Matribhasha Diwas (Mother Language Day) to be celebrated on Feb 21: HRD Ministry

New Delhi: Matribhasha Diwas, which falls on 21 February, will be celebrated by the Ministry of Human Resource Development (HRD) across the country. Vice President M. Venkaiah Naidu will be the Chief Guest at the main event to be held in New Delhi on the day. Union HRD Minister Ramesh Pokhriyal ‘Nishank’ will be the Guest of Honour on the occasion. Minister of State (MoS) for Culture and Tourism, Prahlad Singh Patel, and MoS HRD Sanjay Dhotre will also grace the occasion. The theme of the programme is ‘Celebrating our Multilingual Heritage’ reflecting the spirit of Ek Bharat Shreshtha Bharat.

MHRD along with educational institutions and language institutions has been celebrating the Matribhasha Diwas for the past three years. This year as well, educational institutions will organize activities like elocution, debating, singing, essay-writing, painting competitions, music and dramatic performances, exhibitions, online resources and activities as well as events exploring the cognitive, economic, social, and cultural activities of multilingual society, exhibitions depicting the linguistic and diverse wealth of India in at least two languages, and more.

International Mother Language Day (IMLD) is a worldwide annual observance forming a part of UNESCO’s calendar of events, held on 21 February to promote awareness of linguistic and cultural diversity and multilingualism. It was first announced by UNESCO on 17 November 1999. It was formally recognized by the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) in 2008. The UNGA called upon its member states “to promote the preservation and protection of all languages used by people of the world.”

The HRD Ministry said in a Press communication today that India has unparalleled linguistic and cultural diversity and, fittingly, it is proposed to observe IMLD in India on 21 February for events that promote Indian languages and the associated diversity of usage and literature.

The Ministry stated that it has been decided to celebrate Matribhasha Diwas on 21 Feb every year to promote the use of mother tongues and highlight the linguistic diversity of the country, while encouraging usage not only of the respective mother tongue but other Indian languages as well.

Matribhasha Diwas will be observed tTo understand and draw attention to the diversity of cultures in India and the consequent forums of literature, craft, performing arts, scripts, and other forms of creative expression, and to encourage the learning of languages other than one’s own mother tongue.


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