by our special correspondent:On 21 st February when the border tinsel town was beaming with programme of language martyr day a video of Kabir Suman was making round the globe. Somebody asked Suman if Bengali is a darling language and a good language. In fact Bengali is a neglected language . Everybody speaks of it but none practise it’s propagation.

On Petrapole border the programme was beaming as usual with dignitaries of both India and Bangladesh celebrating it in the zero line as they did in yesteryears. However Trinamul leaders like state food minisiter Jyotipriya Mullick , Gopal Seth , local MLA Surajit Biswas and municipality chairman Shankar Addya spared no effort to use it as a programme to decry CAA.From Bangladesh MP from Jessore’s Sarsa Aafiluddin , Bangladesh minsiter of state Swapan Bhattacharjee Hossein Chowdhury were present .

Apart from this a lot of other dignitaries of Jessore administration and land port were also present in the programme . However corona virus that claimed their victim . In order to stop spreading Bongaon administration were cautious in allowing many people to come across the border.Like early days the presence of special medical team to check the immigrants of corona virus was also not seen .

However that hardly detered the people from both countries to celebrate the Bhasa sahid divas or language martyr day as they used to do in yesteryear.Food minsiter following their partyline slammed CAA act and said that it’s sheer intolerence to create a demarcation line among the Bengali speaking of India and Bangladesh.

Participants in the rally joined the chorus and sung Bangladesh’s national anthem, Amar Sonar Bangla, as well as other songs dedicated to the language movement in 1952 and its martyrs.

In 1999 UNESCO announced February 21 will be observed as the International Mother Language Day to promote multilingualism and cultural diversity. It was a recognition of the prolonged struggle of the people of Bangladesh who fought with the rulers of Pakistan who imposed Urdu as the official language in 1948.Forgetting the lines drawn on the maps, people from both of the Bengals came together and celebrated the Bangla language.

Leaders from both nations held hands and their voices soared to the sky. This is how the Bangla-speaking population on either side of the no man’s land in Benapole-Petrapole checkpoint celebrated Language Martyrs’ Day and International Mother Language Day on Wednesday.

Wreaths were placed at a makeshift Shaheed Minar in the no man’s land to pay homage to the language martyrs.

The day’s celebrations included the gathering of thousands of people who sang and distributed sweets among themselves. Representatives from both sides spoke of compassion and unity, and the leaders promised to celebrate February 21 in an even bigger manner in the coming years.

Different social, cultural and political communities from both countries participated in the festival. The no man’s land was decorated with banners, festoons and placards.
Since 2002, the people of Bangladesh and India have been celebrating International Mother Language Day in the heart of the largest land port in the country.

Every year, people from both sides observe International Mother Language Day by embracing each other and disregarding their differences. A sentimental air pervades throughout the area. Thousands of people from the Petrapole and Benapole border areas come together, and for a moment, the border separating them is forgotten.

Picture by – Partha Sarathi Nandi.


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