Immediately after the zero hour on Tuesday, the entire nation began paying tributes to the martyrs of the 1952 Language Movement with President Zillur Rahman, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina and Leader of the Opposition Khaleda Zia placing wreaths at the Central Shaheed Minar.President Zillur Rahman and Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina were the first to arrive at the alter of the Shaheed Minar one minute after zero hour marking the language martyrs day and the International Mother Language Day.
The President was the first to place wreath ceremonially at the altar of Shaheed Minar at 00-01 am Tuesday, followed by the Prime Minister. Both the President and the Prime Minister stood in solemn silence for a while as a mark of respect to the martyred language heroes. Later, the Prime Minister bade goodbye to the President by escorting him to the car.Earlier, the Prime Minister arrived at the Central Shaheed Minar at and received the President.
Later, Hasina, along with her cabinet members, advisers and party MPs placed another wreath on behalf of the ruling Awami League. Deputy speaker Shawkat Ali placed wreaths on behalf of the Speaker. The chief whip was with him.
Chiefs of the three services, the attorney-general, members of the diplomatic corps and representatives of the UN organizations, and Dhaka University Vice Chancellor Prof Dr AAMS Arefin Siddique also placed wreaths
Opposition leader and BNP chairperson Khaleda Zia placed floral wreath at the altar of the Central Shaheed Minar paying homage to the martyrs of the Language Movement. Khaleda Zia along with her party’s senior leaders arrived at the Central Shaheed Minar at 0020 hrs and placed wreaths as the Leader of the Opposition and as BNP chief.
Besides, different political parties and their front organisations and various socio-cultural organizations also placed wreaths at the Shaheed Minar paying their homage to the language martyrs.
On this day in 1952, Salam, Barkat, Rafique, Jabbar and some other brave hearts laid down their lives for recognition of Bangla as an official language.
The government of the then Pakistan granted Bangla the status of official language in 1956.
In 2000, the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) declared 21 February as International Mother Language Day. In a message President Zillur Rahman said that International Mother Language Day is now a source of inspiration for all the people of the world to establish truth and justice.Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina in her message said that the Ekushey is the symbol of our democratic values, Bangalee nationalism, spirit of liberation struggle and secularism.
Let us take a fresh vow to work together to improve the lot of the people sinking all differences, she said.The surrounding areas of the Shaheed Minar on Dhaka University campus had a facelift on the occasion, while roads and dividers have been festooned with Bangla alphabets and the national flag.
The day is a public holiday. The national flag has been hoisted at half-mast atop all government, autonomous and private buildings.