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23 February, 2021 07:58:08 PM / LAST MODIFIED: 23 February, 2021 07:58:36 PM


Language movement: The beginning of a new horizon

Nazmunnaher Nipa & Touhidur Rahman Tuhin
Language movement: The beginning of a new horizon

The language movement gave birth to a sense of nationalism in the minds of Bengalis and opened new horizons. It has created a new chapter which has occupied an impeccable place in the history of the prolonged liberation struggle of the Bengalis.

The language movement was a struggle for culture and self-preservation. 

The Bengali language and Bengali nationalism are inextricably linked. This movement took place to protect the dignity of our language and culture. However, the political significance of this movement became the main thing. In 1947, the British government granted independence to Pakistan on 14th August.

But they began to exploit the people of Bengal culturally, politically and economically. Only 8% of Urdu speaking people are thinking of making Urdu the state language of Pakistan where more than 56% are Bengali speaking. The people of Bengal strongly protested against this decision.

Although two separate independent states, Pakistan and India, were born based on bi-ethnicity, the Bengalis were a completely different ethnicity. East Bengal became a union of non-communal consciousness. On that day, people from all walks of life, starting from students and people, formed mass resistance irrespective of religion and caste.

It was March 21, 1947. On the Racecourse Ground in Dhaka, Jinnah dealt a severe blow to Bengali nationalism. He said the national language of Pakistan would be Urdu, not any other language. The same announcement was made again at the convocation of Dhaka University on March 24. He said, “Urdu and only Urdu shall be the State Language of Pakistan”. The students present then started protesting.

By 1951, the demands of the state language movement continued to grow. On 23rd February this year, East Bengal's educationists, writers, journalists and intellectuals issued a memorandum to the then Chief Minister Nurul Amin for the introduction of Bengali language at all levels.

February 21, 1952. Section 144 was issued all over the country. From that morning onwards, students started gathering in groups in front of the faculty of arts at Dhaka University. The objective was to be vocal in demanding Bengali language and to ensure full rights of mother tongue. "I want Bangla as the state language" was heard in the air all around. The procession came out of the meeting violated section 144. When the police encountered an obstacle on the way, it turned into a clash.

Police fired, Abdul Jabbar and Rafiquddin fell at the moment. The roads of Bengal became stained with blood. May this blood unite all the people of Bengal. Forgetting all differences, everyone started a mass movement against Pakistan to protect the dignity of the mother tongue. As a result, the Muslim League suffered a miserable defeat in the general election of 1954.

The government of Pakistan was compelled to declare Bengali as one of the state languages ​​in the 1956 constitution. Hence this was one of the ultimate defeats of the government of Pakistan. And in the world, Bangla language and Bengali stand proudly with their heads held high. He said that Bengalis know how to assert their rights. Never bow to anyone. No matter what obstacles come, the Bengali nation will always fight unitedly against all exploitation and deprivation with heroic pride.

The importance of the language movement is immense in awakening the sense of rights and independence of Bengalis. The language movement has, directly and indirectly, influenced all political, social and cultural activities since 1952. The influence was so far-reaching that relationship was established between the common and political people. Trust was established with each other, which accelerated the nation’s liberation struggle.

It was through the language movement that the first rebellious attitude against the rule and exploitation of Pakistan was manifested in the Bengali heart. It can be said that the language movement was the beginning of the realization of all kinds of rights of Bengalis. Firstly, through the language movement, the people of Bengal became aware of their demands.

This movement instilled morale and strong self-confidence in the minds of people which evoked a sense of nationalism. The education movement of 1962, the six-point movement of 66, the mass uprising of the seventy-nine, the election of the seventy and the liberation struggle of the seventy-one in every field provided the morale and strength of the language movement.

Bangladesh has now established a unique position on the world map. The name of Bangladesh is being used loudly in world politics. In the new world, we are all the time facing new challenges. We must all come forward together to meet the challenges of this twenty-first century. We have to remain awake in the spirit of nationalism. Bengalis have never lost in the past, nor will they lose in the future. With the cooperation of all, regardless of party affiliation, our Bangladesh will stand tall among the nations of the world..

The writers are students, Department of Environmental Science & Engineering Jatiya Kabi Kazi Nazrul Islam University, Trishal, Mymensingh. E-mail: [email protected]



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Published by the Editor on behalf of Independent Publications Limited at Media Printers, 446/H, Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1215.
Editorial, News & Commercial Offices : Beximco Media Complex, 149-150 Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1208, Bangladesh. GPO Box No. 934, Dhaka-1000.

Editor : M. Shamsur Rahman
Published by the Editor on behalf of Independent Publications Limited at Media Printers, 446/H, Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1215.
Editorial, News & Commercial Offices : Beximco Media Complex, 149-150 Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1208, Bangladesh. GPO Box No. 934, Dhaka-1000.

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