Friday, September 18, 2009

Bangladesh,Language Movement (contd-6)

Constitution reform :
On may 7 1954, the Constituent Assembly resolved, with the Muslim League's support, to grant official status to Bengali. Bengali was recognised as the second official languge of Pakistan on 29 February 1956, and Article 214 (1) of the constitution of Pakistan was rewarded to " The state language of pakistan shall be Urdu and Bengali".
Howevewr the Military Government of formed by Ayub Khan made attempts to re-establish Urdu as the sole national language. On 6 Jan 1959, the military regime issued an official statement and reinstated the official stance of supporting the 1956 constitution's policy of two state languages.
Military regime of Ayub Khan
In 1953 at the instigation of religious parties, Anti-Ahmadiyya riots erupted, killing scores of Ahmadi and destryoing their properties . The riots were investigated by a two member court of inquiry in 1954, which was criticised by Jamaat-e-Islam, one of the parties accused of inciting the riots.This event led to the first instance of military intervention in the politics and cultural affairs of the country. The Dominion was dissolved on 23rd March,1956 and replaced by the last governor-general, Iskandar Mirza, as the first president.Just two years later the Military took control of the nation and Field Marshal Ayub khan became president to begine a new system of Government called basic democracy with a new constitution.
Ayub Khan promoted the interest of the Panjabi and Pashtoon communities at the expense of Bengalis. Despite forming the majority of the national population, the Bengali community continued to be under-represented in the civil and military sevices, and received a minority of state funding and other government help.Bengalis grew increasingly alienated. Consequently, sectional divisions grew and support for the Bengali nationalist Awami league , which invoked the spirit of the Language movement was invoked in its 6-point movement for greater autonomy and democracy.One demand was that East Pakistan be called Bangladesh (land of Bengal), which subsequently led to the Bangladesh Liberation War.
The language movement had a major cultural impact on Bengali Society.It had inspired the development and celebration of the Bengali language, literature, and culture. 21 February, celebrated as Language movement day or Shohid Dibosh ( Martyr's Day)is a major national holiday in bangladesh.
A month long event called the ekuse Book Fair is held every year to commemorate the movement. Ekuse Padak , one of the highest civilian awards in Bangladesh, is awareded annually in memory of the sacrifices of the movement. Songs such as Abdul gaffar Choudhury's Amar bhaier rakte rangano, set to music by Shaheed Altaf mahmud, as well as, plays, works of art and poetry played a consideable role in rousing the people's emotions during the movement.Since the events of February 1952, poems,songs,novels, plays were created to capture the movewment from various point of views.
Two years after the first monument was destroyed by the police , a new Shaheed Minar was constructed in 1954. Later on United front ministry constructed a Monument designed by Hamidur Rahman which began in 1957 in the yard of Dhaka Medical College Hostel.The design included a half circular column symbolizing a mother with her martyred sons standing at the dais on the center of the monument. The Monument was completed and inaugurated by Abul Barkat's mother, Hasina Begum , on 21 February,1963,

but that was also demolished by Pakistani Forces during the Bangladesh Liberation War of 1971.

Bangladesh government reconstructed it in 1973.It can be noted here that similar movement on language outside East Pakistan occured in Assam ,on 19 May,1961 where 11 Bengalis were killed by police firing in Silchar railway Station, Assam. Subsequently Bengali was given semi-official status in the three Bengali-Majoritty districts of Assam.