Published: 21st February 2018
Matribhasha Diwas: Celebrate your mother tongue in colleges, UGC tells students
Following in the footsteps of the UNESCO, UGC has declared February 21 as 'Matribhasha Diwas' and has directed Universities to conduct activities to celebrate diverse languages
Get ready to get bilingual as the University Grants Commission has declared February 21 as 'Matribhasha Diwas' and urged all Universities to hold activities that promote the linguistic diversity in the country.
UGC is following the footsteps of UNESCO which observes 'International Mother Language Day' in order to promote 'fuller awareness on linguistic and cultural traditions based on understanding, tolerance and dialogue'.
The UGC has said that the University must be able to achieve the following goals through their activities — highlight linguistic diversity in the country, encourage usage of mother tongue and other languages as well, in India and draw attention to literature, performing arts, scripts and other forms of creative expression.
The Universities have been asked to conduct activities in at least two languages and the activities could include elocution, debating, singing, essay writing competitions, painting competitions, music and dramatic performance, exhibitions, online resources and activities as well as events exploring the cognitive, economic, social and cultural activities of multilingual society.
UNESCO's aim with the day is to promote sustainable futures through multilingual education. While UGC might be doing the same, it brings back the question over the debate of whether or not Hindu should be declared our national language.
Only a few weeks ago, External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj had suggested that Hindi be proposed as one of the official languages in the UN. However Congress leader. Shashi Tharoor had argued that in a country like ours where Hindi is not the only spoken language, it didn't need to be one of the official languages at the UN either.
Will 'Matribhasha Day' settle these arguments? That's left to be seen.