Bangladesh PM critical of speaking Bangla in English accent

Bangladesh Sangbad Sangstha . Dhaka | Published: 23:04, Feb 21,2020 | Updated: 00:11, Feb 22,2020


Prime minister Sheikh Hasina inaugurated a mural of the country’s founding president Sheikh Mujibur Rahman at the International Mother Language Institute at Segunbagicha on Friday.— BSS photo

The prime minister, Sheikh Hasina, on Friday put emphasis on practising Bangla language properly and castigated those, who speak Bangla in English accent.

‘There is nothing to do except showing compassion for those, who staying on the soil of Bangladesh, cannot speak Bangla and who try to speak our mother tongue in English accent,’ she said.

She made the observation while inaugurating a four-day programme of the International Mother Language Institute at Segunbagicha on the occasion of the Amar Ekushey and the International Mother Language Day.

The prime minister said there were some boys and girls in the country, who tried to speak Bangla in English accent, forgetting Bangla and languages of their own areas.

‘It seems from their attitude that they feel very uneasy to speak Bangla,’ she added.

Hasina said that the world became a global village where everybody needed to learn other languages but the mother tongue must never be neglected.

‘To live here, to communicate with others, doing business, knowing about other cultures and literature, one needs to learn different languages but not by excluding the mother tongue,’ she said.

Presided over by education minister Dipu Moni, the function was also addressed by deputy minister for education Mohibul Hasan Chowdhury Nowfel and UNESCO Representative to Bangladesh Beatrice Kaldun as special guests.

Former Rabindra Bharati University vice-chancellor Pabitra Sarkar presented the keynote speech.

Secondary and Higher Education Division secretary Md Mahboob Hossain delivered the welcome address, while International Mother Language Institute director general. Jinnat Imtiaz Ali gave the vote of thanks.

Hasina’s younger sister Sheikh Rehana and daughter Bangladesh National Advisory Committee for Autism and Neurodevelopmental Disorders chair Saima Wazed Hossain were present.

Referring to a comment of Pabitra Sarkar, the prime minister said, ‘The noted Indian educationist made a true remark that narrow mindedness works among us while practising our own language.’

She said that there were some people who thought that their children would not get job or could not move in the society if the children did not study in English medium. ‘There is no doubt that they are suffering from mental poorness,’ she said.

The prime minister said she liked to talk in mother language or her village language. ‘However we try to speak Bangla properly in the meetings, but when we talk in the house we speak mixing the languages of Gopalganj and Dhaka,’ she noted.

Hasina said that her government was working relentlessly to ensure the use of Bangla at all levels and sectors.

‘We’re also working for proper preservations of the mother languages of various ethnic minorities,’ she said.

She said that due to timely initiatives of her government, the UNESCO on November 17, 1999 declared February 21 as the International Mother Language Day in memory of the martyrs of the great Language Movement.

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