Organized by Computer Jagat, on 2 February 2022, a two-hour long policy dialogue was held online in the presence of 34 stakeholders on the Challenges and Way Forward for using Bangla Font in Digital World
Popular Bijoy Bangla Keyboard Inventor and Founder of Software and Minister of Posts and Telecommunications Division, Mustafa Jabbar was present as the Chief Guest at the policy dialogue. Professor Uday Narayan Singh, Dean of the Faculty of Arts and Chair of Linguistics from MIT University participated in the discussion from India. The keynote address was delivered by Mohammad Mamun Or Rashid, Language Technology Specialist, Consultant, Bangladesh Computer Council.
In his address, Mustafa Jabbar mentioned that the Unicode Consortium for the technical problems of Bengali language and literature. He said, It seems that this has posed a big challenge for the Bengalis. That’s why we still have to fight with Nokta. But there is no point in the Bengali alphabet. If Unicode had solved these problems by looking at Bengali as Language, then we would not have done the problems that I have to face now.
The Minister further said that Bengali software is my livelihood and he was the first Bangladeshi to take pride in it. Although late, Bangladesh joined the Unicode Consortium in 2010 under the leadership of Bangladesh Computer Council. Even then, the complexity of Unicode conversion is not the fault of Bengali speakers; This crime is Unicode. So, we are still at war with Unicode. Only the boys and girls of Bangladesh will win this war with their intellect. ‘
Speaking as the guest of honor, Professor Uday Narayan Singh from India said that there is a wonderful spiritual connection with Bangla script. With this we are five feet ahead and four feet back. For this reason, Bangladesh has to take the lead to take this language forward.
Nominated speakers were Rakibul Hasan, author of numerous data science books, AHM Bazlur Rahman, CEO of Bangladesh NGOs Network for Radio and Communication and Nipa Jahan, Assistant Professor, Department of Bangla, National University. The policy dialogue was moderated by Mohammad Abdul Haque Anu, Executive Editor of Computer Jagat.
In the dialogue, it is discussed that there is a problem in big script (Big Data) analysis, search engines, artificial intelligence and the internet of things due to problems in Bengali scripts in Unicode. In the world of printing, the size of the Bangla script varies from English script. Differences in the use of different Bengali software can be noticed in the case of Chandrabindu in the Bangla script. The problem is obvious in the case of conjunctions. Bangla data mining has not yet become the equivalent of industry. There seem to be a lot of problems in the Bengali corpus to model language. There should be a standard policy for the use of the Bangla script. The use of Bangla script including a spell checker, dictionary, OCR etc. is being hindered. Instead of working on an ad-hoc basis with the Bangla script, it is necessary to identify the number of problems at the national, regional and international levels and solve them quickly. The Bangladesh Computer Council needs to be more vocal on these issues.
The number of Bengali speakers in the world is 35 crore. Bengali language in exchange for blood in 1952. Language does not live a captive life under any circumstances. Remember we are going through the fourth industrial revolution. At this time, if we cannot overcome the crisis in the use of the Bangla script in the digital world, then the Bengali language will lose popularity among future generations. Source BNNRC