At a time when city colleges are struggling to finish the syllabus for upcoming semester exams in March, Mumbai university has asked all colleges to celebrate February 27 as ‘Marathi Rashtrabhasha Divas’.
A circular uploaded on the university’s website has made it mandatory to celebrate the day, a compliance report for which will also be expected post the events, a university spokesperson said.
Till last year, there was no compulsion for marking the day and was usually restricted to the language departments in the university. The circular adds that by celebrating this day, we can inculcate the values of the Marathi language among non-Marathi students as well.
To add to it, the University Grants Commission (UGC) has directed all universities and colleges under it to celebrate February 21 as ‘Matrubhasha Divas’.
In the recent past too, the UGC had asked universities and colleges to observe similar ‘days’ including Good governance day, International students day and Sardar Vallabhai Patel’s birth anniversary among others.
“As it is we have a large number of holidays in a calendar year and such celebrations just add to it. We will have to organise the events in the afternoon, which means students will have to miss lectures,” said Dinesh Panjwani, principal, RD National College, Bandra. He added that Marathi bhasha divas was celebrated each year by the college’s Marathi department, but was never mandatory.
Another principal of a city college said that the university should organise one big event and ask students to attend it in the evenings instead of asking colleges to organising one.
However, university officials said that colleges must take pride in the language of the state and not be weary of marking the day.
“Other countries like Germany and France take pride in their language then why shouldn’t we,” said Mridul Nile, head of the university’s department of student welfare.