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Women’s role in Bangla language movement

Published : Saturday, 20 February, 2021 at 12:00 AM  Count : 1127

Women’s role in Bangla language movement

Women’s role in Bangla language movement

The Language movement is one of the most significant incidents in Bangladesh's history because the movement was the first step towards getting an independent Bangladesh. The movement basically began establish Bangla, the mother tongue of the majority in Bangladesh(then East Pakistan) as a state language. It was a struggle to protect cultural identity from government suppression. It laid the foundation of nationalism and paved the way for the birth of Bangladesh eventually.
While the name of Salam, Rafique, Barkat, Jobbar is attached to language movement because of their sacrifice for the Bangla language, there are number of women activists who also sacrificed.
Women actively participated in the movement-at a time when society was largely conservative. Conventional historical narratives have overshadowed the heroic deeds of women.
Later, women came forward to fill up the void in leadership when male leaders were imprisoned or had to go into hiding to avoid police arrest. Women were the first to defy curfew under section 144 on the fateful February 21,1952.
In this write-up we'll tell the tale of some of the women, who had immense contribution and sacrifice for this language movement, along with others.
Pratibha Mutsuddi --Student of Chittagong College (1951) and Dhaka University (1954), member of Students' Federation. o Participated in demonstrations held in Chittagong city protesting the firing on students in Dhaka in 1952. o Arrested for breaking Section 144 during 21 February,1955.
Mamtaj Begum --Headmistress of Narayanganj Morgan Girl's School. o Arrested for organizing demonstration protesting police killings of language activists. o Refused the government's offer to sign a mercy petition admitting mistake in exchange for her freedom. o Jailed for over a year, she lost her job and was disowned by family. o Died all alone at the young age of 37.
Rawshan Ara Bachchu --Member of Democratic Progressive Student Front. o Spoke in favor of women's participation in politics in a radio program on April,1950. o One of the forerunners to deny the curfew in DU Campus on 21 February,1952. o Also involved in the students' movement for a pro-people education policy.
Anwara Khatun --one of the members along with Maulana Tarkabagish who famously staged a walkout as a protest against Chief Minister Nurul Amin's inaction during February 21 police firing. o Moved a resolution in the East Bengal Legislative Assembly on February 22,1952 demanding the unconditional release of all arrested for language protest and compensation to the victims. o Led Awami League during 1966 when male leadership was imprisoned for the 6-points
Some of the identified female activists were Dr Halima Khatun Dr Sufia Khatun Nurunnahar Kabir Fazilatunnesa Safia Khatun Sofia Khan Zulekha Sara Taifur, Rani Bhattachariya Manjushree Sen Sufia Ahmed Nuri Sufia Ibrahim Begum Zobeda Khatun Chowdhury, Zakia Sultana Bulu Rabeya Chhomela Foujia Begum Feroja Saleha Halima. Apart from them, it is deemed that there were also some female activists who still remain unidentified.  


















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