Language Movement Day in Bangladesh Date in the current year: February 21, 2016

Language Movement Day in Bangladesh February 21 is a public holiday in the People's Republic of Bangladesh, known as Language Movement Day, Language Martyrs' Day, or Language Revolution Day. It coincides with International Mother Language Day as both holidays commemorate the same event.

Language Movement Day honors the Bengali Language Movement in East Bengal in the 1950s. Since 1947, the territory of today Bangladesh was part of Dominion of Pakistan. It was known as East Bengal at the time. In 1948, Urdu was declared the sole national language for all of the dominion. The Bengali-speaking majority of East Bengal was opposed to his decision.

On February 21, 1952, the students of the University of Dhaka and other educational institutions along with other political activists launched a protest. During the demonstration, several protesters were killed by the police. The deaths provoked civil unrest that quickly spread across the region. After several years of conflict, Bengali was finally granted official status in 1956.

The anniversary of the demonstration was declared a public holiday in Bangladesh to commemorate the sacrifices made to protect the Bengali language. In 1999, it was also declared International Mother Language Day by UNESCO.

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