Dhaka North City Corporation (DNCC) will launch a drive against English-only signboards at 11am to enforce a High Court ruling stipulating all sign boards include Bangla four years ago.
On February 7, the DNCC began implementing the ruling at Gulshan 2 circle by removing signboards that did not include Bangla.
During the raid, a DNCC mobile court fined 18 companies Tk10,000 each for their violation of the High Court ruling.
Speaking to the Dhaka Tribune, Magistrate Sazid Anwar of the mobile court said: “The drive was conducted in the presence of two mobile courts. We had sent notices to these companies, published notices in newspapers, and used loudspeakers to deliver to remind them to do it.”
[caption id="attachment_246859" align="aligncenter" width="800"]
Dhaka North City Corporation (DNCC) staff are seen demolishing Oppo's signboard at Gulshan 2 roundabout in Dhaka on February 7 Collected from DNCC Facebook page
However, Damon Yang, Managing Director of Oppo Electronics, a mobile phone manufacturer that was fined said: “DNCC sent a notice to our (Gulshan 2) outlet, but it did not reach us on time.
“We have discussed the matter in a meeting. Further decisions regarding the text and the logo will be held with the DNCC authorities in the future.”
The 18 companies that violated the High Court directive include Islami Pharma, Bata, Oppo, Flora Limited, Image Lighting, Sony Rangs, Bahera, Landmark, Data Photocopy, Cambrian School and College, Aslam Lighting, US Bangla Airlines, Bread and Beyond, and Top Ten.
Samsung Mobiles was also fined. Their official response was: "Samsung complies with all the relevant laws and regulations in Bangladesh. Operating in a compliant way and abiding by all the laws of the land is the foundation of our business.
“In this specific case, Samsung will take all necessary measures to ensure complete compliance with the law."
[caption id="attachment_246861" align="aligncenter" width="800"]
Dhaka North City Corporation (DNCC) staff are seen bringing down Bata's signboard in English during the drive on February 7 Collected from DNCC Facebook page
On May 28, 2014, the High Court asked the government to take measures to implement its directive on using Bangla in all advertisements, nameplates, and signboards.
Academic Sirajul Islam Chowdhury thinks: “This drive should not be conducted only to mark the month of the language movement. The city corporation initiative to remove billboards in English should continue after the month of February. The use of Bangla should be mandatory in all sectors.”
Kaisar Haque, a teacher in the English Department of University of Liberal Arts Bangladesh, said: “We need a full explanation of the High Court directive. Many state-owned banks, such as Sonali Bank and Rupali Bank, use Bangla text in signboards and logos. It is more practical for some organizations to use both Bangla and English text in their billboards, signboards, and logos.”
DNCC Chief Revenue Officer Rabindra Sri Barua told the Dhaka Tribune: “We are not conducting raids against English billboards centring the month of the language movement. But, our spirits are high right now. The drive will continue until Bangla language achieves its rightful place in all sectors across the country.”