POST TIME: 22 February, 2018 00:00 00 AM
Use of Bangla

Use of Bangla

Bangladesh has shown to the world the value of one’s mother tongue through heroic sacrifice and there is every justification for the people of this country should feel pride in the matter and they do it. But that is not the point; the point here is despite this nobility of sacrifice, this nation has failed, after 47 years of its independence, to start the use of Bangla in all spheres of life.

The government offices have started to use Bangla for quite some time; if one visits the websites of various ministries, they will notice this welcome change. But the medium of Bangladesh’s Supreme Court is still English. Here a case is filed and the verdict is delivered in English. This may be one reason why the Supreme Court cannot take a strong position for Bangla. It is difficult to change the language of the apex court, but not impossible.

English was the language of our colonial masters and we inherited their justice system when they left us and that colonial legacy still continues with its positives and negatives. There are still laws in practice that were framed during the colonial period. Moreover, Bangladesh’s public servants are still to become public servants in the true sense of the term. There are administrative and law enforcing officers who still virtually lord over the people rather than serving them. This is colonial mindset and has to be shunned; otherwise the concept of self-rule will remain in theory only, not in practice.

However, apart from this, one very dangerous thing is going on with Bangla language and that is its distortion. We are here not taking the stance of the purist of a language. We do welcome changes when they are rationally acceptable. Say for example we do not want to use our Bangla word for the ‘mouse’ of computer, but we cannot accept alteration of our very Bangla word or its pronunciation.

Students’ use of Bangla slang words do not come into question—they are there in every language—but there are some people who work with Bangla language are nowadays intentionally trying to promote, for example, ‘khaichhilo’ as the correct form instead of ‘kheyechhilo’. Their argument in its favour is - people use it. But they quickly forget that people use correct as well as incorrect words and pronounce differently, but this cannot be a justification to make what people say wrongly as standard. This has to be fiercely resisted.

Bangla Academy and relevant other organisations including the media have to resist this tendency.