Gallery: Bangladesh history celebrated at International Mother Language Day at Suffolk New College in Ipswich
18:43 23 February 2014
An historic but tragic turning point in the battle for Bangladeshi independence has been marked at a special event.
The Suffolk Bangladeshi Society celebrated International Mother Language Day at Suffolk New College today, attracting civic leaders and members of the Bangladeshi community.
More than 100 people gathered to honour the struggle for the recognition of the Bangla language.
After the partition of India in 1948, a single state of Pakistan – split between west and east – was formed.
The dominant west decreed Urdu should be the official language, a move met with resistance in the east.
The deaths of many students during a protest march in Dhaka in 1952 prompted a movement which led to the split of Pakistan in 1971 and the establishment of the new state of Bangladesh.
Manik Miah, chairman of the Suffolk Bangladesh Society, said: “It is a day of sorrow and glory as we remember the students who lost their lives demonstrating for the cause.
“It is important to mark what happened and I thank everyone who paid their respects.”
Ipswich MP Ben Gummer said it was important to celebrate different languages and heritages of the town’s “diverse and rich” community.