Don’t neglect mother tongue: PM | The Daily Star
12:00 AM, February 22, 2020 / LAST MODIFIED: 07:40 AM, February 22, 2020

Don’t neglect mother tongue: PM

Says she feels pity for those who speak Bangla in English accent

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has said it is necessary to learn languages in the era of globalisation, but it should not be done by neglecting the mother tongue.

"The world is now a global village. To live here, to communicate with others, to do business, to know about other cultures and literatures, one needs to learn different languages, but it should not be done by excluding the mother tongue," she said.

The PM was addressing a programme marking the inauguration of a four-day programme of the International Mother Language Institute in the capital's Segunbagicha yesterday. The event was organised on the occasion of the Amar Ekushey and the International Mother Language Day 2020.

Hasina blasted a section of the young people who cannot speak Bangla properly.

"Many of us are forgetting Bangla while staying in Bangladesh. They cannot speak Bangla with proper Bengali pronunciation. They speak Bangla in English accent. What will I say to them? I can only pity them."

Talking about the Pakistani conspiracy to exclude Bangla from the life of Bangalees, the PM said it was a blow to the existence of the whole nation.

"We've achieved independence depending on that movement [Language Movement]. This is the reality."

Bangabandhu had said the blow to Bangla made him determined not to stay with Pakistan anymore, she added.

"He launched every movement and took every step of his life keeping that in mind," the premier said.

Referring to the history of the Language Movement, Hasina said although the February 21, 1952, saw the tragic incident, the movement for mother tongue had begun much earlier.

She said at the proposal of Bangabandhu, the State Language Action Council was formed comprising of Chhatra League, Tamuddin Majlish and other student organisations in 1948.

This Action Council had called for a general strike on March 11, 1948, across the country. On that day, Bangabandhu was arrested, the PM said.

She said she wanted to form a trust fund under the International Mother Language Institute where the government would provide a fund as seed money.

"From the interest of the seed money, the institute will award fellowship to students for learning languages. Learning language is very important."

The institute would decide which languages they would teach here, the PM said.

Education Minister Dipu Moni, Deputy Minister for Education Mohibul Hasan Chowdhury Nowfel, Head of the Office and Unesco Representative to Bangladesh Beatrice Kaldun and Education Secretary Mahbub Hossain also spoke, among others, on the occasion.

Earlier, Hasina unveiled the mural of the Father of the Nation at the International Mother Language Institute. She also unveiled some publications at the programme.

After the inaugural programme, she visited the office of the national committee for celebrating the birth centenary of the Father of the Nation at the institute.

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