Language Movement A View on Contemporary Context By -Mahir Mahbub


The language movement was a political movement for (former East Pakistan) Bangladesh advocating the recognition of the Bengali language as an official language. But it was not so easy to achieve the recognition of the Bengali language as an official language for major portion of population in a country. So in consequence, a movement was took place between the rational and cranky sentiment. And the main two catalysts of this movement were screamed from core of heart by the major portion of population for their mother language and incorporeal nationalistic cognition.
Pakistani rulers denied the demand of East Pakistan’s people and they wanted to prove the demand had no legal and practical basement. They also had some irrelevant logic in favor of their argument.
Their first and principle logic was: East Pakistan and West Pakistan are homogenate countries. So the language of East Pakistan and the language of the center should be similar. Otherwise East Pakistan will be detached from political and cultural relationship.
The counter logic was that the whole Bengali people forgot Bangla and learned Urdu to bring similarity with their center, which would be better settlement. But in reality it wasn’t possible.  Why was it impossible? There may be many answers to this question, one of them from historical paradigm. This kind of incident never happened in the world history and every effect towards this kind of incident was fruitless.
Actually language movement was decisive at that moment from various perspectives. People were extremely willing to achieve their freedom of mother language. And it was so acute that people declined the emotion of incorporeal nationalistic cognition within four months of India and Pakistan dividation. The demand for freedom of mother language became stronger day by day. Meeting and procession were assumed as a way of movement. The Pakistani rulers declared Urdu as only state language again and again, and the Bengali people made protest against that declaration by their peaceful meeting and regular procession. But 21st February was the day which made the unannounced termination of this issue. Because the Pakistani ruler exempted his bared cubit against the procession of student’s cluster which outraged the people’s general imagination effluence all over the world.
At last we achieved our freedom of mother language. Nowadays whole world celebrates 21st February as international mother language day.
Language movement was a movement to establish Bengali as a state language as well as it was a slightly cultural event. We have established Bengali as our state language but we had have some vague point about its actual history. And we have inferiority complex, especially in case of using Bengali as a medium of our higher education.

The martyrs of language movement
We remarked 21st February as martyr’s day, because some people were martyred by the police in the first light of that day. And this incident was repeated at the next day of 21st February.
We built martyrs memorials to immortalize the memory, and we celebrate this day with impression and great reverence every year. We are very proud of our language movement but we don’t know the actual number of the martyrs and history of the rest number of martyrs of that first successful democratic movement.
We confined the numbers of martyrs with the five much known names. Salam, Barkat, rafiq,Jabbar were killed in 21st , Shafiur Raham was killed 22nd February.  But what was the identity of another number of martyrs? Who were those martyrs?
What about the Sirajuddin, Abdul Awal, or young martyrs Ohiullah, and many other people, they were missed from procession .Those are a bunch of name. But what was their redound fate.
In sake of history and as our national demand, we need to know the whole actual history of that incident. But the unknown history of 21’st February & the history of martyrs is remaining as top secret information for our government. So, the question is why this unnecessary restriction on this so called “classified information”? When we are an independent country and the classified characteristics of 1952 are reached their termination.
So the information should be expressed in day light from dark night, and the perfect place for this so called “classified information “is national archive, especially when it is a valuable national wealth.
Present government can achieve people favor or admiration by revealing this information as time and people demand. Otherwise nation will deprive of knowing the real history.
We need another language movement
We are proud of our nation for our language movement. it was also first democratic movement, Which was and is considered the basement of liberation war. But what was the actual sense of “ekush”?
The main sense of language movement in 1952 was the establishment of Bengali as a state language, and spread Bengali in our all spheres of national life. That means, in offices and courts and all other administrative points, in case of higher education and science-technical education it wasn’t different.
But what is the real scenario?  Is the contribution of the government and the intellectuals enough for meeting the actual demand of 21st February? Establishment of real sense of language movement was very factual, but in reality we couldn’t. Because there was no realistic policy to use Bangla in higher education and science-technical education.
If there was any policy, the government couldn’t concentrate on this issue. So in question of using Bengali, amorality and dilemma was active. In consequence there were two rules in case of language in education system, Bangla medium in intermediate education and English medium in higher education. Because the problem faced by the student in Bangla medium, especially in science based sector is considered as a weak point of Bengali. But very disappointed fact is, the teacher and scholars are not very willing in Bangla medium.  Their logic is, higher education, research, transcendence in science and international relationship is impossible in Bangla medium. But many countries around the world could achieve transcendence in those fields by using their own language. So, it can be said that, this kind of mentality still serving the colonial idea. The wide spread of English medium schools and kindergarten in comparison to Bangla medium to reduce the practical importance of mother language is not only an expression of subservient mind but also a conspiracy, Which carries the class interest.
Because the higher education is only for elite class, and it must be in English medium .But the wide spread and use of Bengali in education or higher education can ruined the single convenience for elite class.
So, for establishing the actual value and demand of 21st February, we need another language movement. But this movement is not against the Pakistani rulers rather Bengali officials, opulent classes, base professors and intellectuals. In other word, this oppose is not only in case of class but also the antipathetic people of Bengali.
So, we should try to know and ascertain the exact history and tenor of our glorious language movement.

The writer is undergraduate student of BBA Finance at the University of Dhaka.