Bangla language, it's achievement and now one of the official language in Sierra Leone
Bangla speaking rigion in yellow colour
Number of Bangla Speakers : Bangla or Bengali (বাংলা –pronounced bang-laa;baŋla) is an eastern Indo-Aryan language. It is native to the region of Eastern South Asia known as Bengal , which comprises present day Bangladesh . Bangla is the mother tongue of the people of Bangladesh .About 160 million people live now in Bangladesh. The Indian states West Bengal, Tripura, Assam-mainly southern Assam and other places of India also people speak in Bangla as their mother tongue . It is even a major language in the Indian union Territory of Andaman and Nicobar Islands(Bengali speakers make up the majority in Neil Island and Havelock Island)due to lot of settlement post 1947 migration. Now a days we can count the Bangla speaking population in India on an average 90 million .Outside Bangladesh and India, Bangla is spoken in Nepal by over 27000 people and to a lesser degree in Singapore, Malaysia, Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates,South Korea ,the United Kingdom,Canada and the USA .Across all countries where it is spoken an additional 5 million people speak Bangla as a second language. With nearly 255 million total speakers, Bangla is one of the most spoken language – ranking sixth (efter Mandarin, Spanish, English, Hindi and Arabic) in the world.
Bangla Script Uses in other Languages : The Bangla script has particularly close historical relationships with the Assamese script.With a few small modifications Bangla script is also used for writing Assamese.Other related languages in the region also make use of the Bangla alphabet. Meithei (Manipuri),a Sino-Tibetan language used in the Indian state of Monipur, was written in the Bangla alphasyllabary for centuries, until the 1980s, when Meetei Mayek (the Meithei alphasyllabary)returned to daily usage. For centuties, the Sylheti language used a different script, based on the Devanagari alphasyllabary. This script called Syiheti Nagori, has now fallen out of use, as most speakers of Sylheti have adopted the Bangla script .Even in Tripura(Indian States) another major language Tripuri also known as Kak- Barak, belongs to the Tibeto-Burman group of languages(root can be traced from Sino-Tibetan speech family) does not possess any writing script. This language also uses the Bangla script for writing.
Spread of Bangla, Official Status and achievement : Bangla is the national and official language of Bangladesh. Bangla is also one of the 23 national languages recognized by the Republic of India. It is the official language of the state of West Bengal and co-official language of Tripura, Assam which has three predominantly Sylheti speaking districts – Cachar, Karimganj and Hailakandi of southern Assam and the union territory of Andaman and Nicobar Islands.
President Alhaj Ahmed Tejan Kabbah
It is also remarkable that the government of Sierra Leone declared Bangla as one of the several official languages in the country. On the 12th December, 2002 the President of Sierra Leone Alhaj Ahmed Tejan Kabbah(born February 16, 1932 ;3rd President of Sierra Leone, serving from 1996 to 1997 and from 1998 to 2007. He worked for the United Nations Development Programme and returned to Sierra Leone in 1992.) announced this decision while inaugurating a 54 km long rebilt road. This road was reconstructed by the engineering corp of Bangladesh Army – Bangladeshi peacekeepers in the West African country. So Bangla was made an official language of Sierra Leone in order to honor the Bangladeshi peacekeeping force from the United Nations stationed there.
Language movement martyrs sculpture
When from 1947 to 1971 Bangladesh and Pakistan were one nation(and were called East and West Pakistan), the central government tried to establish Urdu(spoken in West Pakistan)as sole national language.On February 21,1952,protesting students and activists were fired upon by military and police in Dhaka University and several students and activists were killed. But the government had to give in after massive protests and gave Bangla official status.
Language martyrs monument-Shaheed Minar
In 1999,UNESCO decided to celebrate every 21 February as International Mother Language Day in recognition of the deaths of the language martyrs.
And at last I like to say that Rabindranath Tagore(1861-1941), the first Asian author who won the Nobel Prize in Literature was a Bangali poet and writer, wrote the national anthems of both India and Bangladesh in Bangla.