Kolkata, Feb 21 (PTI) 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, state Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee 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 cane 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.
"All languages are equal. Mother tongue must be for expressing views. How can I forget February 21 spattered with my brothers' blood? I pay my tribute to the martyrs of 1952 Language Movement," Banerjee said in a Tweet earlier in the day.
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.
Disclaimer :- This story has not been edited by Outlook staff and is auto-generated from news agency feeds. Source: PTI