Author: Vedapratap Vedic
People generally do not know why the United Nations celebrates World-Mother Tongue Day on 21 February. In almost all the nations of the world, celebrations related to mother tongues are organized on this day, but the credit goes to our neighboring nation Bangladesh. Bangladesh was a part of Pakistan till 1971. It was called East Pakistan. The people of this East Pakistan are Bangla-speaking but Urdu was imposed on it. The languages of the people of West Pakistan are – Punjabi, Sindhi, Baloch and Pashto, but they accepted Urdu as the national language of the idiots who went from India. When Urdu was declared as the official language in Pakistan’s Constituent Assembly in 1948, it was strongly opposed by the Bangla members but their arguments were dismissed.
Mother tongue movement
As a result, the agitation erupted all over East Pakistan. Students of Dhaka University staged a massive demonstration. The Pakistani army opened fire on one such demonstration. On 21 February 1952, five youth were martyred. Since then, 21 February has been celebrated in Bangladesh as Mother’s Day. Bangladesh was born later by this mother tongue movement. After the creation of Bangladesh (1971), there was a continuous demand that Mother’s Day be given international recognition. The government of Bangladesh, under the leadership of Sheikh Hasina, got the UNESCO General Assembly declared February 21 as World Mother Language Day. Since 2000, it has been celebrated all over the world. There are currently 7000 mother tongues or languages or dialects in the world. Many of them have no script, no grammar, no books, no newspapers, but still they are alive and popular.
About half of them are such that if they are not protected, they will become time-consuming. Let’s talk about other countries of the world now, how are the mother tongues in our South Asia today? If we leave Afghanistan, Nepal and Bhutan, then tell which country is in our neighborhood, where its own language or mother tongue or national language has got its proper place. These countries of South Asia are now 75 years old, but as far as mother tongue is concerned, they are still crawling on their knees. I have seen the use of their own languages in the parliaments and courts of Afghanistan, Nepal and Bhutan. Their language of law, justice, teaching, rule and home-market are their own. These three countries are proud of their language, culture and way of life.
India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka and Maldives are also proud. They call their language the Queen, but her status is that of a maid everywhere. These nations neither have their laws in their own languages nor are they debated in courts. The decisions that are made are also in English. Most of the debates in the parliaments of these countries are also in English. The mother tongue is heard only when Netaji does not know English. Public schools like India have come out in these countries. The rich and urban middle class children live in these schools, and they are the children studying in English and take government jobs. If the mother tongues and the national language find their rightful place, then our hospitals and courts can avoid becoming enchanters.
When the United Nations and UNESCO talk about mother tongues, they do not mean that children should boycott other languages. They must learn their mother tongue, but learn the national language along with it. In countries where there are many languages, the national language is synonymous with national unity and overall development. As far as foreign languages are concerned, it is also very good to learn them according to need. Knowledge of foreign languages is essential for foreign trade, diplomacy and research. But how many people are engaged in these three works? Hardly a million people. But in our country, a foreign language has been imposed on 140 crore people. Millions of children fail every year due to compulsory English. Their morale falls and their inferiority gland becomes thick. She remains intact even after reaching the highest positions.
English is the language of our old masters in only four and a half countries. Britain, America, Australia and New Zealand. It is also the language of Canada but half of Canada speaks French. All the important work of countries like China, France, Germany, Japan, Italy etc. is done in their own language. No country has become a superpower through foreign language. Having lived in all these countries, I have seen their universities, parliaments, courts, government offices, houses and markets. Everywhere, they are dominated by their mother tongue or national language. English is the only foreign language in our country, which is dominated everywhere. Can we use these with China, Japan, Russia, France and Germany and take proper advantage of them in our trade, diplomacy and research?
Loss of originality
The imperative of the only foreign language (English) has made India a copycat. Has paralyzed his originality. English may contribute to the progress of a handful of people of India, but more than 100 crore poor, backward, villagers, laborers and the underprivileged of India cannot be saved without their languages. Till date, there has not been a single government in independent India that understands the role of language properly in national development. Some governments have taken a few steps at some time, but unless mother tongues and national languages are used to the highest level in every field, India will not become a superpower and a superpower.
Disclaimer: The views expressed above are the author’s own