Mother tongue should be used to express one's views: Mamata

State gives official status to Kurukh language
Report by: 
21 Feb 2017

Paying her tribute to the martyrs of the 1952 Language Movement (Bhasha Shahids) on the occasion of International Mother Language Day, West Bengal chief minister today said all languages are equal and mother tongue should be used to express one's views.

"All languages are equal. Mother tongue must be used for expressing views," Mamata tweeted this morning. "How can I forget February 21 spattered with my brothers' blood. I pay my tribute to the martyrs of 1952 Language Movement," she tweeted. Heartfelt greetings to all on the occasion of International Mother Language Day," the chief minister added.
The West Bengal government today gave official status to Kurukh language, listed as an endangered language by the UNESCO, to mark the International Mother Language Day, which is observed to mark the language movement in the then East Pakistan in 1952.

Announcing this at a function to celebrate the day, the chief minister said that official recognition would also be given to Rajbangshi/Kamtapuri language spoken in parts of north Bengal. She said that around 16 lakh Oraon people spoke Kurukh language in Bengal and that the language had been identified as a vulnerable language in the UNESCO's list of endangered languages. "What occasion can be better than the International Mother Language Day to give recognition to the language", Mamata said adding that efforts would be made to establish a script of the Rajbangshi/Kamtapuri language soon.

The chief minister lamented the apathy among a section of people in the state in learning or speaking Bengali. "We forget to talk in Bengali sometimes. We will learn all languages, but why not Bengali also? In English-medium schools, English has to be taught, but Bengali should be learnt also," she observed.
Marking the movement in Bangladesh in 1952 for recognition of Bengali as an official language when it was part of Pakistan, February 21 has been recognised as the International Mother Language Day by the United Nations.