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Bangladesh originated from movement for Bangla as national language of East Pakistan: Pranab

Press Trust of India  |  Kolkata 

Former Pranab said on Thursday that the creation of in 1971 had its origin in a movement that sought to recognise Bangla as the official language of erstwhile

Those who took part in the liberation movement 48 years ago had one slogan in their mind - to make Bangla the national language of the then eastern part of Pakistan, said after inaugurating a three-day literature festival at the ongoing International Kolkata Book Fair.

The existing literature suggests that Urdu used to be the official language of after partition and the natives of that region were fighting to make their mother tongue Bangla the official language.

The Sheikh movement ultimately led to the creation of in 1971, said.

The 83-year-old statesman said people must accord due respect to Bangla language -- which is one of the most spoken languages in and Bangladesh.

He said that nearly 20 crore people speak Bangla in and Bangladesh.

On being felicitated by the organisers of the book fair and the literary festival for getting Bharat Ratna, Mukherjee said, "I don't know how much I deserve this honour."

Mukherjee was recently conferred the country's highest civilian award along with and Bhupen Hazarika.

The former paid tributes to the rich legacy of Bengali literature. He said almost 600 years ago, a Bengali had spoken on the issues of human rights and freedom.

Chandidas had expressed the sublime truth of humanity in a very simple form, in very few words through his universal lines "Sabar opore manush sotto tahar opore nai" (Man is above everything, humanity is greater than everything, nothing exists beyond that)," he said in his speech.

Sixty-six guests from 10 countries, including India, are attending the three-day literary meet which will have 24 sessions covering literature, contemporary issues and different areas of the arts.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Thu, February 07 2019. 20:25 IST