Patriotism, self-responsibility and increasing opportunity for using formal Bangla can prevent distortion of Bangla, said speakers at a programme held at the auditorium of Bangladesh Institute of Law and International Affairs in Dhaka on Sunday.
The programme titled ‘People’s awareness for preventing distortion of Bangla,’ was organised by United Nations Association of Bangladesh, in observance of International Mother Language Day.
The programme began observing a moment of silence in memory of those who embraced martyrdom for upholding the rights of the people to speak Bangla as a state language of the erstwhile Pakistan on February 21 in 1952.
Noted language movement activist Jashim-uddin Ahmed, also an atomic radiation security expert, attended the programme as chief guest and recalled his involvement in the student agitation on the day in 1952.
Professor Syed Azizul Huq of the Department of Bangla, University of Dhaka, delivered his speech on people’s awareness for preventing distortion of Bangla as keynote speaker.
National professor Anisuzzaman presided over the symposium and UNAB secretary general Syed Mohammad Shahed introduced the guests to the audience.
‘Lack of respect to our mother tongue, discrimination on using of formal Bangla, including poor cultural practices in Bangla language, are the present crises among Bangla speakers,’ said Syed Azizul Huq.
‘Distortion of Bangla began after August 15, 1975, and latter, with globalisation, it took a more critical turn as the media and internet played a crucial role in influencing the native speakers,’ he added.
As a result the Bangla speakers are adopting more foreign words in their everyday Bangla conversation, he also added.
‘To prevent distortion of Bangla we should take some initiative such as inciting patriotism and develop respect for the mother tongue among the young generation, ensure proficiency of Bangla and spread use of formal Bangla in the government and nongovernment job sectors,’ said Syed Azizul.
He also advocated policy level initiatives by the government, increased use of formal Bangle in academic curricula.
‘Six of us, including Saheed Barkat and I, took position on the premises of the faculty of arts at 10:00am on February 21, 1952. Suddenly Pakistan police force opened fire targeting us. By the time firing stopped, around five or six bullets passed right above our heads, Barkat was hit and he fell down on the ground and began bleeding. He sacrificed his life for Bangla,’ said Jashim-uddin Ahmed, one of the speakers.
He also said, ‘The Ekushey Padak, introduced in memory of the martyrs of the Language Movement, should only be conferred to recognise people’s contributions in language. We would have to introduce another award targeting other fields, including culture, education, and economics.’
‘Bangla is in the process of losing its originality and social media played a key role behind this massive change that occurred over the years and young generation should be more careful and concerned when using Bangla in social media,’ said Anisuzzaman.
He also said, ‘We should be more concerned about using Bangla in formal and casual conversation. To maintain the standard of language, Bangla Academy would have to take an initiative to circulate the standard form of Bangla across the globe to reach out to every Bangla speaker and inspire him or her to maintain a discipline.’
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