It is a reblog within a blog post. Today we celebrate International mother tongue day and it is a bitter truth that still in India and various part of the world people are fighting to protect their language. They are fighting to ensure that their linguistic right may not be hampered by any kind of force or imposition. This fight for the language is stil significant and for this reason I wrote an article on language movement in India. It was my fourth post and it was 15th march, 2022. Now lets dive deep into the important fact- the post will complete its one year journey in the coming 23 days. But still it has the highest view amongst all other post, poetry or article irrespective of its genre. So I thought to reblog and made a separate blog post out of it. For this reason you will be able to read this post and that post.
Bengalis are may be amongst the few linguistic race who have laid down their life for protecting their mother tongue-be it in India or erstwhile East Pakistan(now a days Bangladesh). I will always feel proud of my identity that a proud bengali Indian who lives in the great nation, but it is disheartening for this country to still witness bloodshed quarrel over this sensitive issues and till now no sincere step has not been taken by any of the parties who have ruled the Government of India. You may read my article here-Language movement in India: What Government of India failed to understand
Today is very auspicious day as 21st of February is observed as International mother tongue day, to promote the awareness of linguistic and cultural right and diversity.
India got its independence along with the partition in August 1947. West Pakistan started to impose urdu to the then people of East Pakistan where majority (more than 80%) spoke their mother tongue bengali.
In 1948, the Government of Pakistan declared Urdu to be the sole national language of Pakistan, even though Bengali was spoken by the majority of people combining East Pakistan and West Pakistan. The East Pakistan people protested, since the majority of the population was from East Pakistan and their mother language was Bangla. They demanded Bangla to be at least one of the national languages, in addition to Urdu. The demand was raised first by Dhirendranath Datta from East Pakistan on 23 February 1948, in the constituent Assembly of Pakistan.
To demolish the protest, the government of Pakistan outlawed public meeting and rallies. The students of the University of Dhaka, with the support of the general public, arranged massive rallies and meetings. On 21 February 1952, police opened fire on rallies. Abdus Salam, Abul Barkat, Rafiq Uddin Ahmed, Abdul Jabbar and Shafiur Rahman died, with hundreds of others injured. This was a rare incident in history, where people sacrificed their lives for their mother tongue.
India had witnessed several language movement; as the Pakistani government was accused of imposing urdu, Indian Government has been accused of imposing hindi even if India is a multi linguistic nation.
You may read this-
You may ask why I am not digging deep on its historical and socio-political background? The reason is simply you can find those data easily on the internet as we are now at the era of Information technology and data. I am here to share my experience, my view. People in the center need to understand that demanding linguistic right is neither illegal nor unconstitutional as our Constitution of India protects it; they need to understand it is not one language or the religion- it is the mutual respect for the differences that binds us together, they need to understand that demanding for linguistic right is never detrimental to the integration of India, they need to remember the Article 1 of the Constitution of India- “India that is Bharat shall be a union of states”.
Now just imagine a tourist or a job seeker came from outside to U.k, U.S.A, Spain, France, Germany, Portugal and told a local who only knows hindi not to speak english, spanish, french , german, portugese but to speak in hindi only. It is reality here. I have faced this kind of disrespect and abuse even in my locality. I expect nothing but respect for my mother tongue as I respect others. If someone settling somewhere outside their native place, they need to learn and speak that language. Is it that complicated. I want a India where none had to laid down their life for protecting their mother tongue. I want a India where none had to face any kind of socio-cultural or linguistic imposition. I want a India with zero racism so that none can call bengalis as termites, immigrants, bangladeshi; none can call punjabis as khalistani terrorist, none can call the people seven sister states chinese, none can call people of Southern part of India as black, dark, asuras. You may also like to read this-
I will say it thousand time-
India is differently unique, uniquely different. Lets preserve and protect this uniqueness to protect this nation from all peril.