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Tripura Thursday celebrated International Mother Language Day with a pledge to uphold and develop all languages. Revenue Minister NC Debbarma, who is also chief of ruling ally Indigenous Peoples Front of Tripura (IPFT), said all languages have equal importance and all of them should be respected and developed.

The day started with an event at the Bangladesh Assistant High Commission office at Buddhamandir area in Agartala in the morning. Diplomats of the Visa office and assistant high commission paid floral tributes to the martyrs of language movement who lost their lives to Pak Army on the streets of Dhaka of present-day Bangladesh back in 1952. First Secretary Jakir Hussein Bhuiyan said the Day was observed through different events.

The central public event of the day was organised by the state government’s department of education at Rabindra Shatabarshiki Bhavan here. Education Minister Ratan Lal Nath and NC Debbarma joined the event where the duo paid floral tributes to martyrs of language movement in Dhaka of present Bangladesh in 1952.

“People on both sides of the international border speak the same language. They write the same language and share a common culture. It is natural to observe Mother Language Day, which is also observed across the world in all languages,” Nath said.

Meanwhile, Tripura Chief Minister Biplab Kumar Deb inaugurated a children’s festival at Unakoti district, 150 km from here, and said stress should be laid on mother language though English and Hindi need to be learnt for a better career. “We have to learn English and Hindi for career. However, one should always lay stress on learning the mother tongue,” he said.

A rally was organised in Agartala city in the afternoon where artists, poets and social activists joined.

International Mother Language Day was proclaimed by UNESCO in 1999. It is observed every year to promote linguistic, cultural diversity and multilingualism since February, 2000.