International Mother Language Day 2021 is observed on February 21 every year. The day is celebrated to promote linguistic diversity across the world.
In 1999 UNESCO declared February 21 as the International Mother Language Day. It is a special day for the promotion of multilingualism and cultural and linguistic diversity.
Around the world, people and organizations celebrate International Mother Language Day with social media posts, workshops, and various events to boost awareness of the importance of the day.
Rajya Sabha Chairman M Venkaiah Naidu wrote to all members of the Upper House on Sunday urging them to promote and preserve Indian languages. He lamented that regional languages were being given short shrift.
“My greetings on International Mother Language Day. Linguistic diversity has always been one of the foundational pillars of our civilization. More than just a means of communication, our mother languages connect us with our heritage and define our socio-cultural identity,” the Vice President wrote in a tweet.
My greetings on International #MotherLanguageDay. Linguistic diversity has always been one of the foundational pillars of our civilization. More than just a means of communication, our mother languages connect us with our heritage and define our socio-cultural identity.
— Vice President of India (@VPSecretariat) February 21, 2021
Why International Mother Language Day is celebrated on February 21?
The day commemorates the students killed during a protest in Bangladesh that happened on February 21, 1952. They were part of the group that was campaigning for the official use of Bengali as their mother language.
Bangladesh used to be East Pakistan while today’s Pakistan used to be West Pakistan. When the Dominion of Pakistan was created in 1947 through the partition of India, Bangladesh became part of Pakistan.
The new nation included many linguistic and ethnic groups, most of which spoke Bengali. The government of the Dominion of Pakistan ordered that Urdu would be the official language.