Rushanara Ali MP commemorates International Mother Language Day.
On 21st February 1952 student demonstrators and activists were killed by police whilst protesting for Bangla to be preserved as an official language of Pakistan. These students sacrificed their lives to preserve the Bangla language, and this was the start of the struggle for Bangladesh’s independence.
UNESCO established this date as International Mother Language Day, to commemorate those who sacrificed their lives to uphold linguistic and cultural diversity.
Marking International Mother Language Day, Rushanara Ali MP said:
“On International Mother Language Day, we remember those who lost their lives in the struggle for freedom and the preservation of our mother tongue.
Because of the actions of those brave activists, Bangla speakers have been able to freely express themselves in their own language in an independent Bangladesh.
It is with great pride that I mark this important day and celebrate my Bangladeshi heritage. We are forever indebted to those who fought so bravely to protect our language and cultural identity.
As we remember and commemorate the sacrifices made in the past, we must use this time to reflect on the importance of protecting linguistic freedom and marginalised languages, as well as the rights of minority groups."