government denied the existence of Bangla language in the name of Islam. When they were not able to do that, they conspired in other ways against the Bangla-speaking people. But they did not realise the power of language.
The Mother Tongue signifies the very existence of a nation. The liberty of Mother Language is the liberty of a nation. Bengali people have proved that and following the path of February 21 they liberated their country from the clutches of Pakistan.
To truly uphold the essence of what “Ekushey” stands for, we must strive to preserve the dignity of the Bangla language, as well as all other languages of this land. As we mourn our martyrs, let us remember that the best way to pay them their due respect is by establishing a society based on freedom, equality and rule of law, in the country borne out of their blood and sacrifice.