MAGURA, Feb 13: Two veteran language heroes of the district, even at their age of about 90 years, are passing their days with heavy hearts and intense unhappiness and also with displeasure as they have long been far from due respect.
While talking with The Daily Observer on Thursday, language veterans in Magura Khan Ziaul Haque and Aminul Islam Chandu Mian expressed their resentment. They said that though the essence of Liberation War of the country was introduced through the Language Movement, language heroes are yet to be evaluated by the government.
"Although because of their glorious sacrifice and heroic movement for language during the turbulent days of February in 1952, the February 21 is now observed as the International Mother Language Day, but the language movement heroes are still ignored," said Khan Ziaul Huq, leading language veteran and educationist in Magura.
According to Ziaul, some of the language heroes here were also tortured by the-then police in various ways and some of them also faced captivity. But all these heroes are now either unknown or unsung.
"Neither local administration nor any political organisation here held any programme on International Mother Language Day to pay tribute to the patriotic role of the language movement soldiers. Most of them have already passed away with their heavy hearts," said Ziaul with great regret to the The Daily Observer.
However, it was essential at least to make aware our new generation about the contribution of language heroes, Ziaul lamented.
Another language hero Aminul Islam Chandu Mian, while talking to this correspondent, echoed the same sentiment and claimed that government should take fruitful and rapid initiative so that language heroes can get state-honour, at least posthumously.
Chandu Mian also stressed on the necessity of making a genuine list of language heroes so that the new generation gets real picture of the movement.
Though language movement was primarily launched from the-then provincial capital city Dhaka, its wave rapidly touched the-then sub-divisional headquarters like Magura.
At the very beginning of the movement, local student leaders along with general students of the-then Islamic College (now the Government Hossain Shaheed Suhrawardy College) embarked on the movement to establish 'Bengali' as the state-language, according to local language veterans.
Afterwards, they took vigorous initiative to launch the movement even at remote areas of the sub-division.
Student leaders Nasirul Islam Abu Mian, Khan Ziaul Huq, Abdul Jalil Khan, Aminul Islam Chandu Mian and Azim Dewan mainly led the language movement at the sub-divisional headquarters.
Khan Ziaul Huq and Aminul Islam Chandu Mian are still alive with their heavy hearts while two others have already passed away.
According to the language veterans, Khan Ziaul Huq, Aminul Islam Chandu Mian and some other leaders were picked up by police on February 23, 1952 when they brought out a procession from Nomani Maidan area in Magura town and moved towards the Chourongi Square. But police intervened and picked up some leaders. Police, however, freed them after interrogating several hours, language veterans informed.
Meanwhile, a student leader from Iqbal Hall of Dhaka University Mirza Shawkat Hossain came to Magura, held meetings at different educational institutions and played a key role to motivate and organise the general students in joining the language movement, said Ziaul Haque.
Another student leader of Raicharan High School AK Hamiduzzaman Ehia, with the cordial cooperation of the-then headmaster of Sreepur High School Abdur Rahim Joarder, began to organise the students of different institutions in the-then Sreepur thana. At that time Abdus Salam, Abdur Rashed, Ali Ahmed and Jitendronath Ghosh, among others, assisted Ehia, Ziaul added.