• February 23, 2024

2023, International Mother Language Day

According to an article published on India TV, the world observes International Mother Language Day today, the twenty-first of February.  Each year this day is promoted for cultural diversity, linguistics, and multilingualism as well. in 1999, UNESCO approved this day for celebrating the mother language, internationally. According to the website of UNESCO, this day got established due to an initiative by Bangladesh and is been observed globally since November 17, 1999. This day has been kept to honor and commemorate the movement for historical language and also the martyrs who died in Bangladesh for this movement in 1952. This day is also popularly known as Matribhasha Diwas.  

In fact, the recognition of this day by the UN was in 2002 three after it was first announced by UNESCO. According to the records, the world speaks seven thousand languages and among them, two thousand languages are spoken in India alone. The website of UNESCO mentions that it believes in the relevance and significance of linguistic and cultural diversity in sustainable societies. It is inside the mandate of peace and works in preserving the variations in languages and cultures in developing respect and tolerance for others.

Theme

Mother Language Day
image source:https://img.etimg.com/thumb/msid-98092424,width-300,height-225,imgsize-18888,,resizemode-75/international-mother-language-day-2023-date-history-significance-theme-and-all-you-need-to-know-about-this-day.jpg

The theme for this day is Multilingual Education – a necessity for transforming education. The theme impacts the adoption of the language further deeper and the wide use of one’s mother language in spreading and transforming education. Out of the seven thousand spoken languages in the world, about forty-three percent of the languages are still endangered even today. The diversity in linguistics is still under immense threat because many languages are on the verge of disappearing. 

It has become very important for the progress of education in the multilingual language because, in India, around forty percent of the population still remains uneducated due to their inability to access a language that they cannot understand or speak.

Significance And History

This day is to celebrate multilingualism and languages as a means of powerful tools for global development and social inclusion. UNESCO recognized and declared International Mother Language Day on November 1999 at the General Conference. In 2002 the UN General Assembly too gave its support to the declaration of the UN day. Furthermore, the General Assembly of the UN also encourages the member states into taking action for the protection and perseverance of every language that the people speak. It also protects the integrity of the languages under this resolution all across the world.  

Languages Spoken In India

In India presently there are about twenty-two languages that the constitution recognizes as the mother language. Other than this, there are about two thousand languages that are spoken all across India. The twenty-two languages are Sanskrit, Hindi, Punjabi, Dogri, Santhali, Nepali, Maithili, Bodo, Telugu, Tamil, Malayalam, Oriya, Urdu, Kashmiri, Konkani, Kannada, Manipuri, Bengali, Marathi, Sindhi, and Gujarati.

Of all these languages, Marathi, Hindi, and Bengali are spoken the most in India. Apart from that there are other ninety-nine non-scheduled languages in India as well.