Bangladesh bans Japanese cartoon to halt Hindi invasion

Published: February 15, 2013

Doraemon addicts were speaking Hindi to each other instead of Bengali which got the authorities worried. PHOTO: FILE

DHAKA: Bangladesh has banned the Japanese manga cartoon Doraemon from its TV screens over fears that youngsters who are hooked on the Hindi-dubbed version are struggling to learn their native Bengali.

Information Minister Hasanul Haque Inu told parliament Thursday that television channels which have been screening Doraemon had been sent official notifications ordering them to take the series off air.

“The government doesn’t want children’s educational atmosphere to be hampered by Doraemon,” the minister said.

The ban comes after several local dailies called for a ban on the cartoon, worried that Doraemon addicts were speaking Hindi to each other instead of Bengali.

Shahriar Alam, a ruling party lawmaker, had last week demanded that television stations should only be allowed to air foreign cartoons if they are dubbed in Bengali.

Created by manga artist Fujiko F Fujio, Doraemon revolves around a robotic cat who travels back in time from the 22nd century to aid a pre-teen boy, Nobita.

Tokyo’s foreign ministry appointed Doraemon as its first “anime ambassador” in 2008 in an effort to deepen foreign interest in Japanese culture.

Bangladesh is particularly sensitive about the cultural influence of its giant neighbour India with millions of households preferring to watch Hindi-language television beamed in via satellite.

The Most Popular News of the day in your Inbox daily.

Reader Comments (17)

  • Vir Oceanus
    Feb 15, 2013 - 2:16PM

    That’s a great move . . . Kids in Pakistan are also addicted to this cartoon. I think Pakistani TV channels could start their own Pakistani cartoons just like Chota Bheem.


  • Dr. Dang
    Feb 15, 2013 - 2:40PM

    hehehehe- loving it.


  • Tausif
    Feb 15, 2013 - 2:49PM

    This is indeed a very good initiative to take. Cultural assault on us by our giant neighbor India should be halted at any cost otherwise our situation will turn like that of Nepal where they read and write Hindi most than Nepali.


  • Kaafir
    Feb 15, 2013 - 6:12PM

    Hu Shih, former Ambassador of China to USA: “India conquered and dominated China culturally for 20 centuries without ever having to send a single soldier across her border.”

    Mark Twain, American author: “India is, the cradle of the human race, the birthplace of human speech, the mother of history, the grandmother of legend, and the great grand mother of tradition. our most valuable and most instructive materials in the history of man are treasured up in India only.”

    You cant defy any of this.


  • Mj
    Feb 15, 2013 - 6:23PM


    Cultural assault from India? Remind me why we write in Arabic/Persian script and are eager to follow Arab customs.


  • Ashu
    Feb 15, 2013 - 6:54PM

    @tausif…. before the british came and left there was no pakistan or may deny it today but you were ..culture wise atleast..a small segment of the great indian civilization and which is now trying to differentiate itself from india..and that too on the basis of culture….what an irony sirjiiRecommend

  • Stranger
    Feb 15, 2013 - 6:58PM

    Why whats wrong if children learn Hindi ( Along with their native Bengali ). Its a cartoon for god’s sake and not some military propaganda.
    How can this be ‘an assault’ of any kind ?


  • Indian
    Feb 15, 2013 - 7:04PM

    As an Indian , I can say BD are doing well . Stick to your culture and language , don’t be Arabian . No need to learn Hindi , Bengali is also a rich language . You have got your country because of your language . It doesn’t insult Indians because Bengali is also our language.


  • abhi
    Feb 15, 2013 - 7:32PM

    BTW what is the sigificance of the picture on this article?


  • Hasan
    Feb 15, 2013 - 7:59PM

    Bengali itself is derived out of Sanskrit for Gods sake.. so even if they ban hindi, no way they can separate themselves from the culture of great Indian subcontinent.. painful to see us like crows in pakistan, who even few generation back was mostly hindus/buddhists, who were forcefully converted to islam by barbarian invaders, today try to show peacock feathers.. even Urdu is derived out of Sanskrit and Persian…


  • India
    Feb 15, 2013 - 11:26PM

    i hate all the cartoon channels. kids are so addicted to it……………………..good move by banladesh.


  • Arijit Sharma
    Feb 16, 2013 - 12:28AM

    @Tausif: ” … This is indeed a very good initiative to take. Cultural assault on us by our giant neighbor India should be halted at any cost otherwise our situation will turn like that of Nepal where they read and write Hindi most than Nepali. … “

    If Bangladesh were not predominantly Muslim – would this even make news ?

    My hypothesis is that with the decline of oil as a primary source of energy (and thereby decline of Arab fortunes), the Indian sub-continent will see profound de-Arabisation/Persianisation and re-localisation of vocabulary to begin with.

    It is already happening. Did the PM of Pakistan not say “Mujh par vishvas karen” a short while ago ?


  • RAW is WAR
    Feb 16, 2013 - 12:38AM



  • Khurram Aziz
    Feb 18, 2013 - 10:51AM

    PEMRA still sleeps!


  • Nobody
    Feb 18, 2013 - 12:38PM

    Hmm, I spy many many trolls. Although your readership is only a plus point.
    To the point, while I understand cherishing one’s own mother tongue and native language, I don’t see the sense behind bans or fearing a culture very similar to your own, although not exactly the same…? And this applies to all three countries: Pakistan Bangladesh and India. Instead of banning and trying to ignore the culture of other neighbors on the subcontinent, why not enrich your own people by learning about other cultures/languages as well? Just because I choose to learn a bit about Bengali or Hindi or whatever other language, doesn’t make me any less Pakistani or any less aware of my own mother tongue being Urdu. This sends a confusing message, particularly to kids. The subcontinent will never ever get a long as ‘grown ups’ ought to as long as this childish ridiculous “I’m better, no no I’m better” fight continues. If that’s how grown ups behave, why expect anything better from kids.


  • Tausif
    Feb 18, 2013 - 1:18PM

    I agree with you in being part of the great Indian civilization. By cultural assault, I did not mean coming into touch with Indian culture or learning Hindi language. By assault, I meant being a Bangladeshi learning Hindi first through these Hindi language cartoons instead of Bengali. Aab samjhe sirji???


  • Tausif
    Feb 18, 2013 - 1:23PM

    There is nothing wrong in learning Hindi along with our native language Bengali. But, here the situation is that, kids are learning and talking in Hindi and are refuse to learn their native language Bengali, this is a problem!


More in World