Doraemon, Japan's robot cat from the future, and the other characters of the popular manga strips created in 1969, pose for photos during a pre-show press conference in Taipei. AFP
Bangladesh has banned Hindi-dubbed version of the popular Japanese cartoon Doraemon from its TV screens over fears that youngsters hooked to it might struggle to learn their native tongue Bengali.
Bangladesh's information minister Hasanul Haque Inu told the Parliament on Thursday "the government doesn't want children's educational atmosphere to get vitiated due to the telecast of Doraemon."
"The government has already issued notices directing to stop the telecast of unapproved foreign satellite television channels like Disney, Disney XD and Pogo. So, the airing of the children?s favourite cartoon Doraemon has been banned," he added.
Ruling Awami League lawmaker Shahriar Alam last week demanded immediate ban on airing of the cartoon Doraemon in the country. He had said television stations should air foreign cartoons after dubbing them in Bangla.
Apprehending negative effect of the cartoon, Alam said that this type of cartoons might change the mother tongue in the future. He went on to say 'Doraemon' serial only taught about telling lies and speaking Hindi.
He said the cartoon serials should teach the children about the moral and religious values and motivate them for education.
Bangladesh is particularly sensitive about the cultural impact of its influential neighbour India with millions of households preferring to watch Hindi-language television beamed in via satellite. Nationalist sentiment in the country is particularly high with the 'International Mother Language Day', observed on Feb 21, just round the corner.
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.
Japanese foreign ministry appointed Doraemon as its first "anime ambassador" in 2008 in an effort to deepen foreign interest in Japanese culture.