Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Ekushey (21st) February


Artwork by Jerome D'Costa,
Toronto


Ekushey February

Ekushey February has a meaning
Only when Bangladeshis enjoy freedom,
Freedom from hunger, freedom of the speech
Freedom of the press including the other media.

Ekushey February has a meaning
Only when there’s justice in the country,
Justice in the nation’s law and administration,
Justice in education and business, justice in employment.

Ekushey February has a meaning
Only when there’s equality everywhere,
Equality of all irrespective of race, religion, gender, education and profession
Equality that will heighten the bond of brotherhood and cooperation.

Ekushey February has a meaning
Only when Bangladesh’s mother languages get their proper places,
Mother languages of Bangla (Bengali), mother languages of 40 other ethnic groups
Mother languages that bind individual groups with a solid glue.

If Ekushey February is observed annually without freedom, 
Without justice, equality, and proper places of country’s mother tongues,
It becomes empty, it becomes fake, it becomes a lie,
It becomes a mere yearly show for the show’s sake.

Ekushey February should be a conscience, a guiding light,
Ekushey February should be a measuring rod
For whatever we do in Bangladesh.

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