Underscoring the importance of learning mother language first, prime minister Sheikh Hasina on Saturday urged all to uphold the dignity of Bangla.
“I call upon to all uphold the dignity of our mother language which was achieved in exchange for huge blood,” the prime minister further said.
She said, “Our children must learn other languages. It’ll be the real education if they first learn mother language and then others. Our society will have to be conscious in this regard.”
Sheikh Hasina was addressing a programme at the Osmani Memorial Auditorium in the city marking the distribution of Ekushey Padak 2016 among 16 eminent personalities for their outstanding contributions to various fields.
Noting that many mother languages are losing their importance as people choose other languages for interactions with others in their daily life, the PM said, “But we must not forget our mother language. As we have to learn other languages, so we have to exercise our mother tongue properly.”
The premier said, “We’ll have to move ahead with self-confidence and thus further develop and prosper this country so that the Bangalee nation has its due place on the global stage with its head high. “Ekushey February (21 Feb) is not mere a day…it flourishes our spirit and teach us not to bow down our head to injustice.”
She suggested the cultural affairs ministry to project the history of 21 February in various languages of the world.
Noting that the Bengali nation had gained its hard-fought independence in 1971 following the path of 21 February, Hasina said:
“As a Bangalee nation, we’ve a unique tradition, characteristics and own literature, arts and culture. We’ll have to retain it and teach our future generation to follow it.”
Recalling with great respect the sacrifices of language martyrs, she said it was father of the nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman who had proposed forming ‘Rastrabhasha Sangram Parishad’ in 1948 which had initiated the struggle for gaining Bangla as the state language.
Citing that there could not be anything above mother language, she said, “We’ll have to give due respect to our Bangla language so that the nation could be built in such a way.”
About honouring eminent personalities with Ekushey Padak, Hasina said although this is a humble endeavour to recognise their contributions, but the real aim is to encourage the future generation so that they could follow these personalities and thus love the country, its people, literature, culture, engage in research and cultural practice.
Highlighting various steps of her government for ensuring further excellence of Bangla language alongside playing role for protecting other languages, she said her government had established the International Mother Language Institute in the capital where research works are carried out on the origin languages, their development, preservation and practice.
Cultural affairs secretary Begum Aktari Momtaz delivered the address of welcome at the function held with cultural affairs minister Asaduzzaman Noor in the chair.
Cabinet secretary Mohammad Shafiul Alam conducted the function and read out the citations of the awardees. – UNB