21st February International Mother Language Day

21st February International Mother Language Day


Karmanye vadhika raste, Ma phaleshu kadachana

Ma karma phala he tur bhuh, ma te sangotsva karmanye

This is a Sanskrit shloka saying you need to do your duty; the results are not in your hand. You should never do your duty expecting results. Never be excited with the expected result. Do your duty well and the results will follow according to your performance.

“Sanskrit is the mother of all the modern languages spoken today.”– Dean Brown, Physicist, and Sanskrit Scholar.

 Today is 21st February International Mother Language Day. On this auspicious day, we show our respect to Sanskrit and bow down before the 6500 and more languages of the world.

The Significance of 21st February:

Pakistan was divided into two parts, East Pakistan and West Pakistan in 1947. East Pakistan included Bangladesh and West Pakistan included Pakistan. In 1948, the Pakistan Government declared Urdu to be its National Language. This was coarsely protested by Bangladesh; because they saw in this manner Bangla language will soon be extinct. The people of Bangladesh demanded Bangla to be included as one of the national Language besides Urdu.

To stop the protest the Pakistan government made a law against the rallies and meetings. The dedicated students of Dhaka University didn’t stop. With the help of the public, they organized a huge rally and meeting. It was 21st February 1952 and the police openly fired towards the rallies killing Salam, Rafiq, Barkat, Shafiur and Jabbar and thousand of them were injured.

This is rarest of the incident in the world History where people died protecting their mother tongue.

The sacrifice didn’t go in vague. After years of protest and rallies, the Pakistan government was bound to give the Bangla language an official recognition.

It is one of the tragic days for the Bangladeshis. They pay their homage to the martyrs by going to the Shahid Minar built in memory of the brave protesters.

How did 21st February become the International Mother Language Day?

Rafiqul Islam one of the Bengalis living in Vancouver, Canada; wrote a letter to Kofi Annan on 9.1. 1998. In the letter, he told him to safeguard the World’s language before it is extinct. He suggested declaring 21st February as the International Mother Language Day.

UNESCO announced 21st February to be the International Mother Language Day on 17th November 1999. It was then observed all around the world from 21st February 2000.

Respect the Mother Language:

Our Mother language is a world Heritage. We must preserve it, respect and especially speak in it. The world is respecting it today. What about you?


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