On February 21st, the International Mother Language Day 2021 is celebrated worldwide to celebrate the world’s linguistic diversity.
On Sunday, Rajya Sabha Chairman M Venkaiah Naidu wrote to all Upper House members to urge them to promote and preserve the languages of India. He lamented that short shrift was being given to regional languages.
“My greetings on Mother Language International Day. One of our civilization’s fundamental pillars has always been linguistic diversity. Our mother languages connect us with our heritage and define our socio-cultural identity, more than just a means of communication,’ the Vice President wrote in a tweet.
Mr. Naidu, writing in his own language to each member, said that India was home to 19,500 languages and dialects, of which 200 faced the threat of immediate extinction.
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
The use of the mother tongue must be encouraged in all areas, from primary education to governance. In our own languages, we must encourage the creative expression of our thoughts and ideas,’ added Venkaiah Naidu.
Around 43 percent of the 6,000 languages spoken in the world are at risk of being eliminated, according to the United Nations. The UN also claims that every two weeks a language disappears, which destroys the entire cultural and intellectual heritage.
In order to foster linguistic and cultural diversity and multilingualism, the International Mother Language Day has been celebrated since 2000. Bangladesh was mooted by the concept of observing International Mother Language Day. In 1999, the proposal received UNESCO approval.
The UNESCO General Conference proclaimed International Mother Language Day in 1999 and the UN General Assembly welcomed it in its 2002 resolution.
In 2007, the United Nations General Assembly called on its Member States to “to promote the preservation and protection of all languages used by the peoples of the world.” This day was officially recognised in 2008 by the United Nations General Assembly.