Today is Amar Ekushey (immortal 21 February), the great Shaheed Day (Language Martyrs Day) and the International Mother Language Day. Under the auspices of the United Nations, this day is being observed across the globe including Bangladesh with due fervour and in a befitting manner. On this occasion, I extend my sincere thanks and felicitations to all multilingual people of the world along with Bangla-speaking people. At the same time, I pay my deep tribute to the unfading memory of the martyrs of the Language Movement.
Today, I recall with deep reverence the language martyrs namely Salam, Barkat, Rafiq, Jabbar, Shafiur and so many unknown and unsung language heroes who laid down their lives for the cause of mother tongue. I also remember with profound respect, Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, Dhirendranath Dutta, the then Member of Gonoparishad (Constituent Assembly) and all the language heroes for their immense contributions towards language movement. Their supreme sacrifices, unmatched valour, able organizing capacity and rapid steps in this regard facilitated the Language Movement to reach its ultimate culmination on February 21, 1952. Consequently, the Bangali achieved their right to mother tongue.
The great Language Movement was a historic and significant event in our national history. This movement was aimed at establishing the rights of our mother tongue as well as protecting self-entity and culture. Being a source of ceaseless inspiration, Amar Ekushey inspired and encouraged us to a great extent to achieve the right to self-determination and struggle for freedom and war of liberation. With the spirit of Language Movement, we achieved our long cherished independence through a nine-month long armed struggle under the charismatic leadership of Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman who proclaimed country’s independence on March 26, 1971.
It is, in fact, an unprecedented event in the world history to embrace martyrdom for the sake of mother tongue. It is a matter of pride that February 21 has now recognized as the International Mother Language Day by the UNESCO in 1999 with the spontaneous attachment and sincere endeavour of Hon’ble Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina along with the primary efforts of some expatriate Bangla-loving Bangladeshis. As the Bangali, it was our great achievement. The United Nations, in the light of Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), has set the theme of the International Mother Language Day 2017 as "Towards Sustainable Futures through Multilingual Education", which I believe is a time worthy in the context of time. I firmly believe that it would be easier to attain the sustainable future through using multilingual education along with developing and protecting languages of multilingual people of the world.
The spirit of Amar Ekushey, transcending the boundary of our country, is now inspiring the people of different languages of the world to protect and preserve their own languages and cultures. Language Martyrs Day, therefore, has now been appeared as an indomitable source of inspiration for protecting languages and self-uniqueness of people around the globe. Let the people of multilingual be united, let the almost defunct languages of the world be revived in their respective communities and let the globe be coloured with diverse languages and cultures. It is my expectation on the great Shaheed Day (Language Martyrs Day.)
May \'Language Martyrs Day\' and \'International Mother Language Day\' be emerged as the symbol of unity and victory for preserving the respective languages and cultures of all nations and people of the world.
Khoda Hafez, May Bangladesh Live Forever.