February is a month to pay homage to our language, culture, heritage and identity. Whilst culture is dynamic, language continually enriching and heritage the anchor of self-identity, national identity once established is a constant. Homogeneity can not be self-fulfilling without, allowing for diversity and heterogeneity to lend depth, dimension and a certain dynamism to a nation-state's identity.
It is through a continual process of reinvigoration, renewal and readjustment that we strengthen our language, culture, ethos and national integration carving a niche in the international society.
Ethnic minorities are neither peripheral to the concept of national identity nor is their craving for maintaining a distinctiveness any subtraction. On the contrary, it is a value addition to the totality of a nation's personality and its ethos.
Having said that, "the most important takeaway lessons from all that is happening is that the bulk of our people, both at home and abroad, is proud of our national culture, language and traditions." That keeps alight the hope that 'our culture will triumph over our adversity'.
But we have the somewhat artificial trapping of a perceived difference between nation-based identity and personal identity of multiple passport holders engendered by migration.
Then there is the issue of a chink in national inclusiveness when we fail to adequately empathise with ethnic and linguistic minority. Take note that the struggle for recognition of Sindhi language is still going on in Pakistan.
There are dalits and untouchables with hidden identity who are an anathema to social-inclusiveness in what we would like to see as a non-discriminatory equal opportunities society.
The 'otherness' is a liability we can ill-afford.
Forty years since Bangladesh's independence we have at last stepped into establishing justice for the genocide of 1971.
We have really reached a water-shed in our history when the spirit of the young should gush forth from the fountain of youth and be employed to herald change in society -- bringing maximum good to maximum number of people and taking our rightful place in the world.
The coverage is wide-ranging from uniform curricula for English medium school and future of left politics through a case for taking Bangladesh Bank to the port city Chittagong to Maradona conviviality to the 'forgotten Rohingyas'.