POST TIME: 3 April, 2018 12:59:43 AM / LAST MODIFIED: 3 April, 2018 02:59:36 PM
English spelling of five districts changed
Experts term decision unnecessary
Special Correspondent

English spelling of five districts changed

The government has changed the English spellings of five districts to make them identical to their spoken Bangla names, a move experts deemed as unnecessary. From now on, the English spelling of Chittagong district will be Chattogram, Barishal for the existing Barisal, Cumilla instead of Comilla, Jashore for Jessore, and Bogura instead of Bogra. The National Implementation Committee for Administrative Reorganisation—Reform (NICAR) yesterday approved the new English spellings at a meeting held at the Prime Minister’s Office, with the Prime Minister in the chair.

After the NICAR meeting, NM Ziaul Alam, secretary (co-ordination and reforms) of Cabinet Division, told reporters that the government has changed the English spellings of the districts as the prevailing spellings date back to the British era.

Shamsuzzaman Khan, the director-general (DG) of Bangla Academy, told The Independent that the authorities concerned never sought the academy’s opinion on this matter. “We have experts who could have provided their opinion on the proper English spellings for these five districts, which would have been better,” he said. The Bangla Academy DG observed that the authorities seemed to be in a hurry to introduce the changes.

“When the spelling of the capital was changed from ‘Dacca’ to ‘Dhaka’ there were two different sets of opinion, but, later, the current spelling was accepted,” he said.

Professor emeritus Dr Anisuzzaman said that changing the English spellings of the five districts was unnecessary. “There was no confusion over the English spellings of these five districts, which have been in use for long,” he said. Dr Anisuzzaman, who had received the Padma Bhushan award from the government of India, disclosed that he and professor emeritus Dr Serajul Islam Choudhury were among the several experts consulted about changing the spellings. Dr Anisuzzaman said he had opined against the change.