BALURGHAT: International Mother Language Day was celebrated with enthusiasm at the Zero Point of Bangladesh territory with representatives of both countries on Thursday.The programme was conducted by Amra Mukti Yodhdhar Sontan Command, Saptahik Alokito Simanto, Hakimpur of Bangladesh and Ujjiban Society, Balurghat Chhandam, Uttarer Robbar and Meghalaya Tura Committee of South Dinajpur district from India. The long struggle of achieving recognition of Bengali language, particularly in Bangladesh, bore fruit after UNESCO declared February 21 as the International Mother Language Day in 1999. Also Read – Bose & Gandhi: More similar than apart, says Sugata Bose”The Language Movement is considered to have laid the foundation for vehement nationalism in the mind of Bengalis and also distinguished the cultural animosity between the authorities of the then East Pakistan (now independent Bangladesh) and West Pakistan,” said Zahidul Islam, secretary of Alokito Simanto. The secretary of Ujjiban Society Suraj Das said: “The military government made several attempts to establish Urdu as their sole national language, as the western wing of Pakistan considered Urdu a product of Indian Islamic culture, while they felt Bengali language symbolized Hinduism.” Also Read – Rs 13,000 crore investment to provide 2 lakh jobs: MamataThe Hindu-Muslim division had also been considered and was being played upon and exploited by the political elite of the country most effectively and almost in a routine manner, for their own benefits in the name of the nation and the state. “Speaking more specifically, the seeds of partition between the Hindu and Muslim communities were sown in 1948, when Mohammad Ali Jinnah, the father of the Pakistani nation, declared in Dhaka that Urdu would be the state language of Pakistan,” Das said. The Language Movement had a major cultural impact on the Bengali society and inspired the development and celebration of Bengali language, literature and culture. The day is also observed as ‘Martyr’s Day’. “Those who lost their lives to uphold the prestige and defend the rights of their mother language became hallowed martyrs,” said Biswanath Laha, acting head of Uttarer Robbar. Reputed poets and eminent writers of both countries took part in a language seminar on the occasion. A colourful cultural programme was also organised.