• Wednesday, Nov 25, 2020
  • Last Update : 01:17 pm

To save a language

  • Published at 11:56 pm February 27th, 2020
Photo: BIGSTOCK
Photo: BIGSTOCK

The government should ensure that these languages can thrive

It is a matter of great regret that the Santali language, spoken by over a hundred thousand people within the borders of Bangladesh, is on the verge of dying out. This comes down to neglect on a policy level, as right now there are no textbooks in Santali, and so it is not clear if the language can be successfully carried off to the next generation.

Thousands of indigenous children are being deprived of a proper education in their mother tongue, because the requisite textbooks and qualified teachers are simply not there.

To see a language face extinction because of neglect is nothing short of heartbreaking, particularly because of our proud history of standing up for our right to speak our mother tongue Bangla. The month of February is a good time to remember not just the blood that was shed to uphold Bangla as our mother tongue, but our duty to all other languages.

Given the endangered status of Santali, as well as a host of other indigenous languages, it is clear that we have not fully stuck to the pledge we made back in 1952.

The spirit of Ekushey, after all, is not about the supremacy of any single language, but about every citizen’s right to speak, read, and learn in his or her own language, free from oppression or tyranny. 

To that end, the government should ensure that these languages can thrive, not just in spoken form, but in classrooms and textbooks. Saving Santali would mean preserving the richness of the cultures within Bangladesh, and protecting diversity.

Bangladesh’s linguistic diversity is one of our great strengths, and should be treated as such. 

56
53
blogger sharing button blogger
buffer sharing button buffer
diaspora sharing button diaspora
digg sharing button digg
douban sharing button douban
email sharing button email
evernote sharing button evernote
flipboard sharing button flipboard
pocket sharing button getpocket
github sharing button github
gmail sharing button gmail
googlebookmarks sharing button googlebookmarks
hackernews sharing button hackernews
instapaper sharing button instapaper
line sharing button line
linkedin sharing button linkedin
livejournal sharing button livejournal
mailru sharing button mailru
medium sharing button medium
meneame sharing button meneame
messenger sharing button messenger
odnoklassniki sharing button odnoklassniki
pinterest sharing button pinterest
print sharing button print
qzone sharing button qzone
reddit sharing button reddit
refind sharing button refind
renren sharing button renren
skype sharing button skype
snapchat sharing button snapchat
surfingbird sharing button surfingbird
telegram sharing button telegram
tumblr sharing button tumblr
twitter sharing button twitter
vk sharing button vk
wechat sharing button wechat
weibo sharing button weibo
whatsapp sharing button whatsapp
wordpress sharing button wordpress
xing sharing button xing
yahoomail sharing button yahoomail