The language we speak is somehow associated with our identity, our native root, with which we are traced. It’s like the umbilical cord, linking us to our primitive origins. We are hardly aware of such deep implications about language in the humdrum of life. The language that we speak can give us a particular identity, locate us within a particular boundary and limit us to a community and ethnicity, are certain realizations which we probably gain as we grow.
Research scholars and thinkers regard Linguistic Human Rights of children especially of the minority groups as a precious chord in the music of childhood. Denying a child her native tongue in a globalized world is not a difficult task in any way, but abominable at all costs. The denial spearheads deprivation at multiple layers and this deprivation of native knowledge is a backlash against cultural diversity. A child just born is an empty disc, they learn as they grow. The learning is generally communicated through language; it is the means to knowledge; depriving native language is canceling a world view. Right to study in the native tongue is necessary to preserve unique cultures; with almost 7000 languages spoken worldwide today with the probability of half of it surviving by 2050, diversity is threatened. But is multilingualism a genuine threat? What exactly happens when more than one language is used as the medium of transporting data into the human brain? Is speech aberration leading to low personality profile, the aftermath of simultaneous bilingual data transfer? Not exactly; acquiring different languages does not, in any case, harm the long-term speech process of the brain but accelerates the intelligent quotient. A 2004 study suggested that bi or multilingual speakers had higher levels of cognitive brain function, with a higher ability to solve “mentally demanding tasks” or decrease chances of early onset of dementia and Alzheimer’s disease confirmed by a 2012 study by the university of California, San Diego. But the mantra to this success lies in practice, practicing and speaking the language of your community or that you are bound to learn. Globalization has eased this process even though it is the precursor of all the menace.
The bitter side of language being extinct lies in the fact of escapism. Why speaking Bengali or Assamese or Nepali has turned into a native language disaster for a Rajbangshi? It is particularly for the reason that even in the above-mentioned languages, we have failed to express our identities and tend to escape from confirming. The social stigma is due to a multidimensional cause; simply put, we are still in the transient space where the sense of relative deprivation has not yet bloomed to cause a major revolution or change at any rate. The Marwari community is spread across India. Their medium of instruction is Hindi, as “Marwari currently has no status as a language of education and government” (Wiki).In Bangladesh, Bengali being the lingua franca is used by the other ethnic groups like Garo, Khasi, Chakma, and Rajbangsi living in Bangladesh. Their languages are granted regional or minority status (unofficial) only. Data says 98 %( which includes the above-mentioned communities) of Bangladeshis are fluent in standard Bangla as their first language. The Marwari or the ethnic communities of Bangladesh have not suffered a risk of an identity crisis; indeed, have outshined many studying in their mother tongue. They have practiced their culture and not escaped from it.
-NABANITA ROY (NOYA)