People from Bangladesh and India
lay wreaths at the makeshift memorial to Bangladesh's
'Language Martyrs' at Akhaurah on the India-Bangladesh border.
Akhaurah (India-Bangladesh border): With hundreds and thousands of people from either
side of the border present and vivid functions and commemorations
of the language martyrs, India and Bangladesh Tuesday jointly
organised the International Mother Language Day.
Men, women and young students belonging to India and Bangladesh,
joining the celebrations, breached the borders and walked deep
into either country's territory when artists from the two sides
performed dances, rendered songs and recitations, and staged drama
since the early hours of the day.
Members of parliament, legislators, ministers, important
personalities took part in the International Mother Language Day
programme held at the zero point on this border, three km from the
heart of Tripura's capital, Agartala.
"For the first time, the day was jointly celebrated in the
presence of thousands of people from both sides of the border.
Such joint celebrations would easily further strengthen the
existing ties between India and Bangladesh," Bangladesh MP Obaidul
Muktadir Chowdhury said while addressing the function.
He said: "Such type of joint carnivals would be held very
frequently in future. It was most unpredicted that such a huge
number of people and artists from both sides of the border would
participate in this heart-warming event."
Another member of the Bangladesh Parliament, Ziaul Haque Mrida
said: "India-Bangladesh cultural diplomacy would definitely
resolve many vague and unsettled issues, benefiting the people of
the two neighbours."
International Mother Language Day, first announced by
Unesco(United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural
Organisation) Nov 17, 1999, is observed Feb 21 every year
worldwide to promote awareness of linguistic and cultural
diversity and multilingualism.
Bangladesh observes the day as "Martyrs' Day" to commemorate the
killing of Salam, Barkat, Rafiq, Jabbar and a few other brave men
of that country killed in police firing on this day in 1952 when
thousands of students moved out in a procession from the Dhaka
University campus, breaching police barriers, demanding
recognition of Bangla as a state language of the then undivided
Pakistan (which included East Pakistan that today is Bangladesh).
"Though we are separated by the border, we have a common culture,
language and life style in both the nations and now with the joint
observance of the Mother Language Day, the Bengali-speaking people
of the two nations would further come closer," renowned poet and
Tripura Cultural Minister Anil Sarkar said.
"In 1952, Bangladesh's language movement martyrs who laid down
their lives to establish Bangla as a state language during
Pakistani rule, also brought Bangladesh and India closer," Sarkar
The Tripura government's information and cultural affairs
department is actively supporting Tuesday's programme, that is
also co-sponsored by many cultural organisations of Bangladesh and
The India-Bangladesh border points with Tripura were almost open
Tuesday in many areas to facilitate the people to join in the
Border Security Force (BSF) and troopers from Bangladesh Border
Guards were silent onlookers as people from either side freely
crossed the border barriers and mingled together.
Chakraborty can be contacted at email@example.com)