For many days, the ethnic minority communities, who have indeed enhanced the socio-cultural diversity of Bangladesh, have been demanding state recognition of their ‘mother tongues’. Behind such an earnest appeal to the state, they have their own causes to make it legitimate. They have come up with a strong argument that a lack of practice of their own languages in daily life is posing a serious threat of gradual extinction of those languages and thus linguistic diversity of which Bangladesh boasts. They have also expressed a fear that their progenies, as a result of this threat, one day might lose their own languages, cultures and traditions.
Well, we believe the government has its own plans with regard to the preservation of ethnic languages. And that the state attitude is affirmative to their call is well reflected in the National Education Policy 2010. But that the issue is yet to be completely resolved is because there seems a huge lack of preparations from the government bodies, and we urge the government to give a boost to the process. Also, in the Constitution of Bangladesh there is no clear indication about the recognition of the ethnic languages while it has been clearly stated about religions. We think the government needs to also give it a look.
Of the notable steps taken by the present government in its past two tenures is creating an opportunity for the ethnic children to study in their own languages, perceiving that if ‘Adivasi’ children can study in their mother tongue they will be motivated to practise and preserve their own cultures and traditions which will ultimately help them develop themselves. This initiative needs further expansion, and we believe the government is sincere enough as always in this regard. And finally, to preserve the linguistic diversity that the country enjoys, it needs to recognise all mother tongues representing the cultures of the country. It is expected that the government look into the issue to resolve it as early as possible.