For any Bangladeshi, Ekushe February is the reason why they can freely get to consider Bangla language as their mother tongue. Having said that, the youth have had to often face this question – do they really know why 21st February has gotten to be recognized as Ekushe February in the pages of Bangladeshi history? Almost forty-two years after Independence, few of our older generation have come to believe that the youth have lost the day’s importance. Is that really so? Amader Kotha got into the job of finding it out. We talked to few of the younger people about what is the significance of Ekushe February in their lives. Here is what they feel:
Aged 23, Joyantee feels:
Even though, the youth today observe 21st February or the Shaheed Dibosh with a lot of feeling but, despite having said that, it really is saddening to see that a majority of the younger generation are unaware of what actually has happened on the tragic day. Amor Ekushe helps to remind me all the atrocities that people of this country had suffered during the time of the Language Movement.
For me, the importance of Ekushe is not only limited to a single day. Nor does its significance in my life is restricted to wearing something in black and white on 21st February or going for the Probhat Pheri. Ekushe is my pride – it makes me realize the actual worth of Bangla language. After all, we have achieved the freedom of speaking it at a hefty price! It’s just upon us to ensure that the respect in our heart for the freedom fighters does not show its face only on this day.
Aged 21, Habib says:
Whenever, I listen to the song ‘Amar Bhaier Rokte Rangano Ekushey February…’ there is something which happens inside me. It is a feeling which passes through me and I can feel it deep in my bones. This is the effect which things related to Amor Ekushe have on me. Why the significance of 21st February is relatively so higher in our lives?
For me, it is of importance because had it not been for the month of Ekushe, the people of Bangladesh would not have been much aware about her cultural and the national heritage. The occasion reminds me about what we have achieved and what we have lost for this freedom, back in 1971. It is also a day when Bangladesh suffered the taking away of four or more precious lives. Ekushe Februray is my way to enjoy the liberty of celebrating in my own language.
Aged 20, Raquib expresses:
Nowadays, you get to see more people observing Ekushe February with a lot of determination. At Probhat Pheri, it’s not only the aged people who participate; instead, a massive part of the crowd which forms comprises of the youth and even, children. I, personally, make it a habit of being regular when it comes to attending the Probhat Pheri.
It feels a different kind of comfort to be part of this. The younger generation has only had the opportunity to hear about the Language Movement or the Liberation War being fought. This is the sole reason as to why I determinedly attend the Probhat Pheri every year. It is the only way I know to send my respects to every martyr who had to give away their lives on 21st February in 1952 and remembering them.
Aged 24, Nusaiba thinks:
For me, Ekushe February is just not the date of 21st February out in the calendar. For me, it is an event when for certain achievements to come our way, there were a lot more sacrifices which we had to give. It’s not that only on this day do I go on to remember the heroes – Jabbar, Barkat, Salaam and Rafique but, I really make it a habit of observing the day with passion. I owe it to them, after all. Had it not been for them, the generation then might have started the fight for freedom a little later, who knows!
Can the importance of Ekushe February in my or anybody’s life be described in few words so easily? I can go on to write pages and pages about it. But, you can possibly guess around the significance of this day in a person’s life whose father and uncles are all freedom fighters. Ekushe February for me is not only going to the Shaheed Minar and laying flowers there. It is and will remain a vital reason behind mine and every other Bangladeshi’s existence.