Siliguri, February 21: The International Mother Language Day was celebrated under the aegis of Siliguri Municipal Corporation at Bhasha Shaheed Bedi in Bagha Jatin Park.
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.
In 1999, UNESCO gave a presentation on this topic at the UN General Conference. Since after the year 2000, February 21 has been International Day of Mother Language across the world. It is to give a tribute to the Bangladeshi martyrs.
On the occasion, the Chairman of the Municipal Corporation's Board of Administrators and Siliguri MLA Ashok Bhattacharya, Jibesh Sarkar and other Ward Coordinators laid wreaths on the Shaheed Bedi and paid tributes to the martyrs.