Conspiracy to implement Arabic script in Bengali
Saturday, 01 March 2008

The most significant incident which accelerated our Language movement is conspiracy to implement Arabic script in the Bengali. This conspiracy had been started since 1947.The delegate of East Pakistan; Central Minister Fazlur Rahman was the visionary of this effort. He spoke many times about the importance of the change in script of Bengali for National integration and harmony. The other languages of Pakistan Sindhi, Posthu, Panjabi have been written in Arabic script. But it is only the Bengali script which is absolutely different from Arabic scripts and originated from Devanagari. So without implementation of Arabic script the cultural and political harmony between Bangalees and West Pakistani is not possible. Though the conspiracy had been started since 1947 it became firm in the year 1949.

Central Education Ministry began to teach primary education to adult through Arabic script from 1950 in 20 centers. In each teaching centre 25 to 35 students were admitted and they were admitted for 6 months.

In the year 1949 Central Government granted taka 35000 in the adult teaching sector. They doubled the amount in the next year and the whole amount was used up in the effort of teaching Bengali through Arabic script. They circulated all the books regarding this programme at free of cost. Moreover, Government also declared that authors of the Bengali books in Arabic script will be rewarded.

The member of East Bangla Language Reconstruction Committee, Dr. Muhammed Shahidullah gave his statement against the proposal ‘Bengali should be written in Arabic script’. Before his statement Moulana Akram Khan, the President of East Bangla Language Committee suggested to delay the process for 20 years. Dr. Muhammed Shahidullah also supported him. But in state of that the scheme was ongoing.

For easiness, synchronization and reconstruction of language established in East Bangla the Government of East Bangla formed a committee named ‘East Bangla Bhasa Committee’. Moulana Akram khan was the president of that committee. The other members are Dr. Muhammed Shahidullah, Habibullah Bahar, Dr. Muajjam Hosan, Abul Kalam Shamsuddin etc.

6th December, 1950 East Bangla Bhasa Committee submitted their final report. That day Moulana Akram Khan sent the report to East Bangla Education Ministry. The Federal Government didn’t publish the report.

The theme of forming Bhasa Committee was to collect a recommendation in favour of scheme ‘Bengali should be written in Arabic script’. As the scheme was not successful, the Education Ministry didn’t pay any interest to the other recommendations. Moreover, they held up the report for being published and continued the scheme.

This report of East Bangla Bhasa Committee came into light in 1958 in the regime of Ayub Khan which was another step of the then autocratic Government to suppress the cultural independence of East Bengal.


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