Marathi Language Day 2021: All you need to know
To honour the birth anniversary of renowned Marathi poet Vishnu Vaman Shirwadkar, Marathi Language Day is celebrated annually on February 27. Shirwadkar, also popularly known as 'Kusumagraj', was an eminent Marathi poet, playwright, novelist, short story writer, and humanist. He wrote 16 volumes of poems, three novels, eight volumes of short stories, seven volumes of essays, and 18 plays and six one-act plays all of which centred on the theme of freedom, justice, and social evils like poverty.
The government started celebrating 'Marathi Rajbhasha Gaurav Din' after Kusumagraj's death in 1999. Kusumagraj was the recipient of several state awards and national awards including the 1974 Sahitya Akademi Award in Marathi for Natsamrat, Padma Bhushan in 1991 and the Jnanpith Award in 1987. He also served as the president of the Akhil Bharatiya Marathi Sahitya Sammelan held at Margao in 1964.
Maharashtra chief minister Uddhav Thackeray congratulated the people of Maharashtra urging them to increase the use of the Marathi language in their daily lives. He also reminded people of the role of poet Shirwadkar in the promotion of the Marathi language and greeted the poet on his birthday. “I am Marathi, my Marathi!' Let's save the bow! Such is the appeal. Let's think in Marathi, let's speak in Marathi, let's express. Let's increase the use of Marathi in daily life!” Thackeray said.
The day is celebrated to recognise and honour the greatness of Marathi literature. The Marathi language, which contains some of the oldest literature of all modern Indo-Aryan languages, is one of the most spoken languages in India with 42 dialects, out of which some of the most common ones are Vaidarbhi, Zadi Boli, Konkani and Khandeshi. The syntax of the language and the grammar come from Prakrit and Pali.
Two special awards for individuals taking initiatives to promote Marathi literature are also given on this day. Various cultural programmes are held across Maharashtra in schools and other institutions to celebrate Marathi Bhasha Diwas. Although owing to the ongoing pandemic and recent spike in cases in Maharashtra, the celebrations this year will be muted.