International Mother Language Day 2021
February 21 is celebrated as the International Mother Language Day, as declared by the United Nations in 2000. Bengalis the world over, have been commemorating the day as Bhasha Dibas or Shahid Dibas for more than six decades now. This is a day of great national significance that got universal recognition as Mother Language Day now being observed globally under the umbrella of UNESCO.
It’s 21 February again today, when the song “Amaar bhayer rokte rangano Ekushe February/Aami ki bhulte pari… (My brothers gave their blood for 21 February/Can I forget…)” will reverberate both in Bangladesh and West Bengal — the two nations divided by boundaries and religion but bound by language — remembering the sacrifice some of their own made for Bangla, their mother tongue.
21 February has a large value and significance for the Bengali nation. On this day they get the right to speak and write in their mother language after donating a huge amount of blood under the shooting of the Pakistani Police. It acted as the catalyst of the identity of the Bengali national in East Bengal.
The language movement or Ekushey was a spark that became wildfire and inspired the nation for generations to come. The issue of language rights was the seed that blossomed into the right of the Bangali nation for self-determination. The linguistic-cultural identity was a negation of the communal divisive ideology of two-nation. The national identity creates harmony among various religious communities within the nation.