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Language Martyrs’ Day

Language Martyrs' Day

Language Martyrs’ Day

February 21

Originally shared by Office Holidays

Feb 21, Bangladesh: Language Martyrs’ Day

The holiday is always celebrated on 21 February. Known as Language Movement Day, Martyrs’ Day and ‘Shôhid Dibôs’ in Bengali, this holiday commemorates the struggle for the Bengali language in 1952.

On 21 February 1952, In defiance of a law making Urdu the only official language of the Dominion of Pakistan, students began gathering on the University of Dhaka. The police enforced section 144 and arrested several protesters. This further enraged the crowd and when the students attempted to enter the building of the East Bengal Legislative Assembly, the police opened fire and shot dead four protesters.

As a result of the protests, Bengali was recognised as the second official language of Pakistan on 29 February 1956, and the constitution of Pakistan was reworded to „The state language of Pakistan shall be Urdu and Bengali.”

The efforts of the Bangladeshi people to protect their language is honoured by UNESCO which established 21 February as International Mother Language Day in 2000. The intention of the day is to promote awareness of linguistic and cultural diversity and multilingualism.


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