By Rafiullah Mandokhail
ZHOB: Like elsewhere in Balochistan, the International Mother Language Day also observed here on Sunday to promote linguistic and cultural diversity and multilingualism.
In connection with the day, nationalist Pashtoonkhwa Milli Awami party held a seminar at party secretariat, attended by party activists in a large number. Abdul Aziz advocate, Jamal Basharmal Mandokhail, Mirwais Khan Mandokhail, Amanullah Kharoti, Mamoon Shaoor and Hafiz Eid Muhammad spoke on the occasion. Awami National Party also held an event at Bacha Khan Markaz, where district president Anwer Mandokhail, Sardar Janak Kibzai, Naqeebullah Mandokhail, Nazir Afghan, Masroor Musakhail, Ghulam Rasool, Muhammadan Lawoon and Alaf Khan highlighted the importance of mother languages. Simultaneously, to mark the day, Pashto Academy Zhob branch also organized a seminar at cultural hall presided over by veteran poet and writer Barmala Khan Barmol. Khudai Noor Nasar, Rehmat Betani, Bahar Nasar, Jamal Mandokhail, Hafiz Hazrat Gul Babar, Rahim Shah Folad, Zalmai Mandokhail, Sharif Sherani, Shahim Kakar, Jar Sapi and Ali Sherani shed light on the importance of International Mother Language Day.
The speakers at different seminars said that the languages play a vital role in ensuring cultural diversity and development. The right to early education in mother tongue had been awarded by the UN under its human rights charter.
“Under the Constitution, a province has been granted the right to promote its mother language, but unfortunately it is yet to be implemented,” they lamented.
Every year February 21st is being celebrated globally to highlight the importance of mother language and commemorate the martyrdom of Bengali students who sacrificed their lives for their mother language seven decades back. In 1952, in Dhaka (Bangladesh’s capital) the university students held a protest demo, demanding Bangla language to be declared as a national language but the police opened fire and killed five students. In 1999 UNESCO during its General Conference declared 21st February as International Mother Language Day worldwide. The theme of the 2021 International Mother Language Day is ‘Fostering multilingualism for inclusion in education and society’. UNESCO data revels that at least 43 percent of the estimated 6000 languages spoken in the world are endangered while only few hundred languages have genuinely been given a place in education systems and the public domain.