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Bangla Language

Fatema Miah:

Chapter 8, Book Unspoken.

21st  of February 1952 was a black day in the world’s history. The city of Dhaka was covered in Bloodshed. It is a remarkable Historical day.

On the 21st of February in 1952 Pakistani Military open fired on a peaceful demonstration in Dacca. All Bengali educated and students were gathered and killed by Pakistani Military, for voicing their demands for their Mother Language.

Bangla is an ancient Language of Ethnic Bengali people. During the partition of India in 1947, Bengal was divided between India and Pakistan. The region of East Bengal was taken into Pakistan. The Country was divided by the British and the decision of partition of India bill was passed in London By sir Jeffrey Radcliff.

Bengali people lovers of Golden Bangla, culture, heritage and Language, most remained in their own home land in East Bengal. Bengali Muslim league Leaders and public allowed those Hindus desired to stay in their Land in East

Dictation was very evident in Pakistani politicians from the moment of Pakistan began. Further they used power to control and to do so they began to oppress. In the name of ‘Islamic Republic’ of Pakistan, in the name of democracy they denied human rights and to suppress they massacred their public. Although, the Bangla Language Liberation Day is known to be on the 21st of February of 1952, the actual language movement began in 1948 in Pakistan soon after the partition of India. When the National Assembly was held in February 1948, where Dhirendranath Datta of Congress proposed that Bangla should be one of the official languages of Pakistan and followed on Maulana Abdur Rashid Tarkabagish, a member from East Bengal who spoke in Bangla in defiance of the Assembly rule.

However, Prime Minister Liaquat Ali Khan disregarded Bangla Language as a status equal to Urdu, by commenting that Bangla Language cannot be regarded equal to Urdu anyhow. Liaquat Ali Khan’s comment disheartened educated Bengalis. Tension aroused in the country and Bengali people openly claimed for Bangla to be included as a state Language in Pakistan. Bengali people of all background expressed their right of their mother Language and claimed that Bangla language cannot be compromised anyhow. To help to settle the unrest situation, an Action committee was set up in March 1948 with Pakistani authorities.

Bengali People strongly reiterated that Bangla Language cannot be compromised at all. Bangla should be the state Language for Bengali People of Pakistan. Islamic educated, Abdul Hamid Khan Bhashani suggested, Instead of Urdu, rather Arabic can be National Language of Pakistan. Bangla along with other regional Languages. Akram Khan instructed Bangla to be written with Arabic Alphabet.

Bangla a Sanskrit rooted, sophisticated, expansive varietal expressive language, with its own pattern of calligraphic script and well-structured literature orientated Language to be written in Arabic scripts?  Bangla has its own expressive pronunciation. Bengali also learnt Arabic to read Quran, therefore are aware of the absolute differences in vocalisation of Bangla and Arabic.

Bangla is an all-encompassing Language. The Bangla Language enables expression of wider aspects of general human emotion. It is not only a language of simple communication to exchange messages. Bangla Language is a therapeutic expressive, word counselling, offers fulfilment and boosts within.

January 1952 the Language Issue turned into a heated topic again, when Jinnah re-emphasised, the National Language of East Pakistan (East Bengal) to be Urdu only and Bangla Language of Hindus not to be used in Pakistan. Whether it is all about against Hindus or not, clearly it is political rivalry against India they harboured inside them and they nurtured zeal inside them against many.

On the 26th of January 1952 Khwaja Nazimuddin, on his first visit to Dhaka as the Prime Minister of Islamic Republic of Pakistan, at the All Pakistan Muslim League Convention there he declared that ‘Urdu and only Urdu shall be the state language of Pakistan’. His declaration caused unrest in Bengali students and it escalated to a wider strike. Bengali people felt disregarded threatened this decision. They felt losing their identity under Pakistan. Bangla Language is their being, for those Bengali people of that generation. Without Bangla Language and Literature it would be like the fish to survive without water for them. Bengali students were resentful to this only Urdu Language of Pakistan Decision. On the 21st of February in 1952 in support of their Language demand Bengali students raised their adamant voice and went on protest, and were massacred.

Fatema Miah, Solihull, uk. fatemamiah@mail.com