Kolkata, Feb 21 (PTI) West Bengal on Sunday observed the International Mother Language Day with floral tributes, processions and cultural programmes as people remembered the martyrs who laid down lives for their mother tongue.
Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee greeted people on the occasion and paid homage to those who had sacrificed their lives for the Bengali language.
International Mother Language Day is observed on February 21 to promote awareness of linguistic and cultural diversity and multilingualism.
'Today is the 21st of February. Language Martyrs' Day.
I pay homage to those who sacrificed their lives for the Bengali language on this historic day.
'Best wishes to all on the International Mother Language Day. Respect all languages but take pride in your mother tongue,' Banerjee wrote in Bengali on Twitter.
Governor Jagdeep Dhankhar wished people on the occasion and said linguistic diversity is a 'foundational pillar of our civilisation'.
'Linguistic diversity is a foundational pillar of our civilisation; connects us with our heritage and defines our socio-cultural identity. Emphasis in well evolved New Education Policy on mother tongue is a remarkable milestone,' the governor said on the microblogging site.
The day was celebrated by various organisations and institutes across the state.
Students, faculty and officials of Visva Bharati observed the day in Santiniketan by organising a procession on the premises of the central university.
Several cultural programmes were organised across the state to mark the occasion in which folk singers and dancers took part.
Leader of Congress party in Lok Sabha Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury said, 'Words that come out from the lips of the mother are perpetually golden which starts teaching the humanity of how to lead the days ahead. We are proud of the mother tongue.' In Bangladesh, February 21 (known as 'Amar Ukeshe) is observed to remember the sacrifice made by the 'language martyrs' of erstwhile East Pakistan for the cause of getting recognition for Bangla as their official language in 1952. PTI BSM BDC BDC