The language issue | The Daily Star
12:00 AM, February 25, 2008 / LAST MODIFIED: 12:00 AM, February 25, 2008

The language issue

This editorial of 6 February is quite timely. The problem has arisen because of the clever attitude of some Bangladeshis ( mostly abroad) who have managed to identify the language of Bangla with Matri Bhasha or Mother tongue. Of course a proper language must have its alphabet, its vocabulary and grammar and a standard pronunciation over a large area of population for mutual understanding, and thus Bangla Bhasha has evolved over centuries from many dialects of various mother tongues or brojo-bulee, matri-bulee etc. When a bulee becomes a bhasha with all necessary elements, it is the bhasha which must be given prominence by the educated citizens and matri bulees or dialects must only remain in the background of culture or literature, but never occupy the centre stage.
Unfortunately, this situation has been changed by overzealous disservice and the struggle for Bangla Bhasha has been identified as struggle for Matri Bhasha. This is not the situation in West Bengal, so they speak the evolved language as it should be spoken.
It can quite easily be seen when instead of, say, singing, "Moder garab, moder asha, amader ai banglabhasha", they sing "Moder garab, moder asha, amader ai matribhasha'.
This confusion must be resisted and removed from our psyche for the proper development of Bangla as the 4th widely spoken language in the world and the common language of this glorious delta-land.
It does not mean that various matri bulees or dialects be demeaned, only that they must have a subsidiary or buttressing role to the main language.

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