Bangladesh is a country so much synonymous with Bangla or Bengali, writing something in English takes away the sheen out of it. Starting with the name of the country, a pure Bengali word, the emotion that oozes out surrounding the words “Bhasa (Language) Andolan (Struggle) ” and “Mukti Yuddha (Liberation for Freedom)” is no way near to when they are translated in any other language.
To me, the struggle for establishing Bangla as the national language against an oppressive and tortuous regime was deeply connected with their overall freedom movement. While one after another governor from the then West Pakistan’s ruling institution tried to force Urdu upon the nation as their national language bringing them to their knees , this andolan was not just another upheaval around the language but it united a whole country to go for something they believed in.
“ Amar Bhai er Rakte Rangano Ekushe February,
Ami ki Bhulite Pari “ - When one hums these lines and other similar lines like
“Amar Sonar Bangla,
Ami tomai bhalobasi”…one can feel the blood flowing through the veins much akin to the freedom fighters from India.
The numerous distressed and displaced people got an impetus to fight for their liberty in the face of all odds. The struggle that started around 1950s got fructification in the year 1971 with the massive help and support from India – a neighborly act only to be done by a sensible government.
Not specifically naming any leader amongst the hundreds of nameless and faceless common men and women, I take this opportunity to salute all those involved in this movement from the core of my heart.