• Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Published February 21, 2014
The mooring of our cultural identity

EDITOR'S NOTE

Published Date: February 21, 2014
The mooring of our cultural identity

As the country steps into the 62nd year since the fateful day of February 21, 1952, we take a moment to reflect on what motivated those who came before us to defend the mother tongue with their lives. Indeed, their struggle went beyond the defence of the Bengali language. In essence, it was...

Published Date: February 21, 2014
Our first eternal flame

Our first eternal flame

Ekushey is a collection of metaphors -- springtime, undying embers, inalienable right to mother tongue, self-identity and, above all, renewal of roots and moorings. The discourse revolved around one question whether we are Muslim Bengalees or Bengalee Muslims. Obviously, we are Bengalee Muslims. The unassailable fact is that ethnically we are Bengalee and religiously...

Published Date: February 21, 2014
The relevance of ekushey

Ekushey February, a spring day in 1952 that turned bloody and entered the history books, must never be forgotten. Anyone who speaks Bengali is indebted to the day; they will remain so forever. At every turn of the history of the nation, 'Ekushey' has acquired a renewed significance. But occasionally I wonder whether the day has become a mere ritual? Have we separated the annual commemoration from the context within which the language movement emerged? Important events, particularly those that...

Published Date: February 21, 2014
The first ekushey poem

The first ekushey poem

In mid-2012, the poet Kazi Rozy stood on the witness stand at the International Crimes Tribunal, and declaimed, “Kandte ashini – phanshir dabi niye eshechhi.” I have not come to weep, but to demand they be hanged. These were not her own words; she was quoting from the first poem written on February 21, 1952. She quoted them because they expressed her own anguish and anger at the torture and death of her friend the poet Meherunissa – just as the poem had originally expressed the feelings of its young poet at the snuffing out of young lives. The language movement has often been linked with the nationalist movement...

Published Date: February 21, 2014
Shaheed dhirendranath dutta

Shaheed dhirendranath dutta

The historic Bengali Language Movement stands out as the inauguration of our struggle for self-determination, and it is no exaggeration to say that our organized resistance for saving our mother tongue from the colonial brand of transgression of the Punjabi dominated and Karachi-anchored rulers of Pakistan is a landmark in the history of Bangladesh's struggle for freedom and independence. Doubtless, the full-blown success of the Bengali language movement had inspired millions of struggling people of many regions of the world to continue their relentless fight against all forms of ethnic repressions and cultural transgressions.  In fact, the declaration by the UNESCO for making 21st February as the International Mother...

Published Date: February 21, 2014
Mother tongue

Mother tongue

Shory-o, shory-a, hrows-e, dhirgo-e...Uhm...Shory-o, shory-a, hrows-e, dhirgo-e, shory-o...shit!” Four vowels in and already I was forgetting everything I memorized only a few minutes ago. This was not how I originally planned to spend my last week home before returning to the University of Michigan. Had it been that hard learning Bengali when I...

Published Date: February 21, 2014
The eternal ekushey

The eternal ekushey

The Bengali Language Movement  which gave birth the incidence of 21st February in 1952, sixty years ago, popularly  known as the supreme sacrifice on  Ekushey  ( the 21st )  ,was a socio politico cultural  effort in the then  East Pakistan, now Bangladesh , advocating the recognition of the Bengali language as an official...

Published Date: February 21, 2014
Opinions of a handful of martyrs

Opinions of a handful of martyrs

The language Martyrs' monument -- the Shahid Minar. The final moments of 20th February. Statues of a handful of Martyrs gather around the monument circle. One: Shahid Minar. The Tajmahal for martyrs of the language movement. Yahya's savage followers had demolished it to dust and rubble. It has been newly restored by the touch of independence. Idealist: We are pleased with it, being language movement martyrs. Our deaths were not in vain, at least for this reason. One: The 23rd Anniversary of 21st February is just moments away in this resting place for the memories of the martyrs. Idealist: The whole circle will be filled with people. The devoted will bear songs on...