Stating that India’s “basic essence is unity in diversity”, Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Friday exhorted people to keep aside their differences and fight against the divisive forces to save the country.
Calling upon people to remain united on the occasion of the International Mother Language Day, the Chief Minister said, “The objective of the language day can be served in its true spirit if India remains united if people of different religions and communities remain united as they have been for ages.”
In an apparent attack on the BJP, the Trinamool Congress chief, who has been leading the protest against the new citizenship law (CAA) and the proposed National Register of Citizens (NRC), urged people to fight against the “divisive forces”. “Even if the battle is harder, we should not back out. We must carry on,” she added.
Observing that the Bengali language is integral to the soul of every Bengali, Mamata said she has equal respect to all other languages “as we believe in pluralism and cosmopolitanism”.
Earlier in the day, she tweeted in Bengali, “Today is 21st February, an occasion being celebrated across Bengal for paying tribute to those who had sacrificed their lives for their mother tongue. My homage to all those martyrs.” “We love all the languages including our mother tongue,” she added.
International Mother Language Day is observed on February 21 to promote awareness of linguistic and cultural diversity and multilingualism.
The day was celebrated by various organisations and institutes across West Bengal. Students, faculty and alumni of the St Xavier’s College in Kolkata observed the day by organising a torchlight procession in front of the college premises. The procession was led by its Principal Dominic Savio.
(With PTI inputs)
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