Switch headers Switch to TIGweb.org

Are you an TIG Member?
Click here to switch to TIGweb.org

HomeHomeExpress YourselfPanoramaThe Glory of Language
a TakingITGlobal online publication

(Advanced Search)

Panorama Home
Issue Archive
Current Issue
Next Issue
Featured Writer
TIG Magazine
Short Story
My Content
The Glory of Language Printable Version PRINTABLE VERSION
by Shahjahan Siraj, Bangladesh May 30, 2004
Culture , Technology , Child & Youth Rights , Child & Youth Rights , Languages   Opinions
 1 2   Next page »


The Glory of Language A language is not just combination of words or phonetics. It is the history of a tribe or a nation; result of thousand years of experiences, glorious lifestyles, and means of communication as well as the expression of a people’s heart, which precedes civilization. We can hold, express, and develop the tangible and intangible heritage by this most powerful media. If we cannot express ourselves properly in daily ‘give and receive’ interactions or make true relationships with others, how can we play the important role of establishing the ultimate goal of ‘culture of peace’ and ‘peace kingdom’? In this holistic purpose, we need the bride of communication, language.

Naturally human beings can only express themselves absolutely through their mother tongue. But we are influenced too much nowadays by circumstances and merging ours original identity into the mainstream, English-biased colonial culture. Amidst the excitement and aggressiveness, we forgot to show proper love and respect to our indigenous culture. By the lack of this practice and the muscle strength of dominant culture and language, not only the small but fertile language and culture of ours pass away, a piece of our world is gone as well. Half of the 6,000 or so languages spoken in the world are under threat. Last three centuries thousand languages passed way at a dramatic increasing pace of English-centered modernization, especially in the Americas and Australia. At the present moment, on average 2 indigenous languages per month are disappearing due to improper record of wisdoms alighted in that language. Internet and digital opportunity opens the golden gate of potentiality that creates the revolution in the publication industry. It is a great chance to give a written form to all languages. In this technological era, we can be more or less a writer; we can easily write in our own language.

In the mainstream online platform the contents are published mainly in English. Presently The multinational software companies make the software in English just with concentration of worldwide business. They generally don’t think about the need and ability of the local people. Directly or indirectly they promote English as the Global language and or language of information. As a result from the mainstream education and modern computer based culture, local languages are being kicked out. If such a trend carries on, the digital opportunity will not have any benefits for the majority of disadvantaged people. If the English language barrier cannot be overcome, the use of computer will never expand into the grassroots levels. However, due to lack of care and practice, not only the indigenous languages but also the parental languages such as Latin, Sanskrit, Hebrew are going to perish from the global language family. It is time to avoid the immense use of the English language caused by negative influence of globalisation and internationalism. To play the proper and effective role we have to concentrate to globalisation along with nationalisation, and we need to complete the national course before or along with the global course.

Bangalis have great experiences in the language arena. We share pride for our ‘matribhasa’ (mother tongue). In 21 February 1952 Bangali youth Barkat, Rafiq, Shafiq made an unprecedented incident in world history by sacrificing their lives for their mother tongue. Since 1952 Bengali have been observing the day as ‘shaheed dibash’ ( Martyrs' Day ). Every early morning on 21st February, thousand of people gather in front of Language Monument, take off their shoes and sing a humble song that goes ‘amar baier rokta ranganu ekusha february, amikee bulita pari’ with patriotic sprit. In such way Bangali shows respects to language martyrs and to their mother language.

The basis for the remembrance of this day about the great influence of language is based on the nation’s consciousness. After the British colonial period, Bangladesh (the former East Pakistan) underwent new colonial subjugation by Pakistani rulers. From the very beginning of emancipation (1947) Pakistani rulers denied the Bengali people equal opportunities and rights. The Bengali were very aware of the unfair policy. When the Pakistani rulers declared ‘Urdu’ as a state language, the language movement started and expanded as a public and national issue. The Language Movement served as a platform for Bengali nationalism. In the Bangali’s unchangeable procession and campaign, by the sacrifice of young patriotic lives, Bangla was recognized as the national language. In the way of language movement, Bangladesh won independence in 1971 with the sacrifice of millions lives. UNESCO has declared February 21st as International Mother Language Day. Since 2000, this day is for celebrating and inspiring the local and aboriginal languages to survive with self-pride and identity.

I hope Internet users, especially the young ones will concentrate on their language and local needs. In this information era, we do not have to sacrifice our lives for language, but we need attention, initiative, unity and march along together.

 1 2   Next page »   


You must be logged in to add tags.

Writer Profile
Shahjahan Siraj

Shahjahan Siraj is a multiemdia designer, film maker and development practitioner (http://www.machizo.com/siraj) in Bangladesh. He is the founder of Machizo Multimedia Communication, however editor and publisher of 'Climate Radio', 'UnnayanTV' and 'UnnayanNews'. (http://www.machizo.com)

Abdallah Diwan | Jun 26th, 2004
This Article is really great , :) it really inspired me alot. wish you good luck i think u may like to contact Alex alex@takingitglobal.org to start to open a world of opportunities and events and a youth platform for youth in Bangladish through translating TIG in your mother tounge language , i am currently coordinating the Arabic version translation of TIG

Ricky | Oct 7th, 2004
You bring up some very valid points. It really makes you think!

You must be a TakingITGlobal member to post a comment. Sign up for free or login.