The supreme sacrifice of the language heroes on this day, 70 years back, is being remembered as people are paying glowing tributes to 1952 language martyrs by placing wreaths at the altar of the Central Shaheed Minar at midnight tonight maintaining health guidelines.
On behalf of the President and the Prime Minister, President's Military Secretary Major General SM Salahuddin Islam and Prime Minister's Military Secretary Major General Naquib Ahmed Chowdhury placed wreaths at the Central Shaheed Minar at one minute past zero hours.
The immortal song on Amar Ekushey--"Amar Bhaiyer Rakte Rangano Ekushey February"- was playing on the loudspeaker on the occasion.
Later, sergeant-at-arms on behalf of Speaker of Jatiya Sangsad Dr Shirin Sharmin Chaudhury, Awami League Presidium Member Matia Chowdhury, Nurul Islam Nahid, Shajahan Khan and Mofazzal Hossain Chowdhury Maya Bir Bikram on behalf of Awami League President Sheikh Hasina and Jatiya Party Secretary General Mujibul Haque Chunnu on behalf of Leader of the Opposition in Parliament Begun Rowshan Ershad placed wreaths at the Central Shaheed Minar.
Among others, AL Joint-General Secretary Dr. Dipu Moni and Dr. Hassan Mahmud, Office Secretary Barrister Biplab Barua, Secretary of Forestry and Environmental Affairs Delwar Hossain and Deputy Office Secretary Sayem Khan also paid homage to the language movement martyrs.
Chiefs of three services, ambassadors, high Commissioners, chief of deferent international organizations, attorney general, diplomats, freedom fighters and high civil and military officials also placed wreathes on the occasion.
People representing different political and other organisations then thronged the altar of the Central Shaheed Minar to offer their floral tributes maintaining health guidelines.
Later, Dhaka University Vice-Chancellor Prof Md Akhtaruzzaman, Dhaka University Teachers' Association, war-wounded freedom fighters of the 1971 Liberation War, different political parties and socio-cultural organisations paid their homage.
Later on, the Shaheed Minar was opened to the public when hundreds of people from all walks of life walked barefoot to it with flowers in hands and humming "Amar Bhaiyer Rokte Rangano Ekushey February" to recall the supreme sacrifice of the language heroes on this day in 1952.
The day is also being observed around the world as the UNESCO recognised the February 21 as the International Mother Language Day on November 17, 1999.
The government took extensive programmes to observe the 'Shaheed Dibash' and the International Mother Language Day in a befitting manner.
President M Abdul Hamid and Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina gave separate messages paying rice tributes to those who embraced martyrdom on the day.
Tight security was enforced around the main altar of the Shaheed Minar, its adjoining areas and Azimpur graveyard of the language martyrs.
Different political-social-cultural-professional organisations, including the ruling Awami League, also have taken various programmes such as seminars and cultural functions, to observe the Amar (immortal) Ekushey and International Mother Language Day in a befitting manner.
The Cultural Affairs Ministry has drawn up an elaborate programme to observe the 'Shaheed Dibash' (Language Martyrs Day) and the International Mother Language Day-2021 with solemn dignity.
Bangabandhu's special contribution to the language movement will be presented in various programmes on Martyrs' Day and International Mother Language Day in line with the birth centenary of Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman.
National flags will be kept half-mast in a proper manner having accurate size at all the government, semi-government, autonomous and private organisations and educational institutions.
In line with the national programmes, all educational institutions, local government bodies, district and upazila administration, Bangladeshi missions abroad will take proper measures considering the COVID-19 situation to observe the day.
Offering Fateha and Qurankhwani will be held at Azimpur graveyard and special prayers will be arranged at all worship places across the country seeking eternal peace of language martyrs.
The Awami League has drawn up elaborate programmes to observe the Amar Ekushey and the International Mother Language Day in a befitting manner.
To mark the day, national and party flags will be kept half-mast and black flags will be hoisted atop at the AL's Bangabandhu Avenue central office and Bangabandhu Bhaban and other offices of the AL across the country at 6:30 am on Sunday.
Other programmes include wearing of black badges at 7am and later bringing out Provat Feri from south gate of New Market as a mark of respect to the Language Movement martyrs.
To mark the day, a discussion will be held at the AL's Bangabandhu Avenue central office at 4pm on February 22. Awami League President and Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina will chair the discussion through videoconferencing from her official Ganabhaban residence.
Considering the prevailing COVID-19 situation and following the proper hygiene rules, a maximum of 5 delegates from each organization and a maximum of 2 persons at the individual level are laying wreaths at the Shaheed Minar.
Basin and liquid soaps will be provided for hand washing purpose at all entrances of Shaheed Minar.
No one will be allowed to enter the Shaheed Minar premises without wearing a mask.
Key city points and crossings and intersections were decorated with festoons with inscription of Bangla letters.