Why Feb 21 Is International Mother Language Day? All About ‘Ekushe’, Bangladesh Bhasha Andolan

Amar bhaiyer rokte rangano Ekushe February, Ami ki bhulte pari…
(Can I ever forget February 21, the day stained by the bloodshed by my brothers?)

For any Bengali in the world, whether from Bengal, Bangladesh, or any other part of the world, February 21, or Ekushe February, is not just any other date.

The 21st of February is a day that defines their identity, a day steeped in history and the bloodshed by the people of East Pakistan (now Bangladesh) to save their mother tongue, Bangla, from the imposition of Urdu by West Pakistan.     

Bhasha Andolan, as it was widely known, was a one-of-its-kind movement, and February 21, 1952, is a date that heralded the beginning of a long battle that ended with the creation of Bangladesh after the Liberation War of 1971.

‘Ekushe (twenty-first)’, as the day is known in Bangla, gives the Bengalis a sense of pride for their language that they get from nothing else.  

In 2000, on an initiative by Bangladesh, the United…

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