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Bangladesh

Formation Date:1971
Population:129155000
Land area:143998.00
GNP:32852.00
Government Form:Republic
Head of State:Shahabuddin Ahmad

The background color symbolizes the greenery of Bangladesh with its vitality and youthfulness while the red disc represents the rising sun and the sacrifice the people made to obtain their independence.

February 21, in Bangla, “Ekushey”, refers to February 21, 1952, the day that students demonstrated against the forcible imposition of Urdu as the national language of then East Pakistan (now Bangladesh). As Bangla was the language of the majority, the sympathies of the entire nation were with the students. Group after group was put under arrest. In the afternoon, the police opened fire, killing three students. The liberation war flowed from the language movement. Bangla was eventually recognized as the state language, even before the independence of Bangladesh in 1971.

Today, nations across the world also join Bangladesh to observe the day as the “International Mother Language Day”.

The day is a public holiday and the national flag is flown at half-mast at all government and private buildings. Bangladesh commemorates Shaheed Debash (Ekushey February) as martyrs’ day with due solemnity as they recall the sacrifices of those who laid down their lives for establishing the right to speak in Bangla.

In 2003, the UN declared February 21 as “Mother Tongue Day” as an international comemmoration. With so many indigenous languages disappearing throughout the world, the lessons of Ekushey are universally important.