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Shaheed Day pledges

Sixteen crore people of Bangladesh once again recall the supreme sacrifices of the language martyrs who symbolised the spirit of love and respect for the mother tongue and the right to democracy and self-determination in the then East Pakistan. They waged the movement as they saw in the move to deny Bangla the status of state language a threat to advancement in life and prosperity, because the people of this land were hardly conversant in Urdu. The movement created the ground for the subsequent movements for autonomy and self-rule that ultimately culminated in the 1971 War of Independence through which Bangladesh emerged as an independent entity at the cost of millions of lives. The language movement of 1952 had charged the people of this land with so much of emotion that in the subsequent general elections of 1954 they severely defeated the then ruling party – the Muslim League – giving a landslide victory for the United Front of the Awami League and the Krishak Sramik Party led by Moulana Abdul Hamid Khan Bhashani and Sher-e-Bangla AK Fazlul Huq.Ekushey February has been recognised as the International Mother Tongue Day. The martyrs of the language movement have by their sacrifices made the people of this land proud. All linguistic groups throughout the world today take inspiration from the struggle to nourish their own mother tongues. This is one of the few occasions when the people of this land irrespective of their party and political differences stand united. All people take pride in the success of the movement. Democracy and freedom from economic deprivation were the central themes of all movement that had taken roots from Ekushey. As barefoot processions march beside Shaheed Minars all over the country, people earnestly look forward to seeing the observance of democratic rights and equal opportunities in all spheres of life. The sprit of Ekushey are nothing abstract. They can be achieved through the creation of a democratic polity where rulers will be chosen through periodic elections and the country will be ruled by the majority party with the willing consent of the minority party or coalition of parties.
The spirit of ekushey will  be peoperly honoured if no political or technical barrier is there in the way of educational opportunities, recruitment to different services, and in the promotion of business activities in the country. Those who are at the helms have the greater responsibility to see to it that the people aligned with opposition parties and groups do not feel alienated or deprived. Because in a democracy government and opposition are two sides of the same coin and power, as in the past, is bound to change hands. If the opposition feels honoured and respected now it would be respected in future too. That’s how the system proves to be sustainable, and not in peril at periodic interevals. All people of Bangladesh want to see progress and prosperity in their individual, family and community lives, as dreamt by the martyrs of the language movement and the War of Indpendence.

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