Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on Thursday requested the judges to deliver the verdicts of lawsuits in Bangla taking into consideration the poor knowledge of most of the litigants in the foreign language.
The premier made this call after inaugurating a four-day programme of the International Mother Language Institute at Shegunbagicha in the capital this afternoon on the occasion of the Amar Ekushey and the International Mother Language Day 2019.
“Because of poor knowledge in English, most of the litigants need to depend on their lawyers to understand the verdict. The litigants have no scope to know about the essence of the judgment and in many cases, they are harassed for this reason,” Sheikh Hasina told.
“So, it’s crucial to publish the court judgment in Bangla,” she said, adding the judges may write verdict in English, but there should have a provision of publishing it in Bangla.
“Language of the judgment should also be simple avoiding any Roman style to make people understand it easily. It’s better to deliver the judgment in Bangla and translate it into English,” she said.
Describing Bangla as one of the scientific languages in the world, the premier said: “But, we are not so much careful to learn Bangla as we are serious to learn English. That’s why Bangla appears to be difficult to many people.”
The prime minister said pundits have evolved standard colloquial where pronunciation, spelling and uses of style are fixed and unchanged. “But, we observe with regret that we are not learning these rules with care,” she said.
Sheikh Hasina said though difference of opinion with regard to spelling and pronunciation among the pundits sometimes creates ambiguity, but that issue is not so big.
“Everybody should think how the foundation of language learning of the children gets strong,” she said.
Education Minister Dr Dipu Moni, Deputy Minister for Education Barrister Mohibul Hasan Chowdhury Nowfel, Resident Representative of UNDP in Bangladesh Mia Seppo and Education Secretary Sohrab Hossain spoke, among others, on the occasion.
Noted Indian thinker and chair of People’s Linguistic Survey Ganesh N. Devy presented the keynote speech, while Director General of the International Mother Language Institute Professor Dr. Jinnat Imtiaz Ali gave the welcome address.
Urging all to give due honour to other languages, the prime minister said none should hate languages of others, rather in the era of globalization everybody should learn another language for communication with all.
Mentioning that Bangladesh is a land of various ethnic groups, Sheikh Hasina said for younger learners of different ethnic groups, the government has taken steps for publishing textbooks in their mother languages and distributing those books free of cost among students at the beginning of the academic year.
Highlighting the importance of Ekushey, the prime minister said the Ekushey is not for Bangalees only today. “The messages of Ekushey transcended across the world and the International Mother Language Day is being observed in more than 190 countries,” she said
Sheikh Hasina said: “February 21 is the day of establishing the right to speak in our mother tongue. It’s is the symbol of resistance against colonial rule, exploitation and subjugation.”
The premier said the mother language is the main vehicle of the self-esteem for the individual as well as nations. “We express our emotions, feelings, needs and opinions with the help of language,” she said.
Sheikh Hasina said language is the existence and identity of an individual as well as a nation. “If the language is attacked, the individual identity and self-esteem is threatened,” she said.
In this regard, the premier quoted from poetry of prominent Bengali poet of the 17th century Abdul Hakim – ‘je-sob bongete jonmi hingse bongo bani, se-sob kaaher jonmo nirnoy na jani’ (those, even born in Bengal, despise the tongue of this land, I cannot tell who those are born to).
Sheikh Hasina also excerpted from the speech of Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman who told that “all nations love their mother tongues” and “no nation can bear the insult of its mother tongue.”
The prime minister said the young generation should be known the sacrifice and subjugation the Bangalee nation had suffered to earn independence and the right to speak in the mother tongue.
Focusing on the history of the Language Movement, Sheikh Hasina said although the 21st February in 1952 witnessed the tragic incident, the movement for mother language began much earlier.
At the proposal of Bangabandhu, she said, the State Language Action Council was formed comprising Chhtra League, Tamuddin Majlish and other student organizations in 1948.
This Action Council had called for a general strike on 11th March in 1948 across the country. On that day Bangabandhu was arrested while he was picketing in front of the Secretariat, she said.
Bangabandhu was later released on 15th March, and he had presided over the Action Council meeting at Aamtala of Dhaka University on March 16, the premier said, referring to the book- “Secret Documents of Pakistan Intelligence Branch on Bangabandhu”.
“In the subsequent days, Bangabandhu was at the center of all movements and struggles. For his involvement Bangabandhu had to endure huge torture and persecution of the rulers,” Sheikh Hasina said.
The prime minister hoped that by performing its duty of practicing the mother tongue, conducting research and playing its role in implementing mother tongue-based education, the Mother Language Institute will become one of the epicenters of language research in the world.
At the outset of her speech, Sheikh Hasina expressed her profound shock and sorrow at the loss of lives in a tragic fire incident at Chakbazar in Old Dhaka last night.
She conveyed deep sympathy to the bereaved family members and assured giving all support to the injured persons.
The prime minister also inaugurated a sign version of the historic March 7 speech of Bangabandhu and unveiled the cover of brail publication of her book “Valobasi Matrivasa”.
She also opened a library of the International Mother Language Institute and an archive of writing rules of different languages.