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** Call it national government, call it emergency government – but the need for change is urgent ** Rains lash Dhaka, trigger snarls ** Global Covid cases near 527 million ** No advice to be economical, honest people are already in hardship ** Flooding affects millions in Sylhet ** India, Bangladesh train services to resume shortly ** Global Covid cases near 526 million ** Gridlocks greet capital commuters ** Consumers buying rice from a Food Directorate's Truck posted at Abdul Gani road in the capital on Thursday amid soaring prices of essential commodities. NN photo ** Is Bangladesh heading toward a Sri Lanka-like crisis? ** Veteran journalist Abdul Gaffar Chowdhury no more ** Averting currency crisis without power sector reform ** Boatmen struggle to cross the Buriganga River as water hyacinths cover part of the river near Islampur in the capital. NN photo ** Nasir, two others indicted in Pori Moni case ** Covid-19: Bangladesh logs 22 new cases, no death ** HC cancels bail of expelled JL leader Samrat ** Truck-microbus collision leaves 2 dead in Natore ** PK Halder now wants to return to Bangladesh knowing he has powerful friends to help him ** Sylhet flood situation worsens, thousands marooned ** Extradition of PK Halder has to go thru’ legal process: Indian envoy ** Govt fixes toll rate for using Padma Bridge ** Bangladesh marks Hasina's homecoming ** Global Covid cases near 522 million ** Children take bath in the Buriganga River in Dhaka to ward off the scorching summer heat. This photo was taken from Buriganga embankment on Monday. NN photo ** Sweden takes formal decision to apply for NATO membership **
POEMS

Ekushey February

21 February 2020


-Mohammad Nurul Huda :
This is the Ekushey day-recalling the 21st of February
 The day when a stirred-up race erupted incandescently
And till now, that day in Bengali minds shines brilliantly.
It's a day for morning processions and bare-feet walks
For crimson-lined white saris and pinned black badges
For grieving people with bosoms bearing history's burdens.

The day is all about the mother tongue and mother earth's gifts
It is all about promoting harmony and humanity's happiness
 And reminding people everywhere about loving languages.

This is the day when all mothers won-their children as well
A day of condolence meets, silence and of victory eternal
Ekushey is the day of victors and of champions one can tell.
Ekushey is the day when Bengalis witnessed a spring mutiny
It's the day when Barkat and Salam were killed cold-bloodedly
 But the day when revolutionary hearts could take fire eternally.

Ekushey is all about fatherly affection and motherly love
It's the day when brothers wear shawls their sisters' think of
 Ekushey is a spring day crimsoned in the blood-red of Bhador.t

Ekushey is when freedom came through a language for which blood was spilled
A day when independence came to a nation in whose people compassion flowed
It's the day when egalitarianism became in the hearts of all people the proper creed.

tBhador is the first month of autumn symbolizing the loneliness of a person who is missing
his beloved.

Translation: Fakrul Alam
 21st February - our identity’s core
-Hasan Hafiz

Ekushey-you’re the day when passions flamed and made history
 You’re the bountiful sky glowing with comet-like daring
You don’t belong only to Bengalis anymore; this precious gift
 Bestowed from blood spilled from love of one’s mother tongue
Is now for the world’s people; it’s the gift of indomitable youths
Who sacrificed their lives for civilization, Ekushey-
Your auspicious immortal melody is no longer the possession
 Or heritage of Bengalis alone! Even in far-off Sierra Leone
 In another part of the globe, one can hear your melody
 In the ankle bells of its belles. The Bengali language’s classy cadences
 Resound in newfound cultural pride. A sacrifice made at great cost
Now inspires others speaking other neglected mother tongues.
A once slighted but invincible language has ascended to glory,
Step by step, self-propelled, through movements and a liberation war
Fluttering of stringed dotaras, shapla flowers and doyel birds
And fierce roars came together to drive the tyrant to oblivion.
Ekushey is in truth the name of a freely-flowing river
And it's this truth that we’ve been able to etch worldwide.
You enable languages spoken even by tiny communities to flourish,
Spread, be respected and conserved. You provide inspiration
To rebel against tyrants; you offer succor for one’s identity formation.

                                                                                                        Translation: Fakrul Alam

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