Stop messing with mother tongue

21 February, 2021 12:00 AM printer

As the nation along with the whole world observes International Mother Language Day with due solemnity and grandeur, we think this is also a perfect time to reflect on our responsibilities to ensure proper use of mother tongue in our everyday life. Because if we fail to ensure dignity of our mother language, it will be a violation of the spirit of the 1952 when our valiant Language Movement Heroes sacrificed their lives so that we can express ourselves in our mother tongue.

While much criticism has been levelled against the government for failing to ensure use of Bangla in all spheres, a growing propensity among many of us to give less importance to our mother tongue is simply outrageous and alarming. For example, there are people who consider a certain foreign language to be a divine language and promote it. And there are some others who consider another certain foreign language to be a smart language and unnecessarily use it as much as they can. In between, our own language gets sandwiched, distorted, neglected and, to some extent, looked down upon by none other than some of our own people.

It is unfortunate that an increasing number of us are making this mess with our mother tongue and we are not worried about its consequences. It runs contrary to the spirit of the Language Movement of 1952 and the martyrs who shed their blood for the dignity of our mother tongue. If we have inspired the world to adopt February 21 as the International Mother Language Day, it is not simply acceptable that we should be so callous to compromise its standards.

The current trend will undermine our language seriously if it cannot be reversed urgently. So far, no major initiatives have been undertaken to enforce that reversal, and our language continues to be taken for granted.

The erosion of standard in every walk of life is also taking its toll on language. This is all the more reason why we should take it seriously before this erosion is compounded by further erosion, leading to a greater crisis. A nation that fails to keep its language tidy may eventually find that it does not have a sound mind.