Language Movement Day
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Language Movement Day or Language Revolution Day (ভাষা আন্দোলন দিবস Bhasha Andolon Dibosh), which is also referred to as Language Martyrs' Day or Martyrs' Day (শহীদ দিবস Shohid Dibosh), is a national day of Bangladesh to commemorate protests and sacrifices to protect Bengali as a national language during Bengali Language Movement of 1952.
In 1952, the emerging middle classes of East Bengal underwent an uprising known later as the Bangla Language Movement. Bangladeshis were initially agitated by a decision by the Central Pakistan Government to establish Urdu, a minority language spoken only by the supposed elite class of West Pakistan, as the sole national language for all of Pakistan. The situation was worsened by an open declaration that "Urdu and only Urdu will be the national language of Pakistan" by the governor, Khawaja Nazimuddin.
Police declared Section 144 which banned any sort of meeting. Defying this, the students of University of Dhaka and Dhaka Medical College and other political activists started a procession on February 21, 1952. Near the current Dhaka Medical College Hospital, police fired on the protesters and numerous people, including Abdus Salam, Rafiq Uddin Ahmed, Sofiur Rahman, Abul Barkat and Abdul Jabbar and many other died.
The movement spread to the whole of East Pakistan and the whole province came to a standstill. Afterwards, the Government of Pakistan relented and gave Bengali equal status as a national language.
This movement is thought to have sown the seeds for the independence movement which resulted in the liberation of Bangladesh in 1971.
To commemorate this movement, Shaheed Minar (শহীদ মিনার), a solemn and symbolic sculpture, was erected in the place of the massacre. The day is revered in Bangladesh and, to a somewhat lesser extent, in West Bengal as the Martyrs' Day.
This day is the public holiday in Bangladesh.
UNESCO decided to observe 21 February as International Mother Language Day. The UNESCO General Conference took a decision to that took effect on 17 November 1999 when it unanimously adopted a draft resolution submitted by Bangladesh and co-sponsored and supported by 28 other countries.
In Assam and North-east India 
In Silchar, India, eleven people were killed by police firing on 19 May 1961 when protesting legislation that mandated the use of the Assamese language. Bengalis in Assam and north-east India observe 19 May as Language Movement Day to remember the 11 Bengalis who were killed on the day by police fire in Silchar Railway Station. 
See also 
- A timeline of events
- International Mother Language Day at Toronto
- International Mother Language Day (21 February) Photo Contest 2012