Chief minister Mamata Banerjee wants people not to feel ashamed about speaking in their mother tongue Bengali instead of conversing in English all the time.
She was speaking at an occasion to commemorate ‘Bhasa Dibash’ on Thursday.
Interestingly, it is on the issue of ‘Bhasa Dibash’ that recently even Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee talked of relaxing the two-day bandh called by trade union bodies including CITU.
“Sometimes I have seen people feeling ashamed to speak in their mother tongue, Bengali. During conversation they speak unnecessarily in English. English is an international language, but one should not desist from speaking his mother tongue,” she said in Deshapriya Park where a programme was organised.
The chief minister said that on the occasion of ‘Bhasa Dibash’ one celebrates all regional languages and not only Bengali.
“We respect all regional languages. In a country like India where there are so many regional languages and dialects one should respect all and celebrate all in this occasion,” she said.
“Many people have laid down their lives for their mother tongue. We must pay respect to them,” the chief minister said.
She stirred up age-old controversy of a section of Bengalis who are reluctant in speaking in their mother tongue. Mamata, who is a poet and a writer, is known for her love of the Bengali language. She has authored over a dozen books, which however have been also translated in English.
Her latest books, which include Poribartan, Kobita and My Unforgettable Moments, were hits in this year Kolkata Book Fair. Last year she had come up with a collection of 31 poems in the book Netai, inspired by the killings of nine unarmed villagers at Netai village of West Midnapore district.
Human suffering, human rights violations, political protests and statements have always been common ingredients of her poetry. Two of her books Maa, a book of poems and Pallabi a book of long stories have also received critical acclaim from the literary world.
Maa, a book of poems, and Pallabi, a book of long stories, by her have gone on to receive critical acclaim from the literary world as well. Upalabdhi a collection of political essays remains one of the topselling books.