Matribhasha Diwas celebration at IIT Bhubaneswar ‘Pragmatic approach towards Mother Language is need of the hour’

Matribhasha Diwas celebration at IIT Bhubaneswar ‘Pragmatic approach towards Mother Language is need of the hour’

Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Bhubaneswar celebrated Matribhasha Diwas (International Mother Language Day) on 21st February 2024 in a grand manner. The speech of the chief guest and eminent speaker Dr. Krushna Keshab Sarangi, Assistant Director, Agricultural Promotion & Investment Corporation of Odisha Limited (APICOL), Bhubaneswar, under Department of Agriculture and Farmers’ Empowerment, Govt of Odisha was the highlight of the event. Dr. Sarangi is renowned as an eminent speaker, composer, editor, translator and commentator in Odia, Sanskrit and Devnagari languages. He has translated more than 15 stotras/hymns in Odia, Sanskrit, Devnagari and English; edited more than 4 books; composed and published more than 130 articles in different newspapers; delivered more than 150 Live Commentary in TV shows. The programme was organized to promote awareness of linguistic and cultural diversity and to promote multilingualism, in line with the worldwide celebration as per the UNESCO declaration. This year, the theme of International Mother Language Day was “Multilingual education is a pillar of intergenerational learning”. 

Speaking on the occasion, Prof. Shreepad Karmalkar, Director, IIT Bhubaneswar emphasized that mother language is the language of the heart. “Language is not just a means of communication; it is a repository of our culture, history, and identity. Evolving and adapting to contemporary demands, languages also serve as poignant reminders of our historical roots,” he added. He also informed that IIT Bhubaneswar has made it a practice for the PhD scholars to submit their PhD thesis in any Indian language in addition to English to promote linguistic diversity.

In his address, Chief Guest Dr. Krushna Keshab Sarangi emphasized the importance of the use of mother language for the growth of a society. He said: “In contemporary times, the pragmatic approach towards the use of mother language is the need of the hour. It should move beyond the theoretical framework.” He also stressed the use of mother language in day-to-day activities for the promotion of the language, thereby ensuring the development of a particular society. “The Mother Language may not be the language of trade or business, but it should be language in which we should converse with our family and friends,” he added. Citing different examples from the literature in Sanskrit and Odia, he expressed that efforts should be made to preserve and promote our matribhasha, which has an enriched legacy.

Shri Bamadev Acharya, Registrar of the Institute also spoke on the importance of Mother Language for achieving larger objectives for a society. He introduced the chief guest and his achievements.

To mark the occasion, the faculty members, staff, residents and students of IIT Bhubaneswar performed songs and recited poetry in their respective matribhasha, which made the celebration vibrant.