All languages are sweet to their patrons, but none can be sweeter than one's own mother tongue. The language children learn since birth is derived from their surroundings, especially from the parents, and it is their mother tongue. People may learn various languages and become exceptionally well-versed in them but nothing beats the comfort and confidence of natural expertise in mother tongue. The English, French, Japanese, German, Chinese are all highly developed nations. The key to their success lies in their knowledge of science and arts with which they get familiarised by their respective mother language. What crucial roles does a mother language play in the field of study? The most obvious one is that anything is more comprehensible and digestible when learned in the mother language. Education achieved through mother language enhances cognitive abilities and nurtures effective growth of knowledge, thereby increasing the chance of success collectively for the whole nation.
Growth of children and adolescents flourish through different fields, such as physical growth, growth of merit, lingual skill development, social skill development, emotional development, development of the mindset and psyche, ethical development, etc. However, learning the language properly is a key requirement as it is related to our thinking and other progress, such as intellectual, social and emotional progress. The language we speak in, the culture we cultivate and the values we respect in the early days of life are embedded in our core. It is evident from the various studies that if the new generation wishes to be efficacious and talented, the practice of mother language is a quintessential requirement.
We Bangladeshis are the only nation in the world to sacrifice life to establish the right of mother language. We never forget the contribution of the language martyrs. As a nation we are very much aware of our own mother tongue but, unfortunately, we do not put much effort to develop the Bengali language.
In a country where 99 per cent of the population is Bengali-speaking, all feelings are expressed, all thoughts are furnished and all imaginations are visualised in Bengali. All our regular activities are conducted via Bengali language; we even diversify our intellectual capabilities in this language.
But apart from Bangla Academy, Biswasahitya Kendra, and some newspapers, there is hardly any other notable place where an attempt is made for improvement of Bengali lingual application. Spelling errors are galore everywhere in books, booklets, handouts, advertisements, bus/rail notices, official documents. Ispahani is determined to work towards raising nationwide awareness about this issue. A campaign to improve the present state of Bengali language will enrich the cultural experience of the younger generations as well as familiarise them with Ispahani. Considering this, Ispahani conceived and introduced a language competition called Ispahani Mirzapore Banglabid. Banglabid is a platform to promote the practice of correct Bengali language, proper spelling, and pronunciations. Its principal purpose is to find out the persons who have the ability of thinking and expertise in Bengali language.
Ispahani Mirzapore Banglabid started with the slogan: 'Live in Bengali with full spirit'. The purpose of this show is to encourage the new generation to learn and use correct Bengali, correct spelling and to use Bengali in all aspects of life and living. With this in mind, Ispahani will ensure the rise of appropriate use of Bengali language, and protection of Bengali from mistakes and increasing deformity. This initiative can be termed as 'The Call for Bangla'.
Banglabid is not just an ordinary reality TV show or a mere competition; it's a social awakening call. It is an attempt to facilitate resurgence of Bengali language. So the slogan: 'Banglay Jaago Bharpur' (Live in Bengali with full spirit). Banglabid has received widespread positive response from millions of TV viewership. Their opinions and tributes have encouraged this initiative in many ways. Newspaper assessments of Banglabid are very constructive and encouraging.
The first phase of the two-stage event was held in seven divisional cities through selection rounds. From there, the top 80 students took part in the second phase. Every episode of the competition is broadcasted on Channel 1, every Friday and Sunday at 9:35 pm. Bedsides the participants of the show, people from all parts of the country evidently enjoyed the programme; they also got an opportunity to further strengthen their skill in Bengali language. The programme highlighted some topics which are not only important to the whole society, but also are entertaining and interesting for the general audience.
This year on July 07, when the first episode of Ispahani Mirzapore Banglabid was broadcasted, the programmed ranked 301st in media monitoring report by Kantar MRB in Bangladeshi TV shows genre. The 15th - and last - episode of this year on August 25, ranked 15th among the popular shows in the country. This obviously served as an inspiration for the organisers.
The journey of Ispahani Mirzapore Banglabid began on February 25 this year. This year's event was for students of Bengali, English and Madrasa mediums from the 6th to 10th grade students (for English medium it was from 6th standard to O Level). First, the registration process was open for one month, where 35,000 students registered through SMS and online. After taking part in the audition in seven divisional cities, 80 students were selected from the countryside to attend in the studio round in Dhaka. With the participants, the competition was launched in country's leading TV channel, Channel 1. The episodes were arranged with various types of new games based on Bengali literary items, grammatical questions, Bengali proverbs, photo puzzles, buzzer rounds, extemporal speech, creative writing, etc. Ispahani Mirzapore Banglabid was an amazing reality TV show.
On the basis of the knowledge and performance of participants on Bengali in all 15 studio episodes, 'Ispahani Mirzapore Banglabid' will give a reward of Tk 1.0 million (10 lakh) to the winner, Tk 300 thousand (3.0 lakh) to the first runner-up and Tk 200 thousand (2.0 lakh) to second runner-up. Apart from this, the top ten contestants will get a laptop each, along with a giant bookshelf with books worth Tk 50 thousand.
The writer is Senior Manager, Marketing, M.M. Ispahani Limited
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