Wednesday, February 21, 2007

21st February

Five thousand years from now, when we are all dust, and today's nations are but small chapters in history books, what will anyone remember about Bangladesh? I believe it will be Language. If nothing else, they will remember that this proud, stubborn people rose up against a much larger force to exercise their right to speak, read and write in their mother language. And this rebellion ultimately gave birth to the nation Bangladesh.

Bangladesh remembers those who have given their lives for her language, Bangla, on this day, Ekushey February. All day long the city reverberates with this song:

Aamar bhaer roktey rangano ekushey February
Aami key bhulitey pari

(21st February, glowing with blood my brothers have shed
How can I forget?)

As I wandered in the city today, I saw thousands carrying flowers, some with black badges, yet others with the national flag. The flowers are left at the Shaheed Minar in memory of those who fought for Bangla. There were people from all walks of life - old, young, rich, poor, man, woman. Love for one's language knows no boundaries.

On this day I am filled with respect for those made this sacrifice, and I pray for their departed souls.

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