Prime minister Sheikh Hasina inaugurated the International Mother Language Institute in the capital Dhaka on Sunday, which aims eventually to help preserve all languages around the world."Not only Bangla, but all languages of the world will be studied in this institute," Hasina said, as she unveiled a plaque of the building on Amar Ekushey, or Feb 21, as a special tribute to Bangladesh's Language Movement martyrs.
Feb 21 is now observed round the world as International Mother Language Day in memory of the students who gave their lives on the day in 1952 for the right to keep their mother tongue, Bangla, as a state language as authorities tried to impose Urdu on the nation.
One of the new institute's goals will be to preserve languages in danger of being wiped out. The exact role of the institute is yet to be set, though a draft law has been formulated for its work.
Among the tasks that have been proposed are spread of Bangla language and literature at home and abroad, making Bangla an official language of the United Nations, circulation of language movement history among member countries of UNESCO, conferring fellowships for language research, and creating a language archive for preserving languages of micro-nations.
Full report here BDnews 24