In defence of Bangla: Bangla as the state language of Pakistan
Sir, in moving this– the motion that stands in my name– I can assure the House that I do so not in a spirit of narrow Provincialism, but, Sir, in the spirit that this motion receives the fullest consideration at the hands of the members. I know, Sir, that Bangla is a provincial language, but so far our state is concerned, it is the language of the majority of the People of the state. So although it is a provincial language, but as it is a language of the majority of the people of the state and it stands on a different footing therefore. Out of six crores and ninety lakhs of people inhabiting this State, 4 crores and 40 lakhs of people speak the Bangla language. So, Sir, what should be the State language of the State? The State language of the state should be the language which is used by the majority of the people of the State, and for that, Sir, I consider that Bangla language is a lingua franca of our State. It may be contended with a certain amount of force that even in our sister dominion the provincial language have not got the status of a lingua franca because in her sister dominion of India the proceedings of the constituent Assembly is conducted in Hindustani, Hindi or Urdu or English. It is not conducted in the Bangla language but so far as the Bangla is concerned out of 30 crores of people inhabiting that sister dominion two and a half crores speak the Bangla language. Hindustani, Hindi or Urdu has been given and honored place in the sister dominion because the majority of the people of the Indian Dominion speak that language. So we are to consider that in our state it is found that the majority of the People of the state do speak the Bangla language than Bangla should have an honoured place even in the Central Government.
I know, Sir, I voice the sentiments of the vast millions of our State. In the meantime I wand to let the House know the feelings of the vastest millions of our State. Even, Sir, in the Eastern Pakistan where the People numbering four crores and forty lakhs speak the Bangla language the common man even if he goes to a Post Office and wants to have a money order form finds that the money order is printed in Urdu language and is not printed in Bangla language or it is printed in English. A poor cultivator, who has got his son, Sir, as a student in the Dhaka University and who wants to send money to him, goes to a village Post Office and he asked for a money order form, finds that the money order form is printed in Urdu language. He can not send the money order but shall have to rush to a distant town and have this money order form translated for him and then the money order, Sir, that is necessary for his boy can be sent. The poor cultivator, Sir, sells a certain plot of land or a poor cultivator purchases a plot of land and goes to the Stamp vendor and pays him money but cannot say whether he has received the value of the money is Stamps. The value of the Stamp, Sir, is written not in Bangla but is written in Urdu and English. But he cannot say, Sir, whether he has got the real value of the Stamp. These are the difficulties experienced by the Common man of our State. The language of the state should be such which can be understood by the common man of the State. The common man of the State numbering four crores and forty millions find that the proceedings of this Assembly which is their mother of parliaments is being conduct in a language, Sir, which is unknown to them. Then, Sir, English has got an honoured place, Sir, in Rule 29. I know, Sir, English has got an honoured place because of the International Character.
But, Sir, if English can have an honoured place in Rule 29 that the proceedings of the Assembly should be conducted in Urdu or English why Bangla, which is spoken by four crores forty lakhs of people should not have an honoured place, Sir, in Rule 29 of the procedure Rules. So, Sir, I know I am voicing the sentiments of the vast millions of our State and therefore Bangla should not be treated as a Provincial Language. It should be treated as the language of the State. And therefore, Sir, I suggest that after the word 'English', the words 'Bangla' be inserted in Rule 29. I do not wish to detain the House but I wish that the Members present here should give a consideration to the sentiments of the vast millions of over State, Sir, and should accept the amendment that has been moved by me.
Mr Datta's Speech in the Parliament