UNESCO says, “Languages are the most powerful instruments of preserving and developing our tangible and intangible heritages. All moves to promote the dissemination of mother tongues will serve not only to encourage linguistic diversity and multilingual education, but, also to develop fuller awareness of linguistic and cultural traditions throughout the world and to inspire solidarity based on understanding, tolerance and dialogue.”
International Mother Language Day is being observed on February 21 every year since 2000 to promote peace and multilingualism. The date corresponds to the day in 1952, when students from the University of Dhaka, Jagannath College and Dhaka Medical College, demonstrating for the recognition of Bengali as one of the two national languages of East Pakistan, were brutally shot dead by police (then under Pakistan government) near the Dhaka High Court in the capital of present-day Bangladesh.
Media India Group was present in Dhaka, Bangladesh, and celebrated the ‘Amar Ekushey’ (Immortal 21st) with millions of Bangladeshis paying homage to the language martyrs at Shahid Minar, inside the Dhaka University campus.
The theme of 2017 International Mother Language Day was ‘Towards Sustainable Futures through Multilingual Education’. UNESCO Director-General, Irina Bokova said, “On the occasion of this day, I launch an appeal for the potential of multilingual education to be acknowledged everywhere, in education and administrative systems, in cultural expressions and the media, cyberspace and trade.”