People from all walks of life observed the Shaheed Dibosh (Language Martyrs Day) and International Mother Language Day on Sunday by paying homage to the great martyrs of the language movement.
Since early Sunday, the nation paid tributes to the memories of language martyrs – the valiant sons of the soil who made supreme sacrifices to establish the rights of their mother tongue Bangla in 1952.
Different political parties, social and cultural organisations gathered around the Shaheed Minar even before midnight.
At one minute past the zero hours, the president and prime minister paid homage to the language movement heroes by placing wreaths at the Central Shaheed Minar.
First, on behalf of the president, his Military Secretary Major General SM Salahuddin Islam and soon after on behalf of the prime minister, her Military Secretary Major General Naqib Ahmed Chowdhury laid wreaths.
After that, different political party leaders, high commissioners, ambassadors, and heads of foreign organisations paid their respect. Later, Shaheed Minar was opened to the general public and everyone was able to pay their respect till 2 pm.
Considering the Covid-19 situation, certain restrictions were imposed. A maximum of five delegates from each organisation and a maximum of two persons at the individual level were allowed to place wreaths at the same time. However, this was not seen to be strictly followed.
Apart from the capital, the day was observed all around the country and the world through many discussions, seminars, symposiums, recitation, painting competitions etc.
The theme of this year's Mother Language Day was decided by the Ministry of Culture to be "We cherish the inclusion of multilingualism in education and society." The national flag was hoisted at half-mast on this day in memory of the language martyrs.
Quader demands inclusion of Bangla as an official UN language
Awami League General Secretary and Minister for Road Transport and Bridges Obaidul Quader demanded the inclusion of Bangla as the official language of the United Nations. He also urged to ensure the usage of Bangla in higher education and the High Court activities.
"Bangla is the sixth language in the world today, in terms of population and it still has not been recognized by the United Nations as an official language and we demand its inclusion," he said while talking to the reporters after placing the wreath on behalf of Bangladesh Awami League at the central Shaheed Minar.