As we step into the 64th year since the fateful day of February 21, 1952, we take the opportunity to reflect on the long road we have travelled since some of our brave young men decided to take a stand to uphold of their mother tongue and so valiantly died in its defence. The language movement in essence was a movement encapsulating the struggle against the imposition of a foreign culture that was initiated with an attack on our language. Perhaps the single most important message that we draw from February 21 is that it heralded a new struggle for the establishment of our cultural and political rights. Hence, 1952 and February 21 remain the hallmark for national inspiration for all the generations that have come thereafter.
The slow march to the Shaheed Minar in the early hours of the morning of February 21 is not merely a ritual, rather it is a procession bringing together the young and old who offer silent prayers for the martyrs of Ekushey and renewing our collective pledge to uphold the dreams born of 1952 – one of democracy and human dignity; to build a happy, prosperous future for all the people of Bangladesh. On this solemn day, we salute the valiant fallen soldiers of the language movement so that today, we may express our joys and sorrow, laughter and pain in the very language our parents used to sing lullabies to us when we were children as did their mothers to them.