Silchar, May 19: The people of Barak Valley came out in large numbers to commemorate the 11 language martyrs who lost their lives for the sake of protecting their mother tongue, Bengali, on May 19, 1961. The Language Martyrs’ Day also known as Bhasha Shaheed Divas was observed across the valley. Various socio-cultural and students’ organizations, clubs, literary bodies as well as political parties paid floral tributes to the minaret at Gandhi Bagh Shaheed Mandir. Earlier in the morning, tributes were also paid at Silchar Railway Station, Tarapur. Various functions took place at the town today.
A stage was made by Samilito Sanskritik Mancha where a number of artistes and participants sang songs, recited poems and also spoke at length on the significance of this Day. At around 2.30 pm, members of important organizations like Barak Uppataka Banga Sahitya O Sanskriti Sammelan and Sammilitho Sanskritik Sangstha also commemorated the martyrs.
Members representing Silchar Bar Association, ACTA, Cachar district committee, Zila Karmachari Parishad, Silchar Municipal Board Association, Chotto Prochesta and Disari visited Gandhi Bagh to pay floral tributes. Live sculpting was carried out by the members of Barak Art and Craft Society.
A number of cultural programmes and competitions have been organized at every nook and corner of the town. Students from different schools participated actively in a variety of competitions which comprise drawing, singing and recitation. Street plays or skits were held on Gandhi Bagh. Beautiful alpanas were drawn on Park road in front of Gandhi Bagh.
On this day, in the year 1961, 11 martyrs sacrificed their lives protesting against making Assamese as the one and only official language of the state of Assam. They were protesting peacefully when rounds of firing killed 11 innocent persons which include a woman also. Dr S Lakshmanan, IAS, Deputy Commissioner of Cachar, MLA Dilip Kumar Paul, MP Sushmita Dev, former Union Minister Kabindra Purkayastha, Ataur Rahman Mazarbhuiya and others paid their tributes to the martyrs.