The International Mother Language Day is celebrated every year on February 21 to promote linguistic and cultural diversity in the world.
It dates back to the year 1999 when UNESCO presented the topic of mother language and the language issues that the people in Bangladesh faced at the UN General Conference. Therefore, since the year 2000, this day has been observed as International Mother Language Day across the globe.
It is to be noted, post-independence, the Pakistan government declared Urdu as its national language. However, the idea was not approved by the people living in East Pakistan as their mother language was Bangla. Consequently, students from the University of Dhaka held a massive protest against the decision on February 21, 1952. Failing to stop the protest, the police opened fire on the protesters and four students were killed in the incident.
After this long struggle, on February 29, 1956, Bengali finally became the second official language of Pakistan. Then, in 1971, Bangladesh became a free country, and the Bengali language also became its official language.