The government’s recent decision to change the English spelling of Bogra district’s name to Bogura has evoked mixed reactions from locals.
While many have welcomed the move saying the new spelling – Bogura – is the correct one, others think it will just create unnecessary confusion and problems for the government and the locals.
A number of people, however, appeared indifferent to the issue.
Dalia Nasrin Rikta, Bogra district unit general secretary of Jubo Mohila League, an affiliated organization of ruling Awami League, said the previous spelling was wrong and the government had corrected the spelling now.
“People should not be confused about this,” she said.
Abdus Salam Babu, a central leader of the Jatiya Party, also echoed Dalia’s response to the government decision.
A meeting of the National Implementation Committee for Administrative Reorganizations-Reforms (Nicar), which works under the Cabinet Division, last Monday had taken the decision to change the English spellings of five districts’ names.
Many people complained that the decision will require them to spend additional money to change the spelling of Bogra in all important documents, including National Identity cards, educational certificates, passports and birth certificates, which might lead to prolonged harassment.
However, officials of different government organizations, including the Election Commission, said the change would not be in effect for the time being. The government would bear the cost in changing the spelling gradually.
Bogra District Election Officer Dewan Md Sarwar Jahan said: “If the government decides to introduce new software, the spelling will be changed in every document including the National ID. This is the state’s decision. The people will not have to bear the responsibility for this.”
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Asadur Rahman, a businessman from Dupchanchia Upazila, said because of this decision Bogra spelling would also have to be changed in different databases used for foreign trade and personal communication.
According to locals and academics, Bogra district was named after Sultan Nasiruddin Bughra Khan, the second son of Sultan Ghiyas ud din Balban of the Mamluk dynasty of Delhi, when he became the independent ruler of Bengal in 1200 AD.
Some said changing Bogra’s English spelling to Bogura would be tantamount to distortion of history.
One of them was Dhunot Upazila Chairman and district BNP Joint Secretary AKM Touhidul Alam Mamun. He said: “This has distorted the history. The spelling will now have to be changed everywhere and that will cost a huge amount of money.”
Government Shah Sultan College Principal Prof Ezazul Haque also said this move was unnecessary.