Memorable Ekushey of the great language movement

Dr. Mahfuz Parvez, Associate Editor,


  • Font increase
  • Font Decrease

The great Ekushey today is intertwined with the immortal memory of the 1952 language movement. The status of the language was achieved through the language movement initiated by the brilliant commitment to establish the mother tongue Bengali. Through the bloody path of Ekushey's bloody movement, Bengalis gained economic, social, cultural and political rights.

Immortal 21st February, 1952 has given far-reaching inspiration to the language and culture of Bengal and Bengalis for thousands of years. Immortal Ekushey is a great spirit in the awakening of Bengali language, culture and Bengali nationalism and in socio-economic, political development and progress.

Civilization and cultural history show that the more important the mother tongue is, the more pioneering it is in the development of the nation. The nations of the world have been able to develop and prosper by improving and functioning of their languages. Bengalis have found the path of political consciousness and freedom in the path of cultural movement since the Bengali language. The nation will get the conviction to move forward along the path of development and prosperity of Bengali language.

The statement becomes clear when we look at the examples of Bangladesh, China, Japan, Russia, Germany, France etc. Those countries have taken themselves to the pinnacle of development through the pursuit of knowledge. They have improved their language. They have expanded education. This is how the overall development has been made possible, first with language and then with education.

The way in which mother tongue Bengali needs to be evaluated in education and development, we are far behind here. Besides, in order to survive with others in the current era of globalization, the use of English and other foreign languages as a medium of instruction must be kept in mind. Since English is the most widely spoken language in the world and they control the world because of their economic position, a good job, no matter what I say, depends largely on English language skills. But expecting strength from a weak mother tongue to a foreign language is the name of greed.

Rather, it is desirable to create an atmosphere of different languages with the mother tongue at the center. Through which it will be easier to adopt knowledge, science, technology, history, traditions of different countries of the world and apply them in one's own country and society. It will be possible to move forward with global knowledge. In this case, the mother tongue must be kept in front. Because when a nation abandons its own language and culture for social, religious, political or economic reasons, they lose their own identity. There is nothing more dangerous than losing you in learning something new. As a result, it is necessary to build the education structure keeping the mother tongue at the center.

During the colonial period, a group of people were made English slaves by teaching English. Although they were indigenous to the nation, they were English slaves in behavior and attitude. All that happened as a result of colonial aggression. There is no one to carry out such aggression in an independent country. Now it is possible to acquire different languages and knowledge by keeping all the conditions of national purity intact. The work has to be done by preserving individuality, identity and self-identity. It should be done not with the contradiction of making a master in English medium on the one hand and a master in a madrasa on the other hand, but by uniting everyone in the spirit of Bengali. Because, since Bengali is our mother tongue, if we use this language in education, especially in higher education, people will be able to understand themselves, the society and the state, the environment and the global environment accurately and well.

Sad but true is the fact that even though Article 3 of the Constitution of Bangladesh speaks of Bengali as the state language of the Republic, in practice its application is limited. As a result, the current generation is very much dependent on memorization. As a result of the tendency to ignore Bengali, the use of Bengali in education has lagged behind. Language is creating inequality between students of different institutions and different mediums. That inequality is increasing the risk of socio-cultural inequality and difference.

Experts and researchers have given various suggestions year after year to increase the application of Bengali language in higher education. Notable among these are: Compulsory use of Bengali as a medium of higher education in the national education policy; Improve Bengali vocabulary; Arranging for Bengali translation of texts required in higher education; To develop the active role and activities of the research center for Bengali language; Bringing simplicity to the artistic, grammatical and written forms of the Bengali language; Presentation of the historical significance of Bengali language to expatriate Bengali speakers and in the international arena; Introduction of accurate and acceptable Bengali language at all levels; Raising awareness among all to understand the importance of Bengali language; To create more and more computer software in Bengali version and to make Bengali language technology-friendly quickly.

It is really sad to touch 70 years of language movement and not being able to establish mother tongue Bengali in all respects even after 50 years of independence of Bangladesh. It is expected that the oath to turn that pain into hope will be uttered in the great devotion of Ekushey.