Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina yesterday said those who disregard the spirit of the Language Movement and the four pillars of the country's independence are the enemies of both the Amar Ekushey and the independence.
"Those who disregard the spirit of Ekushey and the four pillars of the country's independence are the enemies of the Ekushey and the independence. We'll have to spread the ethos of the Ekushey among the new generation to face these elements," she told the Ekushey Padak 2014 distribution ceremony.
The prime minister handed over the Ekushey Padak 2014 to fifteen eminent personalities at the ceremony at Osmani Memorial Auditorium in the capital.
The recipients are Shamsul Huda and Dr Badrul Alam (posthumous) for Language Movement; Samarjit Roy Chowdhury, Ramkanai Das, SM Solaiman (posthumous) and Keramat Mowla in art; Golam Sarwar in journalism; Dr Enamul Haque for research; Dr Anupam Sen in education; Jamil Chowdhury, Belal Chowdhury, Rashid Haider, Bipradas Barua and Abdus Shakur (posthumous) in language and literature; and Prof Dr Majibur Rahman for social service.
Each recipient will get Tk 1 lakh, a gold medal and a citation. The Ekushey Padak, a national award, was introduced in memory of the martyrs of the 1952 Language Movement. The cultural affairs ministry organised the event.
The prime minister also emphasised spreading Bangala language and literature to every level of society.
Mentioning the responsibility of the Bangalee nation to protect rights of all languages, Sheikh Hasina urged writers and researchers to carry out researches on languages of ethnic communities alongside Bangla literature and culture.
Describing the recent political violence across the country, Hasina said, "We're struggling every time to uphold our ideals and the spirit of our Liberation War. This struggle is still on and we have to continue this."
She said Bangladesh is the only language-based country in the South Asia. "We have to move ahead keeping up that spirit in our mind for which we liberated this country."
Voicing her firm stance not to see the eruption of political violence anymore in the future, Hasina said the people of Bangladesh are peace-loving ones. "We'll take forward our country with the continuation of its democratic process."
Terming Ekushey the source of pride and spirit of the Bangalee nation, the prime minister said, “Ekushey is a heroic story of sacrifice of the Bangalee nation for establishing the rights of mother tongue.”
In this regard, she recalled with deep gratitude the great contribution of Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman who led various struggles and movements starting from the Language Movement and presented an independent country to the nation.
The prime minister said her government has been relentlessly working to establish a middle-income Bangladesh by 2021 and a developed country by the year 2041.
Cultural Affairs Minister Asaduzzaman Noor presided over the function while Cabinet Secretary M Musharraf Hossain Bhuiyan conducted it.