Not enough validation of Ekushey

Published: February 20, 2019 22:11:47 | Updated: February 23, 2019 22:08:30


Bangladesh has been on a long language journey since the 1952 movement in the Pakistani regime. The language movement earned for Bangla a unique place in the linguistic history of human civilisation. So poignant is the story of sacrifice that the world community has recognised the love for and dedication to the mother tongue of the Bangalees through a universal declaration of the event as the International Mother Language Day. It has been a logical transition from a national event of immense importance to an international calibration. Thus the language martyrdom of February 21, 1952 has assumed the status of a global milestone celebration. Bangla preserves the preeminent position in the league of languages in this respect. The ethos of the Bangalees has been fully endorsed by the world community. Today the Ekushey has become the entire world's commitment to respect and protect any language in which some people speak. What a giant leap for human mind and attitude! Instead of ruling over an indigenous language, the effort is to keep it alive.

However the transition from one landmark celebration to another has not been equally complementary for the language, Bangla - one that has acted as the fountainhead. The land that produced a whole generation of people ready to sacrifice their lives for the love of language took the cause further ahead by inspiring its immediate next generation to lay down their lives for the freedom of the nation. The freedom or independence was earned at a huge cost but the post-independence effort to elevate the language was not up to the mark. Today, Bangla has lost much of its importance leaving space for other languages to intrude. Many argue that Bangla vocabulary is not rich enough to accommodate the development in science and technology. One of the leading scientific minds and brains the undivided Bengal has produced is Higgs-boson famed Satyendranath Bose who once remarked that those who say that Bangla is not good enough for science education are either poor in Bangla or do not understand what science is.

So, personal and collective shortcomings cannot be attributed to the language in order to claim a language like Bangla's limitations. Now the trend of using cocktail language, thanks to the cell phone, smartphone, social media and the cell phone companies, has been so rampant that the young generation is unlearning the great tradition of the mother tongue's nuances and correct usage. This threatens to restrict the development of the language if not spoil it altogether.

The hard truth is that use of Bangla in all administrative works, sign boards, bill boards and names of organisations is hardly complied with. Every year around this time, the official circulars and the media take up the matter for drawing attention of the people but for the rest of the year everyone conveniently forgets it. This does not help the cause. True, on the literary front, poetry and fiction have made significant progress but the excellence is hardly enough for competing with the world's best. The best tribute to Ekushey and the language would have been if some literary works would have fetched world recognition like the Nobel Prize. Scientific research and technological innovation together with literary achievements at the highest level would have put the language in its right perspective.

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