Criticising the young generation’s latest trend of using Bengali language in English accent, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on Tuesday urged all to be careful about its distortion.
“These days we’re witnessing a trend of uttering Bengali in English accent using a bizarre sound. I don’t know why this is spreading among the young people in an epidemic form,” she said.
The Prime Minister was inaugurating a five-day Ekushey programme taken by International Mother Language Institute (IMLI) marking the Martyrs Day and International Mother Language Day-2017.
Hasina said the trend evolves in such a way that the young people think they will have nothing if they do not speak ‘Bangreji’ (Bengali in English accent).
She said the young generation must distance themselves from this attitude. “They must speak rightly when they say anything in any language… they’ll pronounce that properly and use the language correctly.”
She urged all, including academicians, linguists, teachers and guardians, to pay a special attention to this matter.
Noting that she is not against the learning of foreign languages, the Prime Minister said, “If anybody has the ability, he or she should learn more languages. But everybody should learn the mother language first. Knowledge in other languages will be the additional quality of an individual.”
Listing her government’s initiative for ensuring extensive use of Bangla in studies, daily activities and research on science, knowledge and technologies, she said Bangla keyboard has been introduced in mobile phone as well as dot.bangla domain for internet browsing.
She also mentioned that Bangla-speaking people will be able to open web addresses in Bangla alphabet and use internet in Bangla very soon.
Hasina also said an app has been developed through which people can learn nine languages.
Mentioning that Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman had delivered his address in the UN General Assembly in Bengali language, Hasina said she is also delivering speeches in Bangla in the UN General Assembly following his footprint.
“The government is also making its constant endevour to establish Bangla as one of the official languages of the UN,” she said.
The Prime Minister underscored the need for massive projection of the history of Bangali’s Language Movement and their huge sacrifices for the mother tongue like shedding blood and giving away lives.
She said Bengali is the only nation in the world who shed their blood on the streets to protect the dignity of mother tongue.
Hasina stressed the need for spreading the practice and use of Bangla and Bangalee culture all over the world with greater efforts to enrich the language and traditions of Banglaee people.
Mentioning February 21 as a day enlightened with the pride of thousand years, she said 190 countries from around the world are now observing the International Mother Language Day in memories of the language martyrs.
The Prime Minister paid rich tributes to the Language Movement martyrs and recalled the memories of the language veterans as well as the Father of the Nation who had played a key role in organising the movement in 1952.
At the outset of the discussion, a one-minute silence was observed as a mark of profound respects to the memories of the martyrs.
Education Minister Nurul Islam Nahid presided over the function while Indian linguist and scholar of minority languages Padma Shri Prof Anvita Abbi presented the keynote paper.
IMLI Director General Zinaat Imtiaz Ali, Head and Representative of Unesco in Dhaka office Beatrice Kaldun and Education Secretary M Sohrab Hossain also spoke on the occasion.