June 04, 2006


It is good to see that traders and shopkeepers in Kolkata have been ordered to use Bengali in their signboards. Chief Minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharya in 2001 had changed the name of the city from Calcutta to Kolkata, the Bengali original name.

Actually it looks like a fight back of the Bengalis in the West Bengal on the growing influence of Hindi & English, which are strangling the use of their mother language. But Nirmalya Nag says that the government has to do much more to put the emphasis back on Bengali:
Now, when flaunting your English speaking capability has become a fashion, the Left Front government has done precious little to ensure that none could pass the standard/class X without taking Bengali as a subject. Perhaps West Bengal is the only state in India where this system exists. ..... I was stunned to know that there could be an educated Bengali in Kolkata who does not know of Sukumar Ray's works.
In Bangladesh the situation is different. Bengali is the state language and the language of the government. The street signs and the vehicle number plates are in Bengali. But the educated Bangladeshis are also slowly decreasing their reading habits and ignoring literature. Blame it on the poor education system or the influence of TV, but this is a threat Bangladeshi societies need to address too to save the Bengali language.


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